Black Friday and Climate Change

Black Friday and Climate Change

On Thursday 28th November the EkoSkola Outreach Committee prepared a special assembly to help all in our school community reflect on the effects of Black Friday shopping on climate change.

Amy Cassar explained the following points taken from a BBC report:

More than 300 clothing brands are asking shoppers not to buy anything in the Black Friday sales because this overproduction contributes to climate change.

The British Retail Consortium argued the day allowed consumers to buy products they might not otherwise be able to afford.

‘Make Friday Green Again’

The collective was started by Nicolas Rohr, one of the co-founders of eco-friendly clothing company, Faguo.

“Today we don’t buy what we need; we buy because we are tempted. We are not in a good relationship with consumption anymore.” He said.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, when many retailers run special promotions for 24 hours. The savings can be so significant that it can crash websites and see shoppers queuing up days in advance for bargains.

It gets its name because it’s often the day many stores move “into the black” – which means they start making more money than they have to spend.

Is Black Friday bad for the environment?

Everything we buy doesn’t just cost money but has an environmental cost too. This depends on how it was made, what it was made from, how far it’s been transported and what happens to it at the end of its life.

The argument for Green Friday is that the less you buy, the smaller your environmental/carbon footprint (the amount of CO2 each person emits in their everyday life). It could also save you money.

Dr Patsy Perry, a senior lecturer in fashion marketing from the University of Manchester, said: “Black Friday is a great time to take advantage of discounts but it goes against what we’re trying to do with sustainability.

“I think, increasingly, we’ll see more businesses saying they don’t want to be part of this [Black Friday].”

The chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said that: “Involvement is a commercial decision. These sales allow consumers to access many goods they might not otherwise be able to afford.

But Mr Rohr said Make Friday Green Again isn’t about blaming brands or shoppers, but making us more aware of how we can live more sustainably.

“In the last two years we made great sales but we didn’t feel comfortable with it. We need to have the courage to change things even if we have to sacrifice some turnover (money).

“I would prefer that the brands offer a good price all year round. We do it for our generation and our planet”

The full report can be seen here: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50359603