Shop smarter, shop greener: A sustainable Black Friday guide

Black Friday can be a time of frenzied over consumption and chaotic shopping sprees, but it doesn't have to be. Here are our top tips and tricks to help you have a more sustainable Black Friday.

Black Friday, traditionally associated with chaotic shopping sprees and frenzied consumption, has gained notoriety for its negative environmental and social impacts. However, it doesn't have to be this way. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need to shop sustainably, even during big sales events like Black Friday. Here we’ll give you the tips and tricks you need to do Black Friday sustainably.  

Plan ahead

Sustainable Black Friday shopping begins with thoughtful planning. Take these steps to ensure a more eco-friendly and ethical shopping experience:

  • Create a shopping list: Identify the items you genuinely need and prioritise them. This will help you avoid impulsive purchases that may end up unused or discarded.
  • Set a budget: Decide how much you're willing to spend and stick to it. Being mindful of your financial limits can reduce overconsumption and waste.

Support sustainable brands

When scouring the sales, opt for brands that prioritise sustainability and ethical practices. Look for certifications like Fair Trade, organic, or products made with recycled materials. Supporting such brands encourages responsible production and can be a catalyst for positive change. Here are some UK-based sustainable brands to inspire you:

  • Patagonia: A company known for its commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
  • Lush: Offers eco-friendly cosmetics and bath products with minimal packaging.
  • The Body Shop: Known for its ethical sourcing and commitment to sustainability.
  • Veja: A brand producing stylish, eco-friendly sneakers.

Choose quality over quantity

One of the best ways to shop sustainably is by opting for high-quality items that are built to last. Instead of buying several cheap, disposable items, invest in one or two durable, long-lasting products. Quality over quantity helps reduce waste and minimises the need for constant replacements.

Second hand and vintage shopping

Black Friday doesn't have to mean buying the latest items. Thrifting, buying second hand, or exploring vintage shops is an excellent way to shop sustainably. Not only will you be giving new life to pre-loved items, but you'll also be supporting the circular economy.

Mindful online shopping

If you prefer to shop online, make sure to be mindful of your environmental impact. Consider these tips:

  • Combine orders: Opt for combined shipping or buy from the same retailer to reduce packaging and emissions associated with transportation.
  • Choose slow shipping: Many e-commerce platforms offer slower, more environmentally friendly shipping options.  
  • Skip the express shipping: Avoid express or overnight shipping, as it tends to be less eco-friendly.

Reduce packaging waste

Excessive packaging is a significant environmental concern associated with Black Friday. To mitigate this, consider these strategies:

  • Choose products with minimal packaging: Look for products with eco-friendly packaging or those that come with minimal excess.
  • Bring your reusable bags: Whether you're shopping online or in-store, having your reusable bags can significantly reduce the use of plastic bags.
  • Choose digital receipts: Ask for electronic receipts rather than printed ones to reduce paper waste.

Take part in Green Friday

Black Friday can often lead to stress, panic and an overwhelming sense of FOMO if you miss out on certain deals or promotions. Rather than getting lost in the fuss of Black Friday why not take part in Green Friday?  

Green Friday began in Europe to promote people going outside and enjoying nature rather than being stuck inside on their laptops shopping. So, head outside, get active and enjoy time away from technology.  

Give back

Consider giving back as a part of your Black Friday tradition. Donate to a charity, volunteer your time, or support businesses that donate a part of their profits to worthy causes. Black Friday can be a time for gratitude and generosity as well.


By following these sustainable shopping practices, it can help reduce your environmental and social footprint during the silly season. Remember, the key is to shop mindfully, support ethical brands, and prioritise quality over quantity.

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