The Best Green Alternatives to Black Friday

Brace yourself, it’s almost time for Black Friday. The delirious day of discounts where almost everyone plans to stock up on gifts and goodies before Xmas.

Black Friday sales have been soaring year over year. The event brought billions in revenue last time round. And it surely won’t be any different in 2023.

It’s not just about the economy though. In the UK alone, Black Friday sales were predicted to release 386,243 tonnes of carbon in 2021, according to Money.co.uk. That’s equivalent to the CO2 produced by 215 flights between London and Sydney. It’s also said that 80% of products we buy end up in landfills or incinerated after a very short life. Which can’t be helped by the retail bonanza that’s round the corner.

On the other hand, perhaps the more generous Black Friday deals give folk a better chance to buy what they need. But overall, Black Friday is a little suspect – if you ask us. Here are some scary stats:

Black Friday vs Green Friday infographic and stats - Akepa-min

So, to avoid all the messy Black Friday mayhem, of the environmental and interpersonal kind, let’s take a look at some brands that are doing things differently and more sustainably this year:

1) SANVT

  • Product: Sustainable clothing
  • Campaign: Don’t buy! Repair what you have!
  • Region: EU / Worldwide

First stop is one of our clients, SANVT, who will take the opportunity of Black Friday 2023 to highlight the benefits of repairing clothes vs. buying them. To get that message across, SANVT will promote its comprehensive series of care guides under the imploring slogan of “Don’t buy! Repair what you have!”.

The guides feature all sorts of handy advice on fixing your garments – from banishing nasty stains to sewing on buttons to mending loose seams.

SANVT Sustainable Fashion Green Friday 2023 Campaign -min

With this circular approach, the brand continues its boycotting of Black Friday sales. Last year, SANVT shunned Black Friday and explained why. The year before, extra trees were planted for every purchase instead of discounts.

2) Citizen Wolf

  • Product: Sustainable custom-made clothing
  • Campaign: Black Fridye
  • Region: Australia

Stop reading if you’re not living in Australia because unfortunately this won’t apply to you – and us here at Akepa. But if you are an Australian resident, then this project by Citizen Wolf is something you can do this Black Friday to ‘refresh’ any clothing that seems to be getting old, is stained, or is losing its color. Send your clothes to them and they’ll dye it black and send it back to you – giving you that ‘as good as new’ feel while saving water and CO2. A huge part of the idea of sustainable clothing is making your clothes last as long as possible, so this is a great initiative.

 

P.S. you can save shipping costs by dropping your clothes off yourself at the Citizen Wolf factory or several other drop-off points.

3) Montane

Since 2019, the brand has seen Black Friday as a chance to give back. For the last few years, they’ve chosen to support Fix the Fells (FTF): an organization dedicated to protecting and reducing erosion in the English Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a service partnership that goes on all year round, though Black Friday gets some extra love and attention. Not in the form of sales and discounts, but instead, the brand will be donating its daily marketing budget to the wholesome work of FTF.

 

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A post shared by Montane (@montaneofficial)

And on top of that – yes, there’s more – they’ll double all customer donations made alongside purchases dated November 24th-27th, 2023.

4) Freitag

Freitag screams a big “No” to mass consumption on Black Friday this year. For the 5th year in a row, the Zurich-based bag brand will be closing its online stores but for the first time, they’ll also be closing the checkout counters at their physical stores. Instead, they’ll use this day to promote the sharing economy. On the afternoon of November 24th, 2023, for all members of the F-ederation (you can easily create an account online or in the store), you can choose a bag to borrow for two weeks at no cost.

Freitag Don't Buy Just Borrow
FREITAG

5) The Swapshop x BlueCity

  • Product: Secondhand clothing x Circular economy platform
  • Campaign: F*ck Black Friday
  • Region: The Netherlands

The Swapshop is anti-overconsumption by nature, as their business is based on connecting people with secondhand clothes. Last year, they partnered with BlueCity, a circular economy platform in Rotterdam, to hang posters around the city that read “F*ck Black Friday”.

