By Morwenna Kearns
According to a poll from Hubbub, two out of three people don't like Black Friday and a half of us 'feel uncomfortable with the concept'. It's a pretty new idea in the UK – it originated in the USA where the day after Thanksgiving tends to mark the start of Christmas shopping season – yet my email inbox has been swimming in Black Friday deals and sales for weeks. However, there are plenty of alternatives. Here are some brilliant ones.
This is Hubbub's own anti-Black Friday campaign, focusing on making getting hold of cool new clothes that much brighter. The environmental group has been throwing Bright Friday swishing and styling parties in London this week (the last one is tonight) where you can bring along all those clothes you never wear and swap them for new gear, for free, while having fun.
My own swishing experience is varied, so I recommend following the advice of RuPaul when picking up exciting new clobber: 'Edit'.
There are several Green Friday initiatives happening this year, but it's all, fundamentally, about mindful consumerism and making more of what you have. Buy ethical, local, recycled, second-hand, eco-friendly products – or don't buy them at all, instead choosing to make do, mend and swap.
In Ireland, #GreenFriday is about supporting Irish businesses, while another campaign is promoting the loveliness of plants. It's easy being green, after all.
#BlackFriday for charity
In 2016, Patagonia donated 100 per cent of sales made online and in its shops on Black Friday to environmental organisations. This year Pukka Herbs is following suit: handing 100 per cent of sales to charities based in the tea brand's native Bristol, namely the Forest of Avon Trust and The Matthew Tree Project. It's still shopping, but for a good cause.
The events don't start until December but the concept is evergreen: MAKE SMTHNG Week is all about getting creative and taking care of the things we have, rather than buying loads of new stuff. There will be 85 maker events, hosted by Greenpeace, Fashion Revolution and Shareable taking place around the world between December 2nd to 10th 2017, all intended to bring more happiness to people – and the planet – than mindless shopping.
This one has been around for years and it's just that simple: don't buy anything. Ignore the sales and all that new stuff you could have and just use the stuff you have already. Society is unlikely to crumble, and it's an excuse to listen to Buy Nothing Day by The Go! Team.