Quantcast
Business

Disrupt Black Friday: Buy Nothing, Make Something, Shop For Good

It's Thanksgiving week, so you know what's coming after that last slice of pumpkin pie: Black Friday.

The annual occasion—as well as its digital cousin Cyber Monday—sets off the country's mad dash of holiday shopping. And let's face it, some of the deals can be pretty enticing.


But in recent years, there has been growing backlash against this retail frenzy. Outdoor gear company REI famously closed down all of its stores on Black Friday in 2015 to give its 12,000 employees a well-deserved paid day off. In 2016, fellow outdoor brand Patagonia donated its entire $10 million in Black Friday sales to grassroots environmental organizations.

With the emergence of Buy Nothing Day, Small Business Saturday, Shop for Good Sunday, Giving Tuesday and the newly launched Make SMTHNG Week, more people are starting to counter rampant consumerism or put their dollars towards a good cause.

"We are already drowning in stuff—stuffed wardrobes, garages, and kitchens—yet we keep on shopping for more fashion, gadgets, food, single-use plastic, toys, and cars," Robin Perkins, Make SMTHNG campaigner at Greenpeace, said in a press release. "With our throwaway lifestyles we are fueling climate change, pollution and the destruction of people's homes and irreplaceable natural wonders."

Greenpeace and its partners—Fashion Revolution, #BreakFreeFromPlastic, Shareable, Arts Thread, the Fab Labs Network and the Fab City Global Initiative—will be holding more than 273 events in 38 countries this November 23 – December 2 where participants will be asked to #BuyNothing and #MakeSmthng instead.

"By sharing, caring, and repairing things we can make more of what we already own and give our beautiful planet a break," Greenpeace's Perkins said about the event.

Hundreds of designers and artisans will lead classes that teach you how to reuse, repair, upcycle and DIY. There will also be workshops on making sustainable gifts, cooking with zero-waste, living a plastic-free life, book and clothing swaps and more.

That being said, there's really no shame in buying new stuff when we really need to. Giving and receiving gifts is a genuine display of love and companionship. However, there's a lot to be said about where and what we spend our dollars on.

The research firm eMarketer predicts this holiday shopping season will surpass the $1 trillion mark for the first time.

But "sixty percent of this online spending between Black Friday and Cyber Monday goes to only a dozen giant retailers, none of which are impact-focused," wrote Cullen Schwarz, the founder of the Boston-based e-commerce site DoneGood.

"Imagine if even a fraction of these holiday shopping dollars were also used to reduce poverty, fight climate change, or make the world better. The impact would be enormous," he added.

That's why for the second year, DoneGood has launched its Shop for Good Sunday campaign for socially and environmentally conscious consumers. This year, 100 percent of the revenue generated through the DoneGood platform on Nov. 25 will be donated to RAINN—the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.

Using the platform, you can find unique handmade accessories, clothing made from non-toxic, organic and/or recycled or upcycled materials, and products made with eco-friendly processes such as facilities powered with renewable energy. Partner brands have met standards such as Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard, Rain Forest Alliance and other ethical certifications.

DoneGood itself is a Certified B Corp and 1% for the Planet member which gives 1 percent of revenues to environmental non-profits.

"The brands participating in Shop for Good Sunday just make better gifts anyway. They're higher quality and more unique than the stuff from typical big box stores," Schwarz said in a press release emailed to EcoWatch. "If we can all get better gifts, save money, and make the world better, just by getting the holiday gifts we were going to buy anyway, why not?"

Disclosure: EcoWatch is among the 125 nonprofits, media outlets and social impact brands that have partnered with the Shop for Good Sunday campaign. We earn no revenue from the campaign.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) is a beloved holiday favorite. PETA

8 Festive Vegan Drinks to Keep You Cozy This Winter

By Zachary Toliver

Looking for warm vegan holiday drinks to help you deal with the short days and cold weather? This time of year, we could all use a steamy cup of cheer during the holiday chaos. Have a festive, cozy winter with these delicious options. (Note that you must be 21 to enjoy some of the recipes.)

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Pexels

For a Happier, Healthier World, Live Modestly

By Marlene Cimons

Gibran Vita makes every effort to get rid of the dispensable. He lives in a small home and wears extra layers indoors to cut his heating bills. He eats and drinks in moderation. He spends his leisure time in "contemplation," volunteering or working on art projects. "I like to think more like a gatherer, that is, 'what do I have?' instead of 'what do I want?'" he said.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
An underwater marker in front of Cortada's studio helps predict how many feet of water needs to rise before the area becomes submerged. Xavier Cortada

As Miami Battles Sea-Level Rise, This Artist Makes Waves With His 'Underwater Homeowners Association'

By Patrick Rogers

Miami artist Xavier Cortada lives in a house that stands at six feet above sea level. The Episcopal church down the road is 11 feet above the waterline, and the home of his neighbor, a dentist, has an elevation of 13 feet. If what climate scientists predict about rising sea levels comes true, the Atlantic Ocean could rise two to three feet by the time Cortada pays off his 30-year mortgage. As the polar ice caps melt, the sea is inching ever closer to the land he hopes one day to pass on to the next generation, in the city he has called home since the age of three.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

How to Ferment Vegetables in Three Easy Steps

By Brian Barth

A mason jar packed with cultured or fermented vegetables at your local urban provisions shop will likely set you back $10 to $15. Given that the time and materials involved are no more than five minutes and $2, respectively, one imagines that the makers of cultured vegetables have spent eight years training with fermentation masters in some stone-age village, or that they've mortgaged their house to pay for high-end fermenting equipment to ensure that the dilly beans come out tasting properly pickled.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Orangutan in Sumatra. Tbachner / Wikimedia Commons

Norway to Ban Deforestation-Linked Palm Oil Biofuels in Historic Vote

The Norwegian parliament voted this week to make Norway the world's first country to bar its biofuel industry from importing deforestation-linked palm oil starting in 2020, The Independent reported.

Environmentalists celebrated the move as a victory for rainforests, the climate and endangered species such as orangutans that have lost their habitats due to palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. It also sets a major precedent for other nations.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Steve Parish/ Lock the Gate Alliance / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientists Discover 'Most Diverse Coral Site' on Great Barrier Reef

Australian scientists have found the "most diverse coral site" on the Great Barrier Reef, observing at least 195 different species of corals in space no longer than 500 meters, The Guardian reported.

The non-profit organization Great Barrier Reef Legacy and marine scientist Charlie Veron, a world expert on coral reefs, confirmed the diversity of the site, also known as the "Legacy Super Site" on the outer reef.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
Buses head out at the Denver Public Schools Hilltop Terminal Nov. 10, 2017. Andy Cross / The Denver Post via Getty Images

Why Aren't School Buses Electric? These Coloradans Are Sick of Diesel

By Corey Binns

Before her two kids returned to school at the end of last summer, Lorena Osorio stood before the Westminster, Colorado, school board and gave heartfelt testimony about raising her asthmatic son, now a student at the local high school. "My son was only three years old when he first suffered from asthma," she said. Like most kids, he rode a diesel school bus. Some afternoons he arrived home struggling to breathe.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
jessicahyde / iStock / Getty Images

Hemp May Soon Be Federally Legal, But Many Will Be Barred From Growing It

By Dan Nosowitz

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has, perhaps unexpectedly to those who find themselves agreeing with only this one position of his, been a major force for legalizing industrial hemp. Industrial hemp differs from marijuana in that it's bred specifically to have extremely low concentrations of THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana; smoke industrial hemp all you want, it'll just give you sore lungs.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!