B Lab Europe

Nov 26, 2021

4 min read

It’s about time we rethink Black Friday

Calling on businesses and consumers to make choices that benefit people and the planet.

It’s that time of year again — when our inboxes and feeds and commutes are filled with reminders to spend more money on “incredible deals” as Black Friday has crossed borders and gone mainstream in countries across Europe.

But while prices are being reduced dramatically, the negative impact these purchases create increases drastically. The emissions caused by deliveries grow every year, as does the waste generated both by copious amounts of packaging and wrapping as well as products that get tossed after barely being used. Not to mention the amount of overtime hours worked by employees in the retail sector. But at what cost?

It’s time to rethink Black Friday — or skip it all together.

In France and the Benelux, our local teams have worked with B Corps 148 and Dawn to create messaging that challenges Black Friday and encourages consumers and businesses to focus on the reductions that matter — reducing our environmental impact, reducing inequalities, and reducing overconsumption.

It’s time for Plan B

We’ve also been incredibly inspired by the number of B Corps who have taken a stand this Black Friday. Check out 5 of our favorite initiatives below.

Ecoalf: #RecyclingBlackFriday: Break the habit, not the Planet

The clothing industry produces 400% more clothes now than 20 years ago. As part of Black Friday, brands lower their prices to generate impulse shopping and encourage you to buy things that you don’t need. Ecoalf offers 0% off to prevent impulse buying and asks others to do the same.

To help draw attention to the current way that we consume and the irreversible effects it is having on our planet, Ecoalf collaborated with Tomfoolery to bring you “The Pile”. This poem highlights the current mentality of buy/toss, buy/toss. What happens when we toss it? It gets sent to another part of the world where it continues to accumulate, but one day we won’t have anywhere to toss it.

Both Tomfoolery and the Ecoalf team hope that it helps the world understand the true impact of our daily habits and inspire them to make a change, to be part of the solution.

Find out more here.

Moyee Coffee: #DropTheTrash

Over the past few years, Moyee Coffee has increased prices on Black Friday to encourage people to buy less, while donating profits to charity. But this year, they are going even further.

They are simply closing their stores and inviting others to use this moment to reflect on the true cost of all the products we buy. ⁠

Drop the trash you don’t need in your life, and don’t underestimate the power of your choices — they are your greatest power!

MUD Jeans: Turning Black Friday Blue

To encourage consumers to #BuyNothingNew, on Black Friday MUD Jeans is replacing their webshop with a vintage livestream. Sign up and tune in to say hi while their team finds the perfect Vintage MUD Jeans for you.

Find out more here.

Join the Vintage Livestream.

Ecosia: Go Green this Black Friday

Instead of purchases that people don’t need, Ecosia invites people to check out their new Tree Store and buy some trees for yourself, your friends, and your planet. And for this week only, they’ll plant 5 extra trees when you buy 20+. Now that’s a Black Friday deal we can get behind!

Visit the Tree Store

On a similar note, several B Corps including MyOMy, davines, Innocent and others are participating in Green Friday with Trees for All.

La Société des Vieux Copains (TOFC): Black Friday Solidaire

The makers of Folle Envie and Archibald are using Black Friday as a moment of solidarity to benefit their partners in social gastronomy: Refugee Food, who supports refugees on the path to employment through the gastronomic professions.

On November 26, all of the profits made on their e-shop will be donated to Refugee Food. And those who don’t want to consume at all on this day can always support the association by making a donation.

Visit their e-shop here.