Are you feeling Black Friday pressure?

Are you one of those who love Black Friday, or are you perhaps starting to feel pressure about getting ready to find the best deals?

Gumtree survey [2, 2018] found that 61% of the shoppers feel pressure to buy something on Black Friday, and that 33% of the people surveyed had bought something they already have just because they thought it is cheap.

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

Black Friday marketing has really succeeded in invoking our fear of missing out

Despite research showing that only a smal part of the products advertised are cheapest on Black Friday [5], many of us are feeling the pressure to buy.

From the environmental perspective, buying stuff we don’t need is the last thing we want.

According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report in 2019 [4, p.46], the global material footprint has increased 70 per cent since 2000, and 113 per cent since 1990. The rate of natural resource extraction has accelerated since 2000, and the material footprint is currently increasing faster than population growth.  

The material footprint is increasing faster than population growth.

Fashion is a particular problem

Not only is clothing the number one regret in the Brit’s top 10 Black Friday regrets, ahead of coffee machines and handbags [2], fast fashion business is expanding, markets are overloaded with unwanted clothes and technological challenges mean full recycling of clothing into new fibres is not commercially viable [3]. Added to this, many retailers don’t have the technology to handle the returned goods, so it is often most profitable for them to sell them cheaply to discounters via a web of shipping, driving and flying them around the globe, or to simply truck them to the dump. [1]

Clothing returns are often passed on to discounters and shipped across the globe multiple times, only to ultimately end up in a pile on a landfill site because they couldn’t be routed to a new home.

Let’s make it a Green Friday!

What can we do if we want this year to be different? Most importantly, we should remind ourselves of the key principles of conscious consumption, and be prepared to resist psychological tactics retailers use when trying to tempt us into buying. If we are able to separate our needs from desires, only buy what we need, while opting for ethical retailers and good quality, we are on a good track. Regarding online shopping in particular, there are a few things to keep in mind – see here. Let’s try to make through this Black Friday without returns or regrets!

Take care, stay safe and have a lovely autumn!


  1. Your brand new returns end up in landfill, BBC Earth blog
  3. What is fast fashion and why is it still so popular, 2020
  4. The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019, United Nations
  5. Are Black Friday Deals real,, 2020

2 thoughts on “Are you feeling Black Friday pressure?”

  1. Thanks Nana – GREEN Friday sounds a much more appealing concept!

    Much appreciation for your always clear and important insights!


  2. True Nana. I never thought of myself as someone influenced heavily, but this year especially with some shops closed i think you feel the pressure to get something. But i like the link and will definitely try to shop local more. Thankyou.

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