Green is the new black (Friday)
30 November 2022 at 3:19 pm
Shops are pushing sales, but the more mindful Green Friday movement is gathering steam.
Black Friday is now one of the big retail sale events of the year, with shops slashing prices for Black Friday and its associated Cyber Weekend, Cyber Monday and Cyber Week sales.
But sustainability advocates argue that the sales encourage consumption, and by extension, waste, as buyers purchase more than they need for the sake of buying something, anything, in the sales.
Sustainability-focused businesses are now moving away from Black Friday and instead focusing on using their sustainability clout to encourage consumers to think of the environment, rather than their wallets, on the big sale day.
The Green Friday movement, as it’s now known, encourages more mindful shopping.
Take pet bed manufacturer Snooza, for example, which doesn’t run Black Friday sales. Instead, Snooza promotes Green Friday, with a focus on restoring their products.
The environmentally-focused business encourages those who purchase its beds to repair and restore them if they become worn, offering all the parts and pieces needed.
For Green Friday, Snooza offered 20 per cent off fill, parts and covers.
“We’re not discounting the beds. We don’t want you to buy a new bed. We want you to restore the bed that you already have,” explained Snooza’s marketing manager Brigitte Knight.
Other businesses have also gotten in on the Green Friday movement.
Australian sustainable footwear brand Twoobs promoted Yellow Friday, giving away pineapples with purchases to tie in with their new product range and highlight the way Black Friday shoppers often buy things they don’t really need.
View this post on Instagram
And new research out of Monash Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS) reveals that consumers are receptive to the Green Friday message.
In a survey of 1000 shoppers, the ACRS found that 52 per cent of them are thinking about the social and environmental impact of their purchases before they buy.
For non-grocery purchases, 85 per cent of shoppers surveyed said durability of the product was their most important consideration; 62 per cent said ethical production is important, and 54 per cent said production with minimal carbon emissions is a crucial factor.
Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they are willing to pay more for ethically produced products.
“Today’s customers are sustainability-savvy and they are increasingly contemplating the social and environmental footprint of their purchases before they buy,” said the report’s lead author Dr Eloise Zoppos, principal research consultant and research fellow in the ACRS research unit.
The flipside: GivingTuesday
Founded in New York in 2012, GivingTuesday is almost the flipside of the consumption-driven Black Friday, Cyber Weekend and Cyber Monday.
Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the GivingTuesday campaign has taken root in over 50 countries around the world, including Australia. It encourages generosity and giving to communities and causes.
— GivingTuesday (@GivingTuesday) November 29, 2022
Not for profits use it to amplify their message and encourage people to donate to community causes.
This year, Community Council for Australia (CCA) used the day to call for a reduction in the red tape that hampers charities.
“GivingTuesday is fundamentally about hope. Our special hope this GivingTuesday is that commonwealth, state and territory leaders from around Australia will give something very precious to every charity, every donor, every community in Australia – reduced red tape,” said Reverend Tim Costello, chair of the CCA and member of the FixFundraising coalition.
CCA was supported by Justice Connect, the Governance Institute of Australia, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, among others.
“Charities across Australia could be much more effective if we had more time and capacity to serve our communities. This could be easily achieved with one agreed set of fundraising requirements for all Australian charities rather than the current overlapping yet entirely separate levels of time-consuming administration,” Costello added.
In a statement, CCA said while governments agree on the need to streamline fundraising regulations, “very little meaningful change” had occurred over a decade of discussion.