Top 8 ways to shop sustainably on Black Friday 2022

Before you get swept away in the excitement of bagging a bargain deal, discover how you can make more sustainable purchases this Black Friday

Black Friday has become known as the most polluting day of the year, as consumers flood into stores or pile their online cart with discounted bargains – that they often don't need. Although it can be difficult to turn a blind eye to sales, there are ways in which consumers can make more ethical choices to reduce their environmental impact.

08: Buy from sustainable retailers

Although Black Friday has earnt itself a bad name (in terms of sustainability), there are retailers doing their bit to keep their emissions and environmental impact down. Take the skincare brand Tropic, for example. To balance out the impact the brand has on the environment, Tropic double offsets all its carbon emissions and only uses sustainably sourced ingredients. The skincare brand also donates 10% of its profits to charities and good causes.

07: Make a list - and stick to it

With Black Friday, it’s incredibly easy to be enticed by discounted items that you don’t want or need. Too often, we’re guilty of buying a new jumper, high-tech gadget or kitchen utensil that we just don’t need, so they are thrown in the back of the wardrobe, cupboard or drawer and forgotten about. Not only is this a huge waste of money, but it’s contributing to throw-away culture. To combat this, make a list and only buy the things that you really need.

06: Understand the impact of online shopping

Ordering a shopping haul from the comfort of your own home might feel like a sustainable alternative to travelling to the shops. It’s therefore easy to overlook the carbon emissions released from the gas-guzzling delivery vans and the plastic used to package each item. But to put this in perspective, last year’s Black Friday deliveries produced an estimated 386,243 tonnes of carbon, which translates to 215 flights between London and Sydney.

05: Overcome the buzz

Grabbing a bargain always makes us feel good – especially if it’s for an item we’ve been searching for for a long time. But Black Friday often causes many of us to overspend, which can mean we’re paying back our purchases for the next few weeks (or even months!). After conducting a recent survey, Greenpeace concluded that: “people already own too much and they know it. Around 50% report that their shopping excitement wears off within a day.”

04: Go cruelty-free

Opting for vegan-friendly or plant-based products is another easy way to reduce the impact you make with your Black Friday sales. Cruelty-free items are usually marked with a logo so consumers can easily identify that they’re ethical – look for Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty Free and PETA-labelled products. 

03: Value over price

Rather than falling in love with an item that’s marked as 50% off, fall for one that may be a little more expensive, but has a sustainable backstory. For example, each pair of leggings from Indigo Luna Leggings contains between 10-12 recycled plastic bottles. So if you’re on a mission to refresh your gym wardrobe, make sure you invest in pieces that are good for the planet, not just your bank account.

02: Understand price strategy

Although it may feel that you’re loading a load of bargains in your trolley, it’s not always the case. In fact, Which? found that only one in 20 Black Friday deals are actually genuine – meaning the retail advertised cheaper prices at a different point in the year.

01: Shop locally

Everything has a carbon footprint. From the food we eat to the clothes on our backs, everything has to be made, manufactured, transported and used, so our carbon footprints aren’t just limited to the time items spend with us. Items manufactured in other countries, for example, will have a much higher carbon footprint than those made down the road. So if you’re looking to be more environmentally friendly, pay a visit to the independent shops near you – which will also allow you to support local shop owners.


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