How to shop responsibly ahead of Black Friday?

Black Friday is now widely considered the busiest day for shopping across the globe with 84.2 million shoppers hitting the stores in 2019 [Source]. After a dip in sales during the pandemic last year, 2021 is predicted to break previous records with consumers hitting the stores and surfing the web for the best bargain they can find, and often without a thought about the planetary impacts.

As part of the “ECONYL® in conversation with” series, Alec Leach, Founder of Future Dust and Beatrice Turner, Ethical Fashion and Sustainability Influencer, took part in an Instagram Live on Thursday last week, discussing tips on how to buy better when you do need to buy, starting with where to buy.

In the Live, Alec and Beatrice discussed ways of developing healthier shopping habits, including what materials and brands to look for, what it’s like to shop entirely second hand, and how to think purchases through so you’ll really love them for years to come.

Alec and Beatrice shared their thoughts and tips on how shoppers can think more widely about their shopping choices and consider how they can be more responsible and be kinder to the planet through their consumer habits.

1. Ask yourself if you really need it

Beatrice’s top tip is to check what you have already in your wardrobe, “We can’t forget that the most sustainable clothes are the ones we already own. Before buying anything, make sure to check your wardrobe first and make sure that any new addition is thought through and intentional.”


2. Support ethical companies

 Beatrice advised “While mega sales may be tempting, discount campaigns like Black Friday are anything but sustainable. However, we can still make a conscious choice to shop more sustainably by supporting eco-friendly and ethical companies. I’ll always advise buying second-hand first but being a mindful consumer means that Black Friday can be an opportunity to invest in products that will last us a lifetime but would usually be out of our budget.” 

 “Activewear for example can be tricky to buy second-hand, so I’m hoping to invest in some pieces from Know The Origin’s Contur range, which is made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon, designed and produced ethically in the UK. As well as some dresses by Mara Hoffman – a luxury brand using the sustainable material to make the most beautiful pieces.”

3. Think about longevity when buying new pieces

During the live, Alec recommended considering longevity when making new purchases. While sustainable options may seem less affordable initially, these pieces are a wardrobe investment. “It’s really important to remember that if you only consider clothing to be something disposable then clothes can get really expensive – but if you think of it as an investment then that’s a better way of looking at it. The question to always have in mind is; how long is this going to last for?

“You can have a lot more space in your budget if you think of it really long term. Imagine in a year’s time that you still own these items – what do they look like in a year’s time? Would you still enjoy wearing them? Are there enough things in your wardrobe that you can wear them with?”

Beatrice agreed, adding “Buying new can be sustainable as long as you think with longevity and you aren’t buying things you will dispose of after a few wears.”


A final piece of advice to bear in mind ahead of Black Friday from Alec is “Innovative new materials, recycled options and sustainable brands make it easier than ever to shop more responsibly, but it’s still not easy. With Black Friday soon upon us, now’s a good time to question our consumption habits, and ask what it is that we should be thinking about when we approach peak time for consumerism.

Recycled synthetics, lower impact innovations, and the scaling up of more responsible fabrications have made shopping more sustainably easier than ever, but it’s still really important to think more critically about what it is that we should be buying.”

Find out more about how to be a conscious consumer and learn the important role of education when it comes to shopping for a better future by watching the full conversation on the ECONYL® brand Instagram here and discover our e-shop that collects responsible brands and sustainable products here.


Author: Eco Age