Green Friday has gained momentum in recent years as a more environmentally-conscious approach to the consumption bonanza that is Black Friday.
Some retailers – most notably outdoor clothing and equipment specialist Patagonia – steer well clear of Black Friday, citing the impact overconsumption has on the planet. Others have looked to do something they deem to be planet positive for the day and week leading up to the event – some choose to operate in what they say is a more eco-conscious manner.
Green Retail World has picked out some examples of greener thinking in retail and adjacent industries this Black Friday.
“Doing Good Things at Seasalt”
Clothing and accessories retailer Seasalt says it is marking Black Friday by establishing a ‘Doing Good Things at Seasalt’ initiative.
It is marking the mega-sales-day event by encouraging all staff at its head office in Cornwall to take up an extra day of volunteering. As a result, its teams will support food banks and care homes, and generally give back to the community in different ways.
From a green perspective, some members of the team are getting hands-on with beach cleans and gardening, and raising charity funds by repurposing Seasalt garments.
On Black Friday, Seasalt will also match customer charity donations at the shop and online checkout. The retailer’s charity partner is Mind, and customers have the chance to donate as they get to the point of purchase.
“Save money, save packaging.”
Consumers heading to the website of cosmetics and scented products retailer Rituals are met with one simple Black Friday message: “Enjoy 20% of Refills”.
The brand has opted to highlight its ranges that enable consumers to cut down on the packaging they acquire when purchasing goods.
Rituals states: “Help us turn Black Friday green! This week, we’re giving you 20% of all our refills. Save money, save packaging.”
“We have always had an opposing view of Black Friday – one of restoration and repair.”
Like last year, Raeburn is another notable Green Friday participant.
The designer fashion brand is today, from 11:00 to 20:00 in its flagship store in London’s Soho, handing its store over to circularity partner Responsible.
The initiative has been labelled ‘Buy Back Friday’ because it is encouraging consumers to bring in no-longer-needed clothing from Raeburn and other premium street brands in exchange for cash. The concept is focused on the environmental benefits of keeping clothing in circulation rather than throwing them away.
Christopher Raeburn, founder of Raeburn, said: “We have always had an opposing view of Black Friday – one of restoration and repair.
“Traditionally, we close the shop on this day to encourage a sustainable mindset: buy less, but better. We have taken that one step further this year by bringing in the Responsible team to educate customers on the proactive steps they can take to make purchases that keep the product in circulation for many years and several new owners.”
“Support local authorities looking for ways to reduce congestion and find alternative transportation methods.”
It could never be argued that Amazon discourages spending – indeed, it has rolled out a Black Friday campaign covering multiple product categories to get people splashing the cash for the annual sales event. However, it is making some big progress on reducing its impact on the planet from a transportation point of view.
Recently it announced a commitment to invest more than €1 billion over the next five years to further electrify and decarbonise its transportation network in Europe. And ahead of this Black Friday it has announced the expansion of its UK e-cargo bike fleet.
Three new micromobility delivery hubs have arrived covering the City of Manchester and London’s Wembley and Southwark areas, providing a base for its delivery network to use e-cargo bikes and walk parcels to customers’ homes. The idea is to take traditional delivery vans off the UK’s roads, alleviate city centre traffic congestion, and improve air quality.
Amazon said it has already made more than five million deliveries so far in 2022 using its e-cargo bikes and electric van fleet within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone.
John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon, commented: “These new hubs will not only bring our customers more electric-powered deliveries, but also support local authorities looking for ways to reduce congestion and find alternative transportation methods.”
Merlin Entertainments turns The London Eye green for Green Friday
“The visitor attraction sector can lead the way in protecting our planet.”
If anyone is looking for a symbol of Green Friday, then perhaps The London Eye is it.
The London Eye is a zero-carbon electric facility and has been turned green using 100% LED lighting today as a result of a partnership between heat pump company Kensa Group and the tourist attraction’s owner, Merlin Entertainments.
It comes after Kensa launched a plan this week to help the UK reach net zero by 2050 through the decarbonisation of heating and cooling with networked heat pumps. The plan was delivered at the House of Commons on Thursday 24 November, to an audience of MPs, government bodies and other influential individuals, asking them to work together and take action to make Great Britain green.
Mike Vallis, divisional director for Midway UK at Merlin Entertainments, said: “Sustainability sits at the heart of what Merlin Entertainments does.
“Our purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to millions of guests worldwide. As we expand our attractions, we recognise that reducing carbon emissions is not only the right thing to do, but it makes total business sense.”
He added: “As a global leader in location-based, family entertainment, Merlin is demonstrating how the visitor attraction sector can lead the way in protecting our planet. We’re making headway in reducing our annual worldwide carbon emissions and are determined to take this further: reducing 25% by 2026 and 50% by 2030.”
[Image credit: Matt Alexander/PA Wire for Amazon]