Podcast 135: Sustainable beauty alternatives to Black Friday

Sustainable alternatives to Black Friday

Black Friday, love it or hate it, is the annual event that sees consumers snap up bargains and big businesses add millions to their profits. Lasting a day, weekend, week or even a month for some businesses, Black Friday is also embraced by small indie beauty brands. It can be a tipping point in the year, moving any size of business closer to its profit targets.

The sheer rampant consumerism of this particular Friday, which falls just before the US Thanksgiving holiday – but is promoted as a shopping event the world over – has seen alternatives advocated. Some options include asking us to boycott Black Friday entirely, while others urge us to shop more mindfully and support small businesses all year round.

In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier and School Education Manager Ana Green discuss the background to Black Friday and how it arrived on almost the whole world’s calendar. They explore four alternatives that both beauty shoppers and indie brands can adopt to make beauty consumerism more sustainable on Black Friday and throughout the year.

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Love or hate Black Friday? The @FormulaBotanica podcast looks at sustainable alternatives to Black Friday to adopt when you shop for beauty. #sustainablebeauty #blackfriday #consciousconsumer Click To Tweet

In this episode on sustainable beauty alternatives to Black Friday, you will hear about:

  • The history of Black Friday, whose name was coined in the 1890s, and how the concept has developed into a period not only for grabbing bargains, but also one that has been associated at times with the worst of consumer behaviour.
  • How there is no right or wrong approach to Black Friday. It is a product of the economic model we all find ourselves in. We can. however, whether as consumers or brands, think through how to approach it based on our own values.
  • How we should not feel obliged to participate in Black Friday, but if we do, as beauty shoppers, we should think through what we really need – not just want – and approach buying anything with that mindset all year too.
  • By planning in advance, we can avoid the worst excesses of Black Friday and not be lured by each shiny new offer dropping into our inboxes. We can take time to be more mindful about our purchases by, for example, seeking out brands that are offering options like refillable rather than single-use beauty products.

Our episode’s key takeouts are the four alternatives to Black Friday:

  • Green Friday: this encourages us to be more conscious consumers by buying only what we need and by choosing more sustainable, green alternatives. It also begs the question: shouldn’t this be how we shop every day of the year?
  • Small Business Saturday: created in 2010 in the States, this day following Black Friday aims to put the spotlight on small and local businesses, and asks us to support and buy from them instead of big mainstream brands.
  • Buy Nothing Day: perhaps the most extreme alternative to Black Friday because, as the name suggests, we are asked not to buy at all. Behind it lies the idea of a day on which to take stock of what we need and not feel the pressure to buy. Again, mindful consumerism – or days on which we buy nothing – should be part of our daily lives anyway.
  • Join a loyalty scheme: turn the narrative from consumerism to value. Instead of buying in bulk all at once on one day a year, why not sign up for an indie beauty brand’s loyalty scheme as a way to support that business all year? Help them help you by joining loyalty schemes that may offer various advantages such as free shipping, early-bird prices on new products, refer-a-friend discounts and so on.

If you want to hear more about some of the topics we cover in this episode, delve back into the podcast archives to listen to:

Podcast 61: Skinimalism and the age of minimalist skincare.
Podcast 66: What is circular beauty?
Podcast 73: should beauty retailers boycott unsustainable brands?

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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