How to Practice Sustainable Shopping During Black Friday

Author: Twig

Date Published: 26.11.2021

Tags: #black Friday

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year and a milestone in most big companies’ annual marketing plans. At the same time, there is probably no other day that exposes the excess and overconsumption in today’s economies as brutally. Large businesses heavily discount their products to increase their market share and strengthen their position as market leaders. Furthermore, especially fashion brands tend to overproduce in the months leading towards Black Friday to be able to meet the “exploding” demand. This often results in excess stock and additional economic and environmental costs because the excess products need to be disposed of. It is almost impossible to produce under socially and environmentally sustainable conditions at such heavily discounted prices and in such unpredictable market dynamics that effectively depend on one single day.

The low prices combined with companies’ aggressive marketing strategies lead to a normalisation of impulse shopping and make it much harder for individuals to consume consciously (#FOMO). Consumption is generally not a bad thing and Black Friday surely is the right day to replace your old, smelly fridge with a new energy-efficient model or to buy an ergonomic home office chair that you already needed for a long time. However, studies have shown that — even though trends of conscious consumption on Black Friday are promising particularly among Gen Z — the larger share of (online) shoppers still does not consider the environmental impact. The global carbon emissions that are caused only by the additional transport from online shopping on Black Friday are as high as the annual emissions of 40,000 UK citizens (more than 380,000t CO2eq).

So, what can you do about this apart from fully boycotting consumption? Well, don’t look further, we have some good alternatives for you if you want to consume more consciously. There are ways to still experience the gratification of getting something that is new to you without causing a heavy burden to the environment. For instance, why not sell two or three products that you already own for each new purchase that you make? You can do this on Twig and get instant cash for your items. Thereby, you don’t only keep your closets neat but also contribute to the avoidance of environmental impact while buying that one piece that you desired for so long — even better if also your “new” purchase is pre-loved :)

As human beings, our value is not only based on the material things that we own but also on our ability to give up and free ourselves from our belongings and materialistic tendencies. Scientific studies show that materialism is often connected to unhappiness and socially destructive tendencies due to a lack of empathy. Twig supports you in focusing on what you do and who you are — rather than what you own. We make it easy for you to sell and instantly cash-out on items that you no longer want or need. Thereby, you give your clothes or electronics a second life with a new owner and liberate yourself from materialism.

Otherwise, why not support small and local businesses today? Black Friday was invented by big corporations to further exploit modern capitalism. However, large corporations often have a strong financial backbone and are not dependent on the additional sales on Black Friday. In contrast, small and local businesses are the ones that were affected heavily by the recent/ongoing Corona crisis and the ones who would actually need a special day where they receive support from consumers. They often do not have scalable online presences and can not “float” without any income as long as large corporations can. We also want to point out that not all large and established businesses are exploitative today. Brands like the British fashion institution Mulberry do not advertise with Black Friday offers at all but rather emphasise social impact and values to counteract the noise.

We hope the above inspires you to rethink and helps you to relax on this day of information and marketing overload. If you need further ideas and guidance, we have compiled a list of helpful accounts and content pieces that address the overconsumption on Black Friday

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