7 Ways to be a conscious consumer this Black Friday

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Heyyyy guys! I’m hoping by the time you read this that your tummies are FULL of turkey and tired from a day of laughing with your friends and family. These are some of the most rewarding times of the year to get grounded and reflect on your year.

Something else that rings true to this time of year is the beautiful act of gift giving. No matter your age, there will always be something exciting about opening a wrapped present from those that you love.

According to CBS, holiday spend for gift giving is expected to be higher than our recent past – anticipating 1 trillion plus dollars this year and 164 million people going out for Black Friday!

Shopping in some way, shape or form is inevitable around the holidays. Here are some tips on how to do so leaving less of an impact on our environment and also purchasing things that will last much longer!

Here are 7 ways to be a conscious consumer this Black Friday…

1. Don’t go.

Had to say it! More often than not we can craft gifts for others that don’t involve clothes or electronics. Think about buying your loved ones restaurant experiences, a tour, ticket to an event, a cooking class, to name a few.

If you do go….

2. Think BYOB. Bring your own bag.

I know that those bags are gorgeous around the holidays but rarely do we use them afterwards.

3. Choose B-corps.

B-corps have a certification that proves they are using their business as a force for good. Common business themes include offsetting carbon, improving the lives of their employees (here and abroad) and more.

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4. Take a second to look at the clothing tag.


Natural Fibers: Cotton, Linen, Silk, Cashmere, Hemp, Recycled Polyester (used plastic as a raw material that would have otherwise gone to landfill)

*These may be more expensive but 100% will last longer than any of the below.



Synthetic fibers: Polyester, Nylon, Acrylic, Spandex, Polypropylene

So what happens if you buy a synthetic jacket? One study found that one synthetic jacket can shed as many as 1,900 tiny microfibers when it’s washed one time. Patagonia partnered with researchers to do a study that concluded 40% of these plastic microfibers end up in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Wildlife (such as the fish we eat) gobble these right up and can end up in our OWN BODIES when we eat salmon, shellfish, you name it.

5. Make a list before you go out of what you need. Refuse to buy excess.

I’ve been re-wearing the same few pairs of socks for MONTHS. I have yet to buy a new pair because I never go shopping and I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint by ordering less online. I do, however, anticipate on buying some next time I happen to be at a mall. This is something that I have over time come to the conclusion that I need!

Stick to that and only that. A common item on my “need” list is new underwear – understandable. You’ll notice that underwear that rags quickly, shrinks, no longer nice or comfy, are usually made of the synthetic materials described above! Mentioned above, synthetic materials are cheap to make and lead you to buy more from the store a couple of months after.

6. Challenge your Christmas heuristic.

In the past my sister and I have always gotten each other a nice shirt or sweater for Christmas. Although appreciated, it wasn’t like I didn’t have something very similar already in my closet from the year before. This year I’m looking to buy her an experience. Sorry mads for ruining the surprise! Thinking about a concert, a lovely dinner to get her favorite fettuccine Alfredo. I can guarantee these future memories will be more valuable than a sweater.

7. Ask yourself these four questions before purchasing.

Do I have something similar already in my closet?

If the answer is yes, rethink your purchase.

Can I think of at least 10 occasions where I would wear this?

If the answer is yes, that is a sustainable buy rather than fast fashion.

Am I buying this “just because I feel like I need something to go on this date? Or this party?”

If the answer is yes, rethink your purchase.

Is this item made from natural fibers?

If the answer is yes, that is a sustainable buy rather than fast fashion.


If you stick to these, you can feel better about your purchases. If you choose brands that are making an effort to change the way they manufacture and leave less of an environmental impact, you can feel GREAT about voting with your dollar.

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw,

“Never buy anything that’s less than fabulous. Then you’ll know you’ll wear it over and over again.”

Wishing you all tons of fun and creative thinking around the holidays for gift giving!


The Sustennial



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