Every year on November 27, the world falls under Black Friday's spell. Hailed as the biggest shopping day — if not month — of the year, the hectic holiday has been known to inspire such strong bouts of discount deal FOMO that shoppers have frequently trampled each other (sometimes to death) in the race to bag the best bargain.

Thanks to Covid, IRL shopping stampedes will not be taking place this year. But while your Instagram feed will be free of such frantic scenes, that doesn't mean that the retail battlefield isn't taking place online. Last year, Black Friday online shopping sales hit an all-time high: 93.2 million digital shoppers resulted in a sales total of $7.4 billion. This year, reports predict that number could grow by 35 to 40 percent, leading to an astronomical figure that feels very bleak when considered in relation to how much of that goes on clothing — 80 percent of which is doomed for landfills after an average of seven wears.

“2020 has been an unusual year, with many Covid-19 related challenges for the fashion industry including unsold stock and retailers in peril," says Flora Davidson, co-founder of fashion transparency software company SupplyCompass. "While Black Friday is positioned as helping some of these challenges in the short-term, it’s important to reflect on the longer-term implications and damage." She adds, “There is no such thing as a deal that’s too good to be true; if you’re not paying full cost, someone else is."

The effects of Black Friday are global, but there is far too much guilt put on the heads of individual shoppers instead of regulating the system that allows this to happen. Yet, as the holiday has turned into a ritual over the years, becoming a cultural phenomenon of sorts that people want to be a part of as a way to stay connected (a 2013 article found that some shoppers take part in Black Friday as a way of bonding with family members) it's understandable that people don't want to boycott — particularly after a year that already feels extremely isolated.

But it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. If you want to take part in Black Friday but are conscious of its impact, there are some paths you can take, and we've outlined them below.

First: Ask Yourself Some Questions

Before you shop, it's worth popping some Marie Kondo vibes into the mix with a series of questions relating to a product's personal value. Ask yourself: Do I need it? Do I own something similar already? Will I wear it a lot? How long will it last?

Then: Be Mindful of the Brands You Spend With

If you're going to shop, support brands that are actively working to combat the effects of Black Friday. Here's a starter pack:

Patagonia: The brand has a long history of using Black Friday as a platform to educate customers and support environmental groups. This year, Patagonia has updated its digital store with a Worn Wear label next to each product, encouraging its customers to purchase an alternative while shopping for new products.

"No other company is selling used alongside new items and this exciting new development is our latest commitment to keeping our products in use longer. The clothing industry is not sustainable, apparel workers are among the lowest paid in the world and we are committed to doing better.” — Helena Barbour, VP of Global Sportswear, Patagonia

Allbirds is raising its prices. All products will increase by $1 and that dollar will be matched by a donation from the footwear company that will go directly to Fridays for Future, the international climate strike movement founded by Greta Thunberg in 2018.

Haglöfs: Not for the first time, Swedish brand Haglöfs will be boycotting Black Friday and closing its stores and its webstore. Only the Stockholm-based store will be open, but no discounts or products from the current collection will be on offer. Instead, it's encouraging customers to try and buy second-hand via its new Haglöfs Restored program, which focuses on restoring items that would either be neglected or binned

Arc'teryx: All November, Arc'teryx has been running its Used Gear project — customers can return their used Arc'teryx items and receive a gift card worth 30 percent of the OG RRP. The brand is also donating $10 for every traded item, up to $25,000.

REI: The US outdoor retail chain REI is shutting up shop for Black Friday. It will still pay its employees for this day and is encouraging them to spend the day in nature instead, launching the hashtag #OptOutside.

Globetrotter: All this week, Globetrotter is kickstarting its resale service. You can take in used equipment into a store in exchange for a Globetrotter voucher, and the brand will soon start reselling these second-hand wears in its stores.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday generally gets lost in the mix between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is a good reason to embrace it this year. The day is dedicated to supporting small businesses and brands and, if you're unsure where to start, Fashion Revolution has you covered. It has identified 18 labels that are using Black Friday as a moment to give back, rather than encouraging overconsumption. Instead of milk the discounts, these brands are donating a percentage of sales directly to Fashion Revolution's campaigning for a fairer industry.

Find the brands selected in the IG post above.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Bellerín Is Back, Raf Simons Signs Out, & Julia Fox Saves the Day

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Packer Serves a Perfect Rendition of Reebok's Club C

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    The Best Gifts Under $200 That Everyone Will Love

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Diadora Turns Its Tennis Heritage Into a Sneaker Grand Slam

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    These Are Our Favorite Salomon Sneakers to Shop Now

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Put Down Your Phone This Holiday With Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.