Why Green Friday is Better than Black Friday – ADJOAA
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Why Green Friday is Better than Black Friday

Black Friday is known for its door-buster deals but what’s lesser known is its impact on the environment. This year, Black Friday product deliveries are expected to produce 429,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. It also puts pressure on businesses to mass-produce products, which can cause worker rights to be violated and unethical resource sourcing and even more pollution.

The good news is that there is an eco-friendlier alternative. So, say hello to your new eco-friendly shopping event: Green Friday, which came about in protest of Black Friday’s hyperconsumerism. 

What is Green Friday? 

Green Friday began in 2015 as an anti-Black Friday movement that raised awareness about ethical shopping and that the door-busting deals of Black Friday are also environmentally damaging. The movement encourages people to shop more mindfully and from sustainable brands, shoppers are encouraged to reflect on their shopping habits . It isn’t just a fringe movement either and is supported by big names like the European Commission and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 

Green Friday occurs every year on the same day as Black Friday on the 24th of November. To be a part of Green Friday is as easy as shopping from local and sustainable brands. At ADJOAA, we specifically support African fashion brands and Black-owned businesses. For example, we support businesses like CRISP, a Nigerian and Ghanaian-based luxury fashion label that specialises in durable and eco-friendly loungewear like their Two-Piece Sweat Suit and their Drawstring Shorts. Or DIBIA, a Black-owned luxury skincare brand where each product, like their Unscented Whipped Body Butter, is handmade in London, England. 

Why Black Friday is Unethical: 

Greed can bring out the worst in us. Black Friday is one of the biggest examples of this. The viral videos of people stampeding into retail stores has been compared to watching a zombie movie. But the greed and unethical practices goes for both sides of the counter and even beyond. Below are reasons why Black Friday has a terrible effect for everyone involved because it is:

1. Bad for the environment 

It was mentioned earlier that the deliveries of Black Friday products alone cause tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.  But the products from Black Friday sales themselves go to waste 

and it was found that 80% of Black Friday purchases were thrown out after being used one or zero times. Besides the figures mentioned so far, there are the other aspects of Black Friday to consider, such as the emissions involved in mass-producing products ahead of Black Friday sales – a figure which hasn’t been calculated yet. All this pressure to produce and consume has led to other negative effects down the line. 

2. Creates Unsafe and Unethical Workplaces and Stores

It is well-known that many big retailers stock brands or products that are made using sweatshops and other unethical business practices. This puts pressure on workers in production to produce more. In fact, last year, activists have pushed back against the fast fashion platform, Boohoo, for their Black Friday sales. This is because of the poor conditions and pay their workers face. For example, Boohoo workers in Leicester were only paid £4 an hour. By comparison, smaller sustainable fashion labels from African fashion businesses like AAKS who produce sustainable bags like the Belle Hori Crossbody Bag are committed to providing sustainable job opportunities in Africa and fair pay. 

3. Encourages You to Spend More

Two-for-one deals and big sales seem good on paper or online ads, but actually cause you to spend more. The earlier statistic of 80% of Black Friday sales going to waste is also relevant here. Black Friday is designed to encourage hyperconsumption and to make people buy things they don’t need. Once the glamour and dopamine rush of a recent purchase wears off, all that’s left is buyer’s remorse, an empty wallet and another item to throw into the landfill. 

4. Fake Discounts 

Yes, we have reached that stage of capitalism where even the discounts are a lie. These fake discounts can take many forms where either the product hasn’t been discounted at all, the comparison retail price doesn’t exist or another type of trickery. This year, Gregory Carte, the 

director of UFC-Que Choisir, France’s leading consumer association, has warned the public that "there will be more misleading sales than real discounts." And other watchdogs from countries like New Zealand have also found retailers promoting fake sales. 

Why Green Friday is Better: 

With Green Friday, everyone benefits: you, your wallet, ethical businesses and the environment. Green Friday surpasses Black Friday because it:

1. Encourages Sustainable Shopping 


Sustainable shopping is a holistic approach to shopping that considers the personal, environmental and social implications of the products we buy. Green Friday is about thinking about the life cycle of a product and buying products you will love and actually wear or gift to others. Brands like Olooh and Kkerelé, which are all about empowering individuals, for example, their workers are paid a fair wage. In addition, their products like the Le Pic Collar Shirt and Bob Leather Wrapped Sandals are made using high-quality materials that make long-lasting wardrobe staples. 

2. Promotes Small Independent Businesses 

It’s usually the bigger businesses that have the revenue to splash out on Black Friday advertising. Small businesses often feel pressured into the hyperconsumption and questionable values of Black Friday. But on Green Friday, it gives the opportunity for smaller businesses to promote their values alongside their products. Vanhu Vamwe is one of these brands that celebrates community, tradition and sustainability through their products. Vanhu Vamwe is committed to reviving the art of macrame in Zimbabwe by founding a community of rural and peri-urban artisans. The results of this initiative can be seen through products like the Miriro Woven Tassel Clutch and Rungano Circular Tassel Handbag. The Black Friday business model is not mindful of Vanhu Vamwe’s story and mission to bring awareness to traditional macrame. But with Green Friday, businesses like Vanhu Vamwe are given a chance to not only promote their products but their mission too. 

3. Supports Ethical Business Practices

Green Friday was created to encourage all the good that small businesses do. It takes away the pressure that comes with the need for high-production. Businesses were originally made to support and form mutualistic relationships with the communities they’re in. In fact, for many brands on ADJOAA, 1% of the proceeds from every item sold goes towards our Social Initiatives Fund to support mentoring, education and internship programs in partnership with our designers in their home country in Africa. In addition, many products like the Groundnut & Cocoa Butter Cream, Whipped Shea Creme and Sweet Neroli & Sandalwood Whipped Body Butter are made using sustainable materials and organic ingredients.  

4. Better for Your Wallet  

As part of being environmentally-focussed, Green Friday encourages shopping for items you know you’ll use far into the future. It’s all about using sustainable materials and production techniques that make high-quality products. Some of these affordable luxury fashion brands include MOT and AIMAS who are known for their affordable and high-quality clothes. Items like the Nunu Skirt and Borad White Cotton Shirt with Embellished Detail are highlighted by shopping events like Green Friday, which shines a spotlight on sustainable brands and products. 

In short, Green Friday is about quality over quantity. It’s a sales event that benefits the customers and smaller businesses involved. While the movement started well after Black Friday was established, it’s gaining momentum.

If you want to find more sustainable and ethical fashion brands, head to ADJOAA, home of 100+ Black-owned businesses providing compensated CO2 shipping world wide. 

Join us on our quest to champion an alternative approach to fashion's current unsustainable practices. 




Image credit Grounded World

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