How to have a greener Black Friday
The planet will suffer this week as we splurge on environment-harming products we don't need, but there are plenty of eco-friendly bargains to be found too, writes Tanya Sweeney
Few can resist the Black Friday siren song: historically, the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US has become a nifty way for everyone to snag their pre-Christmas bargains.
On Black Friday, the average Irish person buys four products and plans to drop about €300 on new goodies, marking an estimated 1,850pc increase in sales compared to a regular day.
It's all very well getting caught up in it all, even from the comfort of your own home, but you can bet that a lot of needless tat will make it over the counter.
The first rule of keeping Black Friday greener is to stop buying stuff you don't need. Buying less stuff helps to conserve natural resources, lower greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and shipping, and reduce waste in landfills.
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It's easy to be swayed by feverish discounting from the retail giants, but it's best to think of Black Friday as an opportunity to buy mindfully and pick up investment pieces at a better price.
Charity shops, local designer markets and food sellers are great places to put your money if you have a seriously itchy wallet this week.
Several green brands have opted out of Black Friday for environmental reasons, but many others have slashed the prices on their sustainable offerings.
We found some buys that will break neither the bank nor the planet.
1. Ecotools mean that you can kit out your bathroom and beauty bag with eco-friendly items like sponges, brushes, sleep masks and wash mitts. Boots are offering a third off selected Ecotools items - pick up this Mini Mask set for €7.33 (was €10.99). Elsewhere on the Boots.ie website, environmentally friendly skincare ranges like Sukin NYX Professional have been slashed, meaning there's no better time to pick up a cult classic like Sukin's Rose Hip oil (€16.66, was €24.99).
2. Shopping for mum & baby gifts? The eco/vegan/organic beauty site Babo Botanicals are offering a 40pc discount across their site, and are topping it off with a surprise gift with every order. Just use the code BFCM19 when you check out (until December 1). Babobotanicals.com has the details.
3. AzuraBay.com have yet to set up shop in Ireland, but this American ethical underwear/loungewear store is worth a look, as they're offering 15 to 70pc off everything in the store, and they deliver to Ireland. This Iris London bra is on offer at €18.15 (was €108), while this Cosabella White Lace Romper is on sale at €27.23 (was €90). See Azurabay.com for more great buys.
4. Head to Brown Thomas for investment pieces that will transcend fast fashion trends and last through the years. Whistles are offering this black button-down recycled cardigan (€80.50, was €115), while this cashmere roll-neck is versatile enough to see you through a few seasons (€174.30, was €249). More details can be found on brownthomas.com
5. Arnotts' sale is offering deals across electrical, kids, fashion, beauty and homewares. Sheridan linens are offering a discount on their Tencel pillowcases and flat/fitted sheets - this white flat sheet retails at €49-56 (was €70-80). See arnotts.com for the lowdown on all bargains.
6. House Of Fraser already have their Black Friday sale well underway, and the Howick Organic cotton range has been slashed by over 50pc. We love this Sanford organic cotton cable knit, which is currently retailing at €13.20 (was €42). Elsewhere in menswear, these Polo Ralph Lauren polo shirts (€54, were €108) are seriously sound for the planet. These have been manufactured by an innovative fabric that was collected from plastic bottles found in the ocean by developing communities, and have been dyed using a completely waterless process. For every Sustainable Polo shirt that is bought, approximately 12 bottles are saved from ending up in landfills or in the ocean. See houseoffraser.co.uk
7. Debenhams have welcomed their first sustainable designer collection into stores this year, and this week, you can snare 30pc off Kate MacMahon x Debenhams. We particularly like this orange fire-print midi-dress (€91, was €130), their cosy tan duffel coat (€154, was €220) and this wave-patterned navy jumper (€36.40, was €52). All fabrics are organic recycled, or Tencel Lyocell, made from sustainably sourced natural raw wood. See Debenhams.ie for the entire collection.
8. An easy way to get a little greener in 2020 is to ditch the daily lattes; or, if you can't live without that caffeine kick, to make your own. Harvey Norman is offering 30pc off coffee machines: this Sage Barista Express Espresso coffee machine will bring café culture right into your own kitchen, and doesn't use plastic pods as a bonus (€489, was €649). See harveynorman.ie for more deals.
9. One easy way to keep the waste down is to invest in experiences, rather than actual items. At the five-star Lough Erne resort in Fermanagh, mid-week stays are on offer this week as part of Black Friday from £99/€115 or £139/€162 on weekends (meaning a saving of up to 45pc). They are also offering 50pc off room upgrades and 45pc off their Thai Spa package (now £60/€70). Golf enthusiasts can also enjoy a great Black Friday deal with a £69/€80) two-ball voucher (a saving of up to 40pc). The deals, which are available to purchase now, can be booked for dates between December 1 and March 2020. For more information call 028 6632 3230 or visit their website at lougherneresort.com
10. Marks and Spencer continue not to push specific Black Friday deals, seemingly for environmental reasons. But it's a good place to pick up a timeless and reasonably priced Keep Cup (€20) that you will be able to use for your tea or coffee, time and time again. A small but great way to go greener in the coming year. See marksandspencer.ie for more information.