It’s almost the time of year again where shoppers flock to the streets and hit the internet to snap up a pre-Christmas bargain. Although originally an American tradition, Black Friday is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with shoppers reportedly spending £2.9bn last year.
Black Friday is a time when big retailers encourage us to bag a bargain – often shopping for things that we don’t really need or want, with queues forming outside hours before the shops even open.
However, a survey by Traidcraft found that 54% of shoppers admitted to feeling stressed, anxious and even argumentative when doing their Christmas shopping, and 2 out of 3 said they would snatch the last item from the shelf, even if another shopper was reaching for it. Thousands of us will get involved in Black Friday this year, but will all that retail therapy even make us happy?
Mass consumption is affecting the planet and people in supply chains all around the world, with factory workers in developing countries often working long hours in unsafe conditions for very little wages. Electrical goods and clothing are two of the most purchased things on Black Friday, and yet DEFRA have reported that 350,000 tonnes of clothing going to landfill each year and electrical and electronic equipment is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK.
This Black Friday we’re bringing together ethical brands from around the world for our #ShopEthicalInstead campaign – encouraging people to spend their money with small businesses & social enterprises and make a positive impact instead.
Ethical businesses are changing people’s lives, improving communities and protecting the environment. According to Social Enterprise UK, there are nearly 80,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing over a million people and contributing more than £24 billion to the UK economy.
By purchasing from social enterprises & ethical businesses, you can shop safe in the knowledge that the people who made your product were treated fairly and that any negative environmental impact has been kept to a minimum wherever possible. You’ll also have the positive feeling of contributing to their social impact project and helping them make a difference. If you need more convincing – read why ethical shopping might make you happier on Huffington Post.
We’re organising a Thunderclap campaign to make sure our #ShopEthicalInstead message is heard all around the world.
A Thunderclap is like a social media petition – you add your voice to it by supporting with Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr and if we reach our target number of supporters (100) before Black Friday, it will automatically post a one-off message to all our accounts at the same time.
If we reach our target, over 100 people will be posting the message “I believe in people, planet & supporting small business. This Black Friday I’ll #ShopEthicalInstead – will you?” at 9am on November 24th – Black Friday. To get involved simply add your voice through Thunderclap here.
Join the Twitter chat
We’ll be hosting 2 #EthicalHour chats on Monday 30th October and Monday 6th November with a #ShopEthicalInstead theme. There will be the chance to meet ethical brands with beautiful ethical products, promote your own ethical business and find out new ways to live and shop more ethically.
To join the chats, search for latest updates on the hashtag #EthicalHour at 8pm UK time every Monday!
If you know a great ethical brand, please tell them about the campaign. Tweet about the ethical purchases you’re making using hashtag #ShopEthicalInstead, and help us spread the word far and wide!
Meet the brands
We couldn’t run #EthicalHour without the support of our fantastic tribe members and sponsors. Find out more about some of the brilliant ethical brands sponsoring this year’s campaign, and hear in their own words why they believe in #ShopEthicalInstead:
Sweetness & Pea
Sweetness & Pea are a Natural Parenting shop who sell a wide variety of ethical and eco friendly products for Mum, Baby, The Home and Family. Founder Becky prides herself on working hard to ensure that all of the products they stock adhere to their ethical values and that they research each brand thoroughly to ensure that customers don’t have to.
Customers can shop a variety of reusable nappies and reusable menstrual products alongside wooden toys, EcoSoya candles and reusable kitchen items including Bamboo dinner sets, reusable bamboo coffee cups and fabric sandwich wraps.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with Sweetness & Pea, visit https://www.sweetnessandpea.co.uk/
Secrets of Green
Secrets of Green brings together environmentally conscious and nature-loving businesses to sell their products to urbanists who want to fill their homes with all things green. Their aim is to make it easier for people to embrace a green lifestyle by showing them the possibilities of eco-friendly products as well as nature enhancing devices.
From art, stationery, and accessories to home décor and natural beauty products, everything in their store has been carefully selected to let you reconnect with nature in the midst of your city life.
Secrets of Green is also a blog and a community of urban nature-lovers sharing ideas, suggestions, discoveries, and news. Secrets of Green is a place for the discerning urban nature-lover to get inspired, nourish their senses, share with like-minded people and gather beautiful, stylish finds for their home.
