Sustainable lifestyle

Why you might want to say no to Black Friday in 2020

It’s not the first time I find myself writing a blog post about Black Friday. In my last corporate job, one of my tasks was to analyse Black Friday deals to understand whether they were as good as they seemed (more on this later). This year things look a bit different for me… but also for Black Friday! With COVID-19 in the way, we probably won’t see in-store fights over the last heavily discounted pair of boots, so it’s safe to guess that ecommerce will be 2020’s guest star.

Let’s take a step back first. What happens the day before Black Friday? Correct, Thanksgiving – the day many North Americans celebrate and appreciate what they have in life. A few hours later and the picture changes completely. Here comes Black Friday, the antithesis of Thanksgiving, also known as the first day of the Christmas shopping season.

give thanks message

I am not condemning anyone who decides to buy on this day – I believe there are some acceptable ways to approach Black Friday, which we’ll discuss later. But, for sure, we need to become more conscious of our shopping habits, especially on a sales event like Black Friday – the highest spending day in the UK.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why this year – and for the years to come – you might want to say no to Black Friday:

Time and opportunity cost

Think of all the time you will spend searching for the best deals. Maybe you’re not even sure of what you’d like to buy – how much of your precious time will that take? But you shouldn’t just consider the time you spend surfing the web. Think of the opportunity cost. What other valuable things could you do with that time? It could be taking care of yourself with a warm bath, reading that book that’s been waiting for long on your bedside table, call a friend. Chances are that these things will make you happier.

Say no to Black Friday and save money

It goes without saying. If you decide not to buy, then that’s all money that you could either save, invest in a sustainable fund, lend to someone in need, or simply donate to charity. If you really need something and would like to take advantage of a Black Friday deal, however, make sure to write it down in a list. And stick to it. Try to buy from small, ethical and sustainable brands. Many do take part to sales event with discounts, and quite often they give back to the planet or society in one way or another on the day – donating part of the profits to charity, planting trees…

Don’t get fooled by the fear of missing out

As I mentioned earlier, at my last corporate job I investigated if Black Friday deals were really that good. And yes, often the deals offered on Black Friday are not as good as retailers and brands would like us to think. Before pressing the checkout button, think that you could have bought the same item for less a couple of months before (or after!) so this is not a one-time opportunity.


Again, it goes without saying. Consumerism and overconsumption are just not sustainable. It’s easy to be lured into buying something we don’t really need just because the price appears so attractive. In fact, we might even regret certain purchases! We, collectively, can’t afford overconsumption anymore. We can’t afford the Earth’s limited resources to be used up to manufacture things we don’t need. Let’s refrain. On Black Friday, let’s stay away from shops, ecommerce and, why not, social networks. If we know we’ll easily get tempted, let’s simply stay away from temptation.

earth is more valuable than money

Decide who gets your money on Black Friday

Have you ever wondered how can brands offer such big discounts? If they’re making a profit on Black Friday – and they are – just imagine how high their margins are at full price. Despite that, these brands often are the same brands that follow unsustainable and unethical practices. Consider whether you want to support companies that hide the money in the pockets of their shareholders, forgetting everything else that matters – the planet and the people. This is, for example, one of the reasons to avoid fast fashion.

Say no to Black Friday, say yes to gratitude

Finally, remember that you can practise gratitude for free, and it’s proven to make us happier. A happiness that will last with no regrets. So, let’s carry on what we practised on Thanksgiving to Black Friday, to the next day, and the day after…

be grateful and say not to black friday

So, are you ready to say no to Black Friday this year? Remember that all these reasons apply to any other sales event, and any other day for that matter.

I’m sure I’ve missed one or more reasons why we should say no to the biggest sales event of the year. If you are a veteran of the #saynotoblackfriday movement, I’d love to hear what moves you in the comments below!

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