In: Green Friday – Out: Black Friday….brands opt out of promoting overconsumption

Christmas decorations are up in all the shops, Black Friday has just been and gone, although there seems to be a few deals lingering longer as we head into yet another international climate conference. Black Friday sales seemed to be a slap in the face of climate change, especially when we have young people all over the world led by Greta Thunberg urging people to take a stand in tackling the climate emergency.  

More brands are drawing a line in the sand against mass overconsumption and a new initiative – Green Friday was the result.  Many conscious brands decided to give back to the environment whether it’s by planting trees, shutting down completely over the sale period and refusing to take part or donating proceeds to charities and different climate change initiatives.

What started in the USA, has for quite some time become a worldwide phenomenon; on Black Friday – the Friday after Thanksgiving – there’s a shopping frenzy when retailers, shops and brands tempt customers with special discounted offers.

The fuelling of unnecessary consumption of goods means that the environment takes a hit.  The climate impact of the production, transport and waste created by these products is enormous.  The increased online sales cause a glut of packaging and parcel waste. The return option, which is so convenient for customers often ends in the destruction of returns and equals a huge waste of resources.

Black Friday has been under fire from climate activists around the world and many brands are catching on.  Many outdoor brands got together to turn Black Friday on its head and initiated Green Friday to campaign for sustainability.  Instead of discounting some brands increase the cost of goods and donate proceeds toward nature conservation.  Other’s close down for the day, still paying their employees despite the day off or promote environmental activities for the day.  


US outdoor brand Patagonia wants to counteract environmental damage by excessive consumption through a special donation campaign.

All donations made on the company’s Patagonia Action Works platform from November 29 to December 31 will be doubled by Patagonia with its own capital (up to $10,000 per donation). Donations are doubled regardless of whether donors buy Patagonia products.

In total, the amount paid by Patagonia in this campaign is capped at a maximum of 10 million dollars. This is how much the company donated to environmental protection organizations as early as 2017 following a US tax reform.

Patagonia also urges its customers to take part in worldwide climate strikes and offers a service to find the closest strike.

The current campaign is not a one off for Patagonia. In 2016, for example, the company donated the entire revenue of Black Friday to environmental projects.


In Australia, fashion brand KITX offered 0% and implemented a Green Friday initiative of plant a tree with every purchase.