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, a second, that it just encourages waste and overspending in an already fraught world and a third, that the deals aren’t real anyway and it is all just a con.
These are my thoughts on the day.
Not only do we wish to encourage our customers and followers to shop small this year, something we are passionate about, but we want to encourage people to see the wider picture when it comes to Black Friday and shop more sustainably. The day itself does not lend itself to sustainability. Increased parcels being shipped leads to more CO2 emissions whilst all the plastic used for packaging and unwanted items just end up in landfill.
But 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, which takes years to degrade. 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.
If you’ve watched David Attenborough’s Netflix documentary, A Life On Our Planet, you’ll be aware of how important trees are to the survival of this planet. They help clean the air we breath, they provide habitat for vital bio-diversity, they filter the water we drink and they absorb the harmful carbon from the air that we are producing more and more of. Despite, being the main cause of these Greenhouse gases and knowing that trees can help keep our climate stable, we have still managed to destroy 46% of the world’s forests. But, as David Attenborough informed us, there is still time to reverse this damage and bring back stability to this planet by ‘rewilding’ the planet. One of the ways of achieving this is by planting more trees (and not just oil palm trees).
So this Black Friday we have teamed up with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every order received during Black Friday weekend. For those of you not familiar with One Tree Planted they are a non profit organisation who plant one tree for every dollar (or pound) donated. 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.
By the way, we’ve also blacklisted the name Black Friday and will be running with Green Friday instead! A not so inventive term, I know, but it does sum up perfectly our values and what we intend to do.