It's hard to say when the day turned into this retail free-for-all, but it probably dates to the late 19th century. A lot has happened in the meantime and much later, back in 1966, the term “Black Friday” became famous in print when a story appeared in a magazine. Also, the Philadelphia Police Department used this name to describe traffic jams and crowding in downtown stores.
The truth is that Black Friday has become more and more extreme each year. It really turned into a day that promotes extreme shopping and overspend – and it naturally takes a toll on the environment.
From the fuel to get to the store, to the non-recyclable packaging that so many items come in, to the ecological take on manufacturing. It might be cool way to save some money, but it definitely doesn't help to save the planet!
This year, even though we are indeed celebrating the holiday, we want to bring attention to this and promote a greener and more sustainable Black Friday, as we tend to do all-year-round. This means we are focusing on shopping for environmentally friendly gifts and supporting charitable causes.
Here are some of our tips to reduce your carbon footprint and minimize your waste this holiday shopping season:
1. Shop online
By shopping online, you save money on needless fuel consumption. Plus, you don't need to spend the day waiting in lines! When shopping online, you can also opt to shop with companies who ship their products with sustainable, recycled packaging.
2. #NoReturns challenge
We are fans of the #NoReturns challenge and encourage you to participate! For instance, trade holiday wish lists with your friends and family so that nothing goes to waste. That way, you will be less likely to return. From wrapping paper, to packaging, to fuel, there's really no need to do it all twice.
3. Carpool or take public transports
Chances are, you're not the only person who is heading out to the stores on Black Friday, so make plans to carpool with some friends, family or neighbors. If there's an option to take public transportation, do so. While public transportation isn't always as comfortable as a car, it's the responsible thing to do. This way, you save money and do your part for the environment.
4. Shop small
Seriously, why overdo it? Think minimalistic for a change! Make a list, buy what you need and stop there. There is no need to be wasteful. The deals can be tempting but consider supporting local businesses and pop shops while you're searching for gifts. By shopping small, you'll be putting your money back into your local community.
5. Bring your own tote bags
Oh, the never-ending plastic problem! A massive amount of plastic is used during holiday shopping every year, especially when shopping at different stores, so bring your own reusable bags! Another tip is to keep several of your bags rolled up in your purse, so that you're always prepared.
6. Shop sustainably
Remember that in fast fashion, for every item that you buy, another is made to replace it, so it’s important to support sustainable brands. Do some research beforehand and gather a list of fair-trade brands in order to get to know its materials and practices. By giving a sustainable gift, you are spreading the word about the importance (and awesomeness) of sustainable living.
NÜWA offers you ethically made clothing, produced in a conscious and eco-friendly manner that minimizes water waste. We use a blend of 100% recycled cotton and post-consumer plastic bottles – all OEKO-TEX certified fabrics. Moreover, our packaging is recycled as well. We believe in doing good by supporting the ones who need it the most, which is why we support AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) and its clean water projects in Africa.
7. Recycle and donate
For every new item that you plan to buy, plan also to give one away! Donate furniture, clothes, electronics or other stuff you don’t use anymore to your local thrift store to give them a second life. Maybe even go crazy and donate 3 or 4 things for each piece you buy. If you can’t donate or your goods are no longer in good condition, opt to recycle, since there are more and more sites and stores that collect items for recycling.
Gifts that give back
By shopping at NÜWA this upcoming Black Friday, you are not only getting sustainably made and packed goods as well as shopping at a woman-owned business – you are also supporting communities in need. That’s right, 1% of our proceeds is going to Africa to help cyclone Idai victims in Mozambique. Learn more here.
This holiday season save money and save the planet. Subscribe to our newsletter and get an Early Bird sneak peak of our Black Friday Sale.