Black Friday and Ethical Consumerism

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black friday and ethical shopping

Can Black Friday and ethical consumerism go together? And how do we stick to our ideals in the face of falling prices?

As promised in my last installment of my How to Build an Ethical Wardrobe From Scratch series, let’s talk about all things sales shopping.  Specifically on how to stick to your ethical guns when prices of things are dropping like mad during Black Friday sales.

Black Friday was only introduced to the UK a few years ago. However, it has caused chaos, with fights happening in shops over discounted items. And Black Friday is right around the corner. As are a whole host of other wild sales that often pop up around this time of year.  Sales of up to 70% off are commonplace now, even from ethical retailers.

It has to be said, I do like a good sale.  Being mindful of my budget, it’s a good way to buy the ethical things I need at a more affordable price that suits my statutory maternity pay budget.  That’s why I’m not against sales shopping. I, therefore, keep a mental list of things I need. This is so that when the sales roll around I can fill the gaps in my wardrobe.

One Simple Question to Stay In Control on Black Friday

Sometimes whilst perusing the Black Friday sales I will spot something that is not on my list that will make me go ‘ooh’.  If I can work out that I will wear it enough times to justify the cost per wear then I might consider it.  But before clicking the add to cart button, I ask myself one simple question. That being “would I pay full price for this?“.

For the list of things I need I know I would definitely pay full price for them.  It just so happens that I know I could get them cheaper if I just waited.

For those impromptu items that catch my eye, asking myself if I would pay full price for it keeps me in check.  If I’m only interested in the item because it is reduced, and I know I wouldn’t pay full price, then I know that I’m only tempted by the ticket price and don’t actually need the item.

When Is A Bargain Not A Bargain?

I know only full well from my own previous experience that poorly thought out sales purchases just end up languishing at the back of the wardrobe. Here they’re either worn once or twice, before being deemed not suitable.  Or worse, never worn at all.

A bargain isn’t a bargain when you don’t end up wearing it.  And a poorly thought out ethical purchase that sits unworn is almost as bad, nay, as bad, as a poorly thought out fast fashion purchase.  According to a recent survey, the average wardrobe in the UK contains 11 items still with the tags on. This is pretty wasteful for the planet. And not just the planet, but awful for our bank balances too.

Let’s be savvy together this coming Black Friday sales season!

How do you keep your cool in the sales?  Do share your tips! And don’t forget my clever tip on how to stop buying stuff you don’t need.

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  1. I rarely buy on black friday, and instead choose to spend it outside hiking. When I was younger, I’d get up and do the 4am crap, but now crowds overwhelm me. But I do love a good sale. I never once considered to ask myself “would I buy it full price”. That’s an excellent filter, thank you for sharing!

  2. Love the outfit in the pic. Love your blog. Thanks for the reminder that I need to stick to trying to buy ethical pieces!! Gotta keep reminding myself.