This year Black Friday falls on Friday 27th November 2020 but how did it originate? There are lots of different stories around this. From the crashing of the gold market in the US in 1869 to police officer’s in Philadelphia struggling to control with the chaos of a football game the day after Thanksgiving and coining the phrase ‘Black Friday.’ Major retailers soon cottoned on to the date, which still falls the day after thanksgiving, and in 2010 Amazon were the first company to bring it to the UK with other retailers soon following suit. In 2019 it was estimated that a total of 8.57 billion pound was spent in the UK on Black Friday.
(Photo by Cris Faga/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
There are several trains of thought when it come to Black Friday. The first, that Black Friday is great to pick up those bargains ready for Christmas or to purchase something you’ve been saving up for. However a second, is that the day is just a con.
These are my thoughts on the day.
Small businesses, like us, struggle to compete with the major retailers and their big advertising budgets when it comes to Black Friday sales. That and we simply cannot afford to give away huge discounts at such a pivotal time.
Not only do we wish to encourage our customers and followers to shop small this year, something we are passionate about, but we also want to encourage people to see the wider picture when it comes to Black Friday. The day itself does not lend itself to sustainability and just encourages waste. Customers are quite often lured into false discounts and often buy things that they do not need. Whilst increased parcels being shipped leads to more CO2 emissions and all the plastic used for packaging and unwanted items just end up in landfill. The day itself just encourages waste when the UK already produces 2.4million tonnes of packaging waste every year.
Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle does not mean gifts are banned, it just means making better choices. Buy gifts that are made of natural materials rather than plastic. Buy gifts that are local and therefore do not have the airmiles. Buy gifts that are reusable time and time again and don’t just get thrown away once Christmas is over. Buy gifts from businesses that use compostable (not just biodegradable) packaging. Buy from small businesses that have families to support this Christmas. Buy from people that have a heart and are giving back.
Many of us will have seen the latest David Attenborough documentary and will be aware of the damage we have done to our planet but it is not too late to reverse this. We just need to act and think more sustainably. A lot of people think that living sustainably is boring and beige but I am on a mission to change that!
This year I will be advocating a Green Friday, which simply means that for every order placed on the website over Green Friday weekend we will plant a tree in return. This conservation project will be carried out in conjunction with eco charity One Tree Planted. The environmental charity is dedicated to making it easier for individuals and businesses to give back to the environment, create a healthier climate, protect biodiversity, and help reforestation efforts around the world. All by planting trees! In 2019 they planted over 4 million trees! We supported them earlier in the year and we’re also going to be looking at ways we can support them more as we head in to 2021.
Not only does this mean you can offset any emissions from having your parcel shipped but you’re also helping to ‘rewild’ the world this Green Friday.