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What Is Green Friday & How Can We Get Involved?

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The eco-conscious shopper's answer to Black Friday

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Feeling the Black Friday blues? It’s estimated that Brits will spend £3.95 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year – a sharp drop from sales of £6 billion in 2020 and £4.8 billion in 2021, but nevertheless still a huge figure – as they shop the latest deals at big name retailers. This year’s string of sales are also forecasted to produce 429,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from product deliveries, and see 80 per cent of products bought during this period end up in landfill shortly after. With over-consumption on the rise, many of us are boycotting sale season in favour of something different: Green Friday.

What is Green Friday?

Started as a means of raising awareness of the impact our shopping habits can have on the planet, Green Friday – or the ‘anti-Black Friday movement’ – is an event that promotes mindful shopping and environmental appreciation. Coinciding with Black Friday, it involves boycotting stores promoting the event, avoiding online sales and highlighting the massive scale of CO2 and waste produced during this period.

While Black Friday has been an annual staple since the 1980s, Green Friday (as we know it) is a newer concept. Early versions of the event have been tracked back to Canada’s 1992 Buy Nothing Day, which is now its own international event in protest of consumerism, but it’s since grown beyond a boycott to include mindful shopping practices, outdoor events and learning opportunities.

Woman in red dress walking with H&M bag

(c) Fernand De Canne, Unsplash

It’s no surprise that in recent years, as Green Friday has garnered more attention globally, the event has evolved and taken on new meaning. On its website, greenfriday.org explains that the event centres around three core values:

  • Putting down devices in favour of spending time outdoors
  • Enjoying time with friends and family
  • Giving, sharing and investing in worthwhile causes

But these will most likely shift as time goes on and refine the ways in which we’d like to see big sale events like Black Friday change for the better.

When is it?

Like Black Friday, Green Friday will take place on 25 November 2022 (although many brands and companies are getting involved earlier this year in reaction to month-long Black Friday deals).

How do we get involved?

There’s more than one way to get on board with Green Friday – we’ve listed some of our favourite below:

Skip Black Friday

The most sustainable way to shop? Not at all. Skipping the sale rail is the simplest way to get involved in Green Friday this year, as it will prevent you from buying things you don’t necessarily want or need (and ultimately sending them to landfill).

Spend time outdoors

Green Friday is also an opportunity to reconnect with nature and rekindle a love for nature; rather than spend the day inside on your computer or holed up in a department store, those participating are encouraged to spend the day outdoors. You can go for walk, visit the park or even just chill in the garden (if the British weather permits it).

The Best Parks in London to Paint En Plein Air - Regents Park

(c) Getty Images

Shop mindfully

A recent amend to the Green Friday message is, if you still intend to shop, to shop mindfully. This means avoiding big corporations known for having poor environmental practices and instead investing in one of the following:

  • Local businesses – this supports your local community while cutting down on the transport (and therefore carbon emissions) needed to ship goods
  • Sustainable brands – labels that are known for setting a good example when it comes to employing practices that work with the planet rather than against it (you can look out for certifications like B Corp, Soil Association and Leaping Bunny)
  • Secondhand or vintage wares – one way to avoid over-consumption is to keep things circular, shopping items that have had a previous life and saving them from going in the bin

Learn something new about our planet

Rather than give in to any capitalist cravings, why not use your time to learn something new? There are a wealth of resources out there to help you get to grips with our planet is various ecologies, from books and podcasts to documentaries (David Attenborough is your friend here). There are even a number of fun shows that teach kids about the way our planet works, so everyone in the family can get involved.

Raise awareness

Spreading the word about Green Friday will help broadcast its message and values at a much faster rate, helping the movement to grow and gain traction. Tell your friends and family, platform the brands making a difference in the retail space and share Green Friday’s values wherever you can. Change starts with us, after all.

Brands supporting Green Friday this year

While many brands continue to advertise Black Friday deals, there are a number who are using the period to champion Green Friday ideals. Some of the brands supporting Green Friday this year include Finisterre, REI, Vivobarefoot, Dora Larsen and many more. We’ve outlined some of the great initiatives these brands will be taking over the weekend below:

  • Finisterre has announced they will be promoting ‘Blue Friday’ this year, donating £2 from every purchase made over the weekend to Level Water, a UK charity providing specialist swimming lessons for children with disabilities | finisterre.com
  • Dora Larsen will be donating £10 with every order to The Fungi Foundation, a global organisation that explores the possibilities of fungi as a material and problem-solver to environmental issues, from Friday 25 November to Monday 28 November | doralarsen.com
  • room2 hometels has released a campaign, This Is Our Home, encouraging people to stop and think about our relationship with the planet, as well as the role we play in protecting our home | room2.com

  • Kent Wildlife Trust will be offering five months individual membership for the price of 12, coming in at £36, to encourage more people to get outdoors and explore the local landscape | kentwildlifetrust.org.uk
  • Feragaia will be donating profits over the weekend to Seawilding to help restore seagrass meadows in the UK | feragaia.com
  • Vivobarefoot will be promoting ReVivo, its reconditioned footwear platform that asks you to send in your old pair of Vivo’s so they can be repaired, cleaned up and put back on the circular market | vivobarefoot.com
  • REI has launched its #OptOutside campaign, encouraging people to spend more time in nature and appreciate what’s on our doorstep| rei.com

 

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DISCOVER

Find out more about Green Friday 2022 at greenfriday.org.uk

Featured image: Markus Spiske, Unsplash