Visible Clothing is a fair trade clothing company that believes in total visibility. They provide access to the people who make their clothes, the sourcing and process behind what they sell, and the costs behind their pricing.
They own our own tailoring centre which means they can provide visible access to everything they do. The tailors make exquisite products, crafted by extraordinary people at fair costs. Visible Clothing are motivated by sustainability, captivating designs, equality among their workforce, and being an overall force for good. Fashion can and should be fair, ethical, and sustainable and they take great pride in proving that every day.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with Visible Clothing visit https://visible.clothing/
Conscious Skincare are an award-winning, organic skincare company based in West Wales where they hand make a comprehensive range of skincare and body care products. All their products are manufactured by them in a Soil Association Approved facility.
Conscious Skincare are passionate about making truly organic products and have spent years perfecting the ultimate blend of plant based, natural ingredients, fair-trade wherever possible. The way they make their products allows them to retain the benefits that quality ingredients bring, whilst leaving out synthetic or potentially harmful ingredients that skin simply does not need.
They are mindful of the planet and select recycled or recyclable materials such as PET and aluminium for packaging and use packing fill made of corn starch that composts naturally within months.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with Conscious Skincare visit https://www.conscious-skincare.com/
Bloomtown’s eco-friendly range is inspired by the woods, gardens and meadows of Cornwall, where the company was founded in 2016 by Preyanka Clark Prakash and partner Medwin Culmer after they spent two years in Indonesia and witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by palm oil cultivation: the loss of virgin forest that is home to endangered orangutans, tigers and so much of the world’s biodiversity.
The couple were horrified to learn that so many of their store-bought products had palm oil lurking in the ingredients labels, sometimes in the form of cetearyl alcohols, polysorbates and many other guises. They decided it would be their mission to create a truly cruelty-free body & skincare company, 100% free from palm oil, sulphates, SLSs, parabens, phthalates, synthetic colours, detergents and animal products (except organic, ethically harvested beeswax).
Bloomtown’s innovative and multi-award-winning products are expertly formulated with the perfect balance of plant oils and botanicals and handcrafted in small batches in idyllic Cornwall.
A percentage of whatever you purchase from Bloomtown goes towards supporting environmental and animal rescue charities.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with Bloomtown visit https://bloomtown.co.uk/
The Naughty Shrew
Becky founded The Naughty Shrew with the intention of selling high quality unusual jewellery that is not normally available on the high street.
Inspired by the music festivals she has been attending since she was a child, and struggling to find similar jewellery (and clothes, but one step at a time!) in her day to day life, Becky decided to set up her own company selling beautiful items, sourced from overseas manufactures and small scale artisans.
She only works with wholesalers that use ethical and fair trade principles – many of her items are certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation, and she uses recycled packaging as much as possible.
The Naughty Shrew sell a range of jewellery made from natural materials, wooden beads, as well as silver plated boho designs. Becky hopes to expand the range over the coming months to incorporate British designed or manufactured jewellery as well.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with The Naughty Shrew visit https://www.thenaughtyshrew.co.uk/
Vextile is a luxury sustainable and vegan soft furnishings brand. They launched this month with ‘The Recycled Collection’ – a range of cushions made using recycled materials and eco-friendly fabrics. Each cushion is made in England by a talented artisan seamstress. They source materials and fabrics for their products that are both animal and environmentally friendly. The people who produce the fabrics are paid a decent wage and their cushions are made in England, helping to focus on artisan British craftspeople.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with Vextile visit https://www.vextile.co.uk/
Wyatt and Jack
Wyatt and Jack creates sustainable bags and accessories made from upcycled beach deckchair canvas and retired bouncy castle vinyl PVC. Their fabrics are upcycled from various sources, each one telling the story of its previous life, and all products are proudly made in Britain.
To find out more and #ShopEthicalInstead with Wyatt and Jack visit https://www.wyattandjack.com
We’d also like to thank our other sponsors for making the #ShopEthicalCampaign possible Ethlete Running, and Swish Little Kids.
Remember to tag us in your photos and posts using #ShopEthicalInstead and show us how you’re supporting small ethical businesses this Black Friday!