We’re not sure if they’ll be printing more signage this year, but they’re still hosting their mega clothing swap on Saturday, November 25th, 2023, to counteract the equally obscene sales of new things. At the event, people will be able to swap clothes as a more sustainable alternative to scoring the cheapest deals. Plus, they’ll be given 50% off when shopping from Swapshop’s own collection. Sounds f*cking great to us.

 

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A post shared by The Swapshop (@theswapshop_nl)

6) Dille and Kamille

  • Product: Home, garden, & kitchen store
  • Campaign: Green Friday
  • Region: EU

For Dille and Kamille – a one-stop shop for sustainable home, garden, and kitchen appliances – Black Green Friday is not about discounts but about doing something good for nature. Since 2018 they’ve taken Green Friday initiatives, and this year 2023 they’re going the extra mile and closing all their physical stores as well as their online store while doing voluntary work in nature. Bereft customers are encouraged to replace shopping with a simple walk, helping the birds in the garden or balcony, making candlesticks with greenery, or doing something else that’s ‘green’.

Best Alternatives to Black Friday 2022 | Anti-Black Friday Campaign Dille and Kamille Green Friday
Dille and Kamille closes their doors on Black Friday to give a helping hand to nature.

7) AGood Company

  • Product: fashion, tech accessories, and more
  • Campaign: Green November
  • Region: International

So much better than your local everything store, AGood Company makes everyday items with the smallest environmental footprint possible – no matter the cost. And true to their values, they’re boycotting Black Friday not just for the day or weekend, but for the whole month. They’re already a social business to begin with – every purchase at any time of the year creates a positive impact in the form of donations.

But for purchases made this November, they’ll double the contributions of their foundation. If you buy from their clothing line, which features organic cotton t-shirts and bamboo socks, you’ll be helping AGood provide twice as many emergency food kits to kids who need them the most via Save the Children.

AGood Company Green November 2023
AGood Company

8) Palava

  • Product: Hand-crafted clothing
  • Campaign: Black Doesn’t Suit Us
  • Region: Uk

Black Friday doesn’t suit Palava. Aside from the sustainability concerns we wrote about earlier – there’s the colour contrast. Palava make hand-crafted clothing in bright, joyous prints – which sit at the opposite end of the spectrum to Black Friday’s ominous mono-palette.

Palava's new A_W collection

Then, Black Friday is about mass consumerism. Palava makes unique clothing in small-batches, for folk who want to wear something a little bit different. There’s little to zero chance you’d stroll out onto the street and find someone else in the same splendid Palava creation you’re rocking. Not least amid the Black Friday rush.

We could go on but all considered, it’s just not a good fit. Palava won’t be taking part and explain why in the slideshow below. Instead, you’ll find alternative workshops and events, running throughout November.

  • 16th – 19th: Exclusive Palava fabric will be available to buy at the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show; come and say hello!
  • 23rd – 30th: Buy Archive & deadstock Palava fabrics for your projects and contribute to our Zero Waste program
  • From the 24th throughout the Winter: Crafting in the Palava Shop with our creative workshops: learn to sew a project, upholster a seat pad and learn to decorate the most beautiful table top for the holidays.


As if that weren’t enough, Palava will also plant more trees for Black Friday weekend – 1 for every order! 🌱 Check out the Palava forest so far on Ecologi.

9) Haglöfs

This Swedish brand is sitting out next Friday’s discounts and instead, they’re closing shop for the day. At all their stores, in fact. The act doesn’t mean they’re completely against promotions of any kind, but they’ve done their best to explain to shoppers how Black Friday differs from regular sales periods. The former: systemic large-scale discounting, and, according to Haglöfs, an opportunity for many brands to produce cheap. The latter: a means to reduce stock levels because there are unnecessary items left.

 

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A post shared by Haglöfs (@haglofs)

It’s not perfect, and so much more can still be done. But anyone who brings awareness to the problem is still doing something right in our book.

10) KEELA

  • Product: Sportswear and outdoor gear
  • Campaign: Bright Friday
  • Region: Worldwide

What is it about outdoor brands and their desire to do a bit of good? A stronger connection to nature, perhaps… KEELA is the third one on our list that’s decided Black Friday is the perfect time to teach folk about mindful consumption. If you’re going to make a purchase, might as well do it with some purpose.

