Updated: Nov 23, 2021
It’s no secret that post-Thanksgiving retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday can promote overconsumption and waste. In fact research shows that “up to 80% of our Black Friday purchases are simply thrown away after just one or even zero uses.” But, we also know that this time of the year can be an opportunity to make thoughtful, fulfilling purchases that bring you and others joy. At Beni we are all about “progress over perfection” and wanted to share a few ways in which we might thoughtfully engage with retail holidays this year.
The most straight-forward approach is to opt out of days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Brands and consumers in the sustainable fashion community often opt out of Black Friday as a way to “boycott overproduction, overconsumption, and waste.” If you are able to, you might consider simply opting out of Black Friday and instead use the time for other activities to bring you joy. For example, REI was one of the first brands to themselves opt out of Black Friday and instead encourage their customers and employees to #optoutside. Other brands now use the day to promote climate-positive initiatives (learn more here).
If you opt in, use the occasion to purchase secondhand
It's no secret that we are huge fans of shopping secondhand both because it reduces the burden of fashion production on the planet but also because it can save you a lot of money. In fact, by helping them find killer pieces secondhand, Beni has helped our early users save close 50% on average! With many recommerce platforms like The RealReal or Tradesy running Black Friday promotions, now could be a great time use Beni to find some awesome pre-loved clothes.
When buying new, look for offers from purpose-driven brands
The Sustainable Fashion Forum recently prompted a fascinating conversation when they asked: “If consumers are going to shop during this time, should purpose-driven brands really sit the holiday out? Or, instead, should they participate in offering shoppers a better, more sustainable, and more ethical option?” We know that high-quality items produced in a sustainable and ethical way can sometimes be expensive. If you've had your eye on something really lovely and timeless, now could be the perfect time to invest in it. In doing so, we can use our purchasing power as shoppers to support purpose-driven brands that do choose to run campaigns or promotions during Black Friday. For inspiration of purpose-driven brands, check out Good On You.
Take a moment (or a few) to consider the role that purchase plays in your life
It can be easy for all of us to get caught up in the frenzy of Black Friday deals and end up buying something we don’t really need. One of the best ways to combat waste is to take a mindful pause before purchasing, even for items from great, purpose-driven brands and businesses. Here are a few questions we find useful when considering purchases:
How does this purchase feel right now?
How much do I already own? Do I already have a similar item?
How much will I wear it?
How long will it last? Where will this item be in five years?
Do the values of the company selling this item align with my own?
The next few months will be filled with many shopping-focused occasions. Our goal at Beni is to encourage a mindful approach to the purchases we make and, of course, to help you buy in ways that are less wasteful and more abundant.