Sustainable alternatives to Black Friday

by Lorraine Williamson
black Friday alternatives

MADRID – The ads are screaming huge discounts to encourage you from all sides to buy as much as possible. However, the conscious alternatives for Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday are also increasingly being highlighted. 

This year, 7.5% of Spaniards are expected to spend more than €10,000 during Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. This is November 26 and 29 respectively. Research by the company Younited also shows that one in four Spaniards plans to spend about €500. 

Faced with this fierce consumerism, a counter-movement is also emerging. It seeks to slow down the impulsiveness of the consumer attracted by words like ‘save’, ‘discount’, and ‘offer’. Furthermore, these words with high percentages behind them make many forget what really matters; the planet and everything that lives on it. 

Increasing trend: conscious buying 

Of those surveyed who say they don’t buy anything on Black Friday (27.7%), 28% do so because they don’t need anything. An upward trend. Conscious buying as a new philosophy and counterpart to old-fashioned consumption. Therefore, the key to this is to know the difference between a wish and a need. 

Green Friday, Giving Tuesday, or Buy Nothing Day promote this conscious way of consuming and focusing on companies that are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. 

Green Friday 

The last Friday in November goes green to make consumers aware that savings lie not in hoarding products with the excuse that they are now so cheaply available, but in spending the minimum to meet real needs. 


It is known that buying without thinking accounts for 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That is why these kinds of initiatives, in addition to sustainable shopping, also want to encourage reuse in order to give products a second life. 

Cogesa Expats

Under the heading MAKE SMTHNG (make something), the mega-consumerism of Black Friday is made short and the opportunity to repair special things and create unique things from recycled materials. It is an international movement of events where people learn more about the circular economy, challenging consumerism, and its impact on the climate. 

It’s Green Friday at Ikea 

Will the starting Green Friday succeed in displacing Black Friday? Ikea is the first giant to participate in the green campaign for the second year with the purchase of used furniture. In addition, the Swedish company will also do nothing regarding Black Friday this year. 

Giving Tuesday 

Another sustainable alternative to Black Friday is Giving Tuesday, which promotes something as simple and humane as giving. Consequently, the movement promotes solidarity between people, organisations, and companies worldwide. On Tuesday 30 November, attention is paid to giving food, money (to charities), time – with volunteers – or second-hand objects. 

“Last year, €496,795 were raised in Spain for social causes thanks to individuals, companies and schools. The hashtag #GivingTuesday gave the actions visibility and thus fostered solidarity between people,” according to the Giving Tuesday platform. 

Buy Nothing Day 

What if we stop buying altogether? For people who participate in this, the desire to acquire the latest model of a fashionable object has disappeared. For this reason, another alternative to Black Friday is called Buy Nothing Day and this day coincides with the last Friday of November. 

Don’t buy anything at all for 24 hours and as a consumer show your power against the current production and consumption model. Psychologists emphasise in the newspaper El Español the fact that a shopping break, strangely enough, brings peace. Many have experienced this themselves during the lockdowns. Often things are bought to fill a void in existence. 

Whether these conscious alternatives to Black Friday will gain a foothold in Spain this year remains to be seen. Retailers last week expressed an optimistic expectation that consumer spending in the country will reach the same level this year as it was in 2019, before the pandemic. On average, every Spaniard spends €260. 

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