We are nearing the end of November, and that means we are entering a season full of Holidays and gift giving where you will be bombarded by thousands of ads online and in the street with big letters saying "BLACK FRIDAY SALE!".
For those who don't know what Black Friday is, it's a day after Thanksgiving in the States where the vast majority of Retailers put massive discounts on their products. Even though this 'Holiday' started in the United States it has become big "deal" all around the world (no pun intended).
What does this day mean for our planet and our workers? And also, the most important question of all - Is it sustainable?
I am sure most of you got this question right, because Black Friday is everything but sustainable.
Most of us will be sitting at home on our electronic devices, tapping on that dress that we are not sure will fit us or not. Regardless, we will still click on 'Purchase', because in the worst case scenario, you will just return it.
But do you know what that means for the Carbon footprint?
According to a Sustainable for ALL article, transporting merchandise from a company to a customer, and on top of that returning it, costs our planet much more than that dress we wanted to fit us so badly. This effect was measured in 15 million tones of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere due to returns alone!
Beside CO2, let's not forget the amount of packaging that goes into online shopping. Mountains of boxes, plastic bags, Styrofoam and more materials that will pretty much turn into forever lasting waste.
If you decide to approach this Day the "old fashioned way" by physically going to all the stores, remember to be nice to the staff. Not that this Day is only unsustainable, but it also brings a lot of stress to the people "behind the scenes".
Can we make this better? And what would be the best way to do so?
Depending on what you are planning to buy, the first step you should take is ask yourself, do I really need it?
Scrolling through a bunch of fast fashion websites can be dangerous, especially when you see a a black top thats slightly different from the one that's already folded in your wardrobe. Let's face it, you don't need it! And just because it’s 20% off, doesn’t mean it’s a good enough reason to buy it!
So instead of adding it to your cart, maybe declutter your wardrobe before November 26!
-We all know that wardrobes can be like a black hole full of things that we didn't even know we had.
A good thing to do before this Black Friday is to check the long lost items at the very back of your wardrobe and make sure that you aren't buying things that you already have but forgot about.
-Get creative with your gifts this Christmas instead of buying them.
There is plenty of nice and meaningful stuff that you can make by yourself. If that's still not your thing, make sure to support small businesses. There are loads of shops that also do zero waste products, and it could be something different to give to your closest ones this year.
-Get in touch with nature instead of spending this weekend trapped in the mall! This weekend is going to be stressful for everybody, so instead of stressing yourself out, go on a hike and remind yourself that you are not missing out on anything, except for a sea of people all boxed in together at the mall, and another garment that you already own but in a slightly different cut!
-And last but not least, spread the word! Be part of the change and encourage responsible shopping!
What is the oldest thing you have in your wardrobe and that you still use? Leave it in the comment section below and share the story of that garment with us!
Written by Anja Markovic