23 Nov

3 Questions That Will Help You Avoid the Black Friday Hype

On Friday 26 November, the world will once again fall under the Black Friday spell. We want to help you avoid the hype, and embrace ethical consumerism.

Originally an American phenomenon, Black Friday and its online cousin Cyber Monday have since spread their tendrils across the globe.

Hailed as the biggest shopping event of the year, Black Friday 2020 was the most polluting holiday yet, as consumers spent $9 billion shopping online—up 21.6% on the previous year. While Thanksgiving and Black Friday are still the busiest shopping days for stores, foot traffic has declined in the past couple of years: online shopping sales hit $7.4 billion in 2019, an all-time high.

The name Black Friday carries with it many negative connotations, such as crowds of frenzied shoppers pushing, shoving, and injuring each other to grab more stuff they don’t actually need, highlighting one of the ugly sides of (literally) fast fashion.

It’s especially disheartening when you consider that a large proportion of new clothing purchased around the world soon makes its way to landfill. Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for landfill or incineration after an average of only 7 wears. In the US, the EPA has estimated that shoppers throw away at least 13 million tons of clothes each year. In fact, consumers in North America are purchasing (and wasting) fives times as much clothing as they did 25 years ago.

It’s so easy, and so human, to feel some major FOMO when you’re surrounded by messages claiming that you need to take advantage of these amazing deals on items that will make your life better. Give yourself the gift of taking a moment to shift from unconscious to conscious consumer. Before you reach for your wallet, ask yourself these three questions:

1. How much do I already own?

2. How much will I wear it?

3. How long will it last?

After careful consideration, you may find that you don’t really need any new stuff after all. If you do still want to buy new, empower yourself to make ethical choices. Resisting the impulse to buy loads of cheap items in favour of investing in quality pieces not only makes your look more streamlined, it also reduces the amount you consume and spend overall.

Even a gorgeously tailored black dress isn’t worth much to you if you already have 10 just like it. A $15 t-shirt is no bargain if it’s worn out after a few washes. And those jeans on sale aren’t worth $40 if you’ll wear them just twice before consigning them to the back of your closet

Marc Bain

Make sure to choose something from a brand having a positive impact on the planet and its inhabitants. You can use the free Good On You app or the directory to check the labour, environment, and animal ratings for over 3,000 fashion brands. You can also find exclusive offers on ethical brands all year round, which is especially helpful for those of us who can have trouble affording new ethical fashion.

Some brands recognise the damage of events like Black Friday on conscious consumerism, and go out of their way to fight against the tide. Here is a selection of eco-initiatives worth supporting:

Citizen Wolf

Rated: Great

For the last 2 years, Citizen Wolf has been running ‘Black Fridye’, an annual event aiming to end disposable fashion by hijacking the Black Friday sales/news cycle to make it simple to love your clothes longer by dyeing them black—same dopamine hit with 95% less carbon.

See the rating.

Support Citizen Wolf.

Flamingos’ Life

Rated: Good

Spanish plant-based shoemakers brand, Flamingos’ Life, will face Black Friday overconsumption by closing its online store on Black Friday. In a globalized world, the brand is joining forces with other ethical brands committed to the salvation of the planet to create a bigger impact and spread the message around the world.

See the rating.

Support Flamingos’ Life.

Outland Denim

Rated: Great

Outland Denim will not be discounting any of its items during Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. For the brand, discounting means not providing the maximum impact and benefit to its mission and to its staff in Cambodia. Love!

See the rating.

Support Outland Denim.


Rated: Great

This year, Dedicated will not run any sale on Black Friday, but will instead run its Plant Friday campaign, planting a tree for every order made between 26-28 November!

See the rating.

Support Dedicated.


Rated: Good
Peach mashu mini tote

Mashu is proud to be giving back this Black Friday, donating 15% of all sales to Cool Earth from 22nd – 29th November. Cool Earth is a non-profit organisation that works with forests & their communities to halt deforestation and climate change.

See the rating.

Shop Mashu.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Good

The destruction of old-growth forests is leading species to the brink of extinction and eliminating one of our planets’ best defences against climate change. Since 2016, TAMGA commits Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend to raising money for our NGO partners in Sumatra, who are successfully restoring rainforest that was previously cleared for palm oil and other plantations (including plantations growing wood for viscose fabrics).
Our goal with this campaign is to shift a weekend that’s known for mindless consumerism into a mindful shopping experience. From November 25th to 29th, shoppers will get up to 30% off TAMGA’s sustainable fashion styles, and 20% of every sale will be donated to rainforest restoration in Sumatra.

See the rating.

Support TAMGA Designs.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

LA-based Whimsy+Row will be doing up to 75% off from the 19th – 29th and will be planting 1 tree with One Tree Planted for every purchase.

See the rating.

Support Whimsy + Row.

Raven + Lily

Rated: Good
woman lying on bed wearing Raven + Lily jewellery and homewares

This year Raven + Lily is selling archived leather samples from past seasons’ designs that it either developed or decided not to move forward with in production. This campaign ties in with Green Friday to discourage fast fashion and support repurposed sustainable materials that won’t go to waste.

See the rating.

Support Raven + Lily.

Fair Wear’s Fair Friday

Fair Wear is creating a brand new story for the fashion industry this Black Friday, together with their sustainable member brands, including Armedangels and Mini Rodini, they’re combining their reach to promote an alternative view of Black Friday—Fair Friday! Their message? “If you’re shopping today, shop consciously: buy fair clothing!” #peoplefriendlyfashion

Support Fair Friday.


Let’s work together to reduce the impact of the fashion industry by going into this year’s shopping season with a conscience—or even better, avoiding it altogether.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Use our Directory to search more than 3,000 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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