How to consume consciously - Not all sales are bad.

Brits plan to spend an estimated £4.8 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases this year. Whilst sales are renowned for encouraging excessive consumerism, and contributing to environmental damage, there are ways to be conscious when spending this Black Friday. 

We live in a culture where sales are anticipated, I mean who doesn’t love grabbing a bargain? Sales encourage consumers to buy excessively, and impulse buy things that they don’t need. 

Fashion revolution puts it as ‘When we buy into the seemingly good deals, we send a message to brands that it’s okay for them to thoughtlessly produce, at the cost of people and the planet.’

As consumers, our purchases do have power, so buying sale items from fast fashion brands is encouraging them to keep over-producing.

However, if these products aren’t sold, they are likely to go into landfill. Similarly, if we buy things we don’t need, returns can flood retailers with 1 in every 3 shoppers return what they buy on Black Friday, with approximately 30 million unwanted goods being sent back to stores. For many big retailers, returns are not resold, generating ​​5 billion pounds of waste.

Fast fashion retailers use sales to get rid of the huge amount of stock that they overproduce at cheap rates, at the cost of people and the planet. However, when you shop with sustainable brands, this isn't the case. Supporting sales by small ethical brands means that they can keep paying their workers fair wages, can restore and protect the environment, and invest in future growth.

As well as this, shopping sustainably isn’t cheap. Sales give us the chance to make sustainability more accessible for everyone. By brands taking the hit, rather than workers further down the supply chain, we can keep supporting small ethical businesses and encourage more people to shop sustainably this Christmas.

How can we consume responsibly during Black Friday sales?

> Shop small. Support ethical businesses that you know aren't slashing prices and therefore slashing wages.

> Make a list of things you need to buy before Black Friday and only buy the things on the list.

> Think about how many times you will use that product before buying. You don’t need to buy something that you will only wear once a year (there are other options like rental).

> Recycle old products, sell them on or donate to charity.

Know The Origin are offering 20% off site-wide from 22nd November to 29th November. Get your list ready and consume consciously. 

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