Black Friday can be the perfect opportunity to buy an item you’ve had your eye on for a while, tick off your Christmas gift list with big savings, or treat yourself to something to cheer up this cold dark season.
But it’s so easy to slip into automatic shopping mode. Adverts and offers come at us from all over the place to get us to buy more and buy now... which often isn’t ideal for us, or the planet.
We end up with things we don’t really want and don’t really need, which have all required energy and resources to produce, ship, wrap (and then get disposed of). Are there ways to do it differently?
Read on to find out about alternative approaches, how to shop more sustainably this year, and what Happier Beauty has planned for Black Friday 2021.
Alternatives to Black Friday
Shopping thoughtfully and with consideration isn’t a new idea. ‘Buy Nothing Day’ was originally founded in 1992 by artist Ted Dave, as a day of reflection for society about our overconsumption. Since then, it’s grown internationally, and the date has been moved to coincide with Black Friday (recognising how this day can be problematic in encouraging unnecessary consumption.)
Another alternative movement, Green Friday, started in 2015. It highlights the need to shop sustainably, and aims to help us consider whether each potential new item really is wanted or needed. It also resists the modern tradition of Black Friday as a day just for shopping, and inspires people to spend time with their loved ones and outside in nature instead.
Let’s shop mindfully
Yes, getting a great deal feels amazing as we click the ‘Add to basket’ button… but it’s often a pretty short-lived feeling. By the time it arrives, you may even wonder what made you buy it in the first place.
So firstly: do you need to buy anything at all? Slowing down and weighing up your budget, lifestyle, and options in advance can help avoid impulse purchases.
If you’ve made your list and checked it twice, and there IS something you need, here are some ideas about where to buy and who to buy from.
Choose preloved and secondhand
If you’re looking for a discount, second hand will be cheaper all year round! There is so much stuff out there already, unwanted and often unused, that might just be perfect for you or someone you’re buying for. (It can take a little more time to track down - although that can be part of the fun!)
Support small businesses with ethical values
With the rise of greenwashing, it can be really hard to keep tabs on what huge global corporations are up to. Do their promised actions actually make a positive impact on the world, or just look good in an ad campaign?
On the other end of the scale, many social enterprises and small businesses are passionate about sustainability, and have a person at the centre who cares deeply about what they do. You’ll be able to find out about their values, processes, and environmental commitments, and learn about how your purchases are sourced and made.
Although many of these businesses are too small to be able to offer big Black Friday discounts, shopping with them means you’re supporting local people, communities, and initiatives.
Shop with brands that give back
Just as customers are changing their minds about how they shop on Black Friday, brands are also thinking carefully about what impact they want to have.
From CO2 emissions to living wages for workers to mental health, we know that overconsumption and thoughtless production is damaging the world. And during the pandemic, we saw first-hand how stockpiling can get out of control and leave vulnerable people and communities without essentials.
With many brands and businesses moving away from the crazy consumerism of Black Friday, more are choosing to give something to charity instead: from a percentage of profits, to planting a tree or litter-picking for each order that’s placed.
Happier Beauty’s Black Friday deal
At Happier Beauty, we love the idea of not only moving away from the mindless consumerism that Black Friday can spiral into, but also moving towards changing things for the better!
You’re probably aware of foodbanks, and how the need for their services has been rising and rising over the last few years (especially during the pandemic when we all became more aware of issues like free school meals.)
But there are other everyday essentials that we don’t tend to think about in the same way – personal care and hygiene products like shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, soap and sanitary products.
Beauty Banks was started to meet the need for these items, with the belief that being clean is a human right. In a similar way to food banks, people can donate toiletries, and Beauty Banks partners with charities, associations, and schools to make sure these hygiene essentials get to people who can’t afford them.
We love the amazing work they’re doing, so this year we’ll be matching your purchases on Black Friday – when someone buys a tube of Happier Beauty toothpaste, we’ll donate a tube to Beauty Banks.
Black Friday 2021
As Vivienne Westwood said, let’s ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’.And when it comes to toothpaste, your Happier Beauty purchase can do some extra good this Black Friday! Shop here.