Mission Christmas by Cash for Kids via KEELA.

This year makes it the fifth consecutive year that the brand will skip heavy discounting on their website. Instead, they’ll be showing additional support for Cash For Kids’ Mission Christmas Appeal. From November 17th to 27th, 15% of KEELA’s online sales will be donated to help the children’s charity in their mission to make sure underprivileged children don’t go without during the yuletide season. Isn’t that sweet?

11) Currys

It’s not a total boycott. But, for the first time, Currys is introducing a few things to make their Black Friday a bit greener. To help people be kinder to the environment while also saving on bills, the store is offering special savings on their Go Greener range: home appliances and other electronics that are much more energy-efficient. And if you’re looking for tips on how to be more eco-friendly at home, they’ve got you covered.

Source: Sky News

Unfortunately, the offer stands for one day only. So it’s best to do research beforehand and plan any trip to the store wisely if you want to avoid the queues.

Aside from that, remember that Currys has a take-back program. Bring in any of your old tech, and they’ll give you a nice cash incentive in return. It’s no wonder they’ve been dubbed the UK’s largest tech recycler!

12) My Little Green Wardrobe

  • Product: ethical and more sustainable childrenswear
  • Campaign: Take Back Friday
  • Region: UK

As adults, we shop for new clothes either 1) out of necessity or 2) because we want to. The latter is an optional choice we make, one hopefully that more and more people are starting to think twice about before actually buying.

But children are another matter. Some sources say they outgrow clothes as fast as every six months. That being said, more sustainable options matter at every age. Enter, My Little Green Wardrobe: a multi-brand online platform featuring eco-friendly organic clothing for the kiddos. Their antidote to ease the Black Friday hysteria? A take-back program where shoppers can send in old items (good enough to be resold and worn again) in exchange for a £5 shopping voucher. Plus, some special prices for the week.

Think of it as incentivized circularity.

13) MUD Jeans

  • Product: sustainable denim
  • Campaign: Blue Friday
  • Region: International

Considered the “frontrunners in circular denim”, this Dutch brand has been a certified B Corp since 2015. There’s the sole use of organic cotton, a takeback scheme that allows them to recycle old MUD jeans into new ones, and even a unique leasing system. And now, they’re adding to their impressive list of achievements and initiatives.

Black Friday takes on a different color at MUD Jeans. On November 24th, their Pre-Loved Denim platform powered by MENDED, will be going live. This isn’t the first partnership between the two. Last year, they launched their repairs and alterations service, featuring MENDED’s network of local tailors in Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Source: MUD Jeans

The platform will be a marketplace not only for pre-loved MUD Jeans products, but also for a curated selection of sample items. In the industry, it’s far too common for samples to gather dust in the back of showroom storage – or worse, to be sent to landfills. This way, people get the best of both worlds: premium denim with a second-hand price tag.

And of course, MUD Jeans will continue its yearly tradition of shutting down its e-shop for the day.

14) Colorful Standard

We’d expect nothing less from Colorful Standard, a slow fashion brand making simple clothing almost entirely from organic cotton and recycled materials. This Black Friday, they’re sending a powerful message through social media, their website, and their newsletter. They say, “Why stress? Take it slow.” and “Cool people are never in a rush” with almost-parody videos of regular Black Friday shoppers vs Colorful Standard buyers.

So what to do this Black Friday?

With all this blah blah about Black Friday and sustainability, it is easy to forget that the best way to reduce your impact is to buy better and to buy less. But if you just can’t help yourself and need to check out this year’s Black Friday deals, then why not have a peek at some of smaller, local, and sustainable brands, or at least invest in some big ticket items that you will use for years to come.

And don’t forget: if you fancy a massive 126% Black Friday discount on our digital marketing services, plus a free Akepa branded hoodie, then of course get in touch and we’ll sort that out for you with our unmissable Black Friday deal that’s valid for the entire month of November.

Not really.

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