Thoughts on Black Friday

Thoughts on Black Friday

With Christmas just round the corner and the shopping malls already advertising huge sales, as a small business you may be thinking “Should I do Black Friday?”

Black Friday this year falls on 24th November and goes through to Cyber Monday however we can already see sales set to go for the whole of what is now known as Cyber Week. Whilst everyone loves a great deal there is a dark side to Black Friday. It is estimated this shopping event creates over 1 million tons of waste globally each year and in NZ only 28% of our waste is recycled. That’s a lot of Black Friday products going to landfill!


For small business owners however, this is a tricky area to navigate and I still find myself thinking about what is the best approach, which is why I'm writing about it. There are a few aspects which create some circular arguments. For example, at Big Little Gift Box, I run my business as sustainably as I can and create quality products that last. Are my values in conflict with the idea of Black Friday which encourages mass consumerism? On the other hand, I want customers to actually buy my sustainable, locally made products and everyone is in the mood to shop. Is it the best time to get my products out there?

There is also the consideration of valuing your work and that of other handmade creators. Margins are pretty lean, will slashing prices devalue all the work put in? However, times are tough at moment for customers and one of the reasons I love to create is so customers can enjoy my work. Could Black Friday be an opportunity to find new customers who will return in the future?


It’s difficult, isn’t it?  Whilst pondering options I came across Green Friday. This is a movement that started in 2015 and encourages shopping at sustainable businesses, local businesses or not shopping at all. This year it runs concurrently with Black Friday and is focused on eco-friendly, sustainable products that are good for our environment and support local small business.

If you are still unsure what to do or whether to shop right now. Here are a few ideas which may help you navigate Black Friday this year:

  • Businesses can run a sale on a selection of your products, especially the sustainable or environmentally friendly ones. This is the option I have gone for this year at Big Little Gift Box and have a Black Friday sale collection which includes all my reusable gift boxes at a discounted price. You can find it here.
  • Sell your seconds at a discounted price. If you have some products that don't fit your high quality standards including things like dented or damaged packaging. Rather than throw them out, sell them at a discounted price.

Dust and Glow

  • Promote your refill option and create a discount for this. I have seen this for tea, candles, body washes and hair care products like Dust and Glow. Check out their refill service here
  • Promote your eco-friendly packaging, local delivery and sustainable processes or offer a low packaging option for products that are not gifts.
  • Donate to an environmentally focused charity as part of your Black Friday sale. Here's an example of this from underwear brand Boody who are a 1% for the planet member year round.

I hope that's useful and I'd love to hear your views on Black Friday and the approach you are planning to take this year.

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