If you must shop, do it from a company that's spreading the wealth.
I am no fan of Black Friday and have opposed it quite vocally for many years. But I also get that sometimes we need to make specific purchases, and it can be nice to get a discount when we do. So, at times like those, Black Friday can be convenient.
If shop you must, then the least you can do is support retailers and brands that are using Black Friday as an opportunity to be more generous. The following list shows which companies are trying to make a difference on Black Friday (while hoping to profit from the extra sales, no doubt).
On Black Friday 2019, this popular Swedish outdoor brand is giving away 1,500 annual National Park passes at its 21 U.S. brand stores on a first-come-first-served basis. The passes are valued at $80 and a purchase must be made in order to get one (no minimum). CEO Nathan Dopp said in a press release,
"The Fjällräven team has a passion for being in nature because we know the positive effect getting into nature has on the body and mind. We wanted to do something different. We will give Fjällräven fans unparalleled access to nature through our National Parks this Black Friday."
Starting on Black Friday through December 31, Patagonia has promised to match all donations made in support of grassroots environment groups through its Patagonia Action Works platform. You can search cities and states on the website to find local charities and groups to support, which makes this initiative feel more personal.
MiiR makes stainless steel vessels for coffee, wine, beer, and food that it sells both directly and rebrands for companies. Committed to ethical manufacturing, a portion of sales is always donated to fund development projects. This Black Friday, MiiR is upping its donations to 100% of in-store and online sales, all of which will go to its nonprofit partner Kula, which is fundraising to renovate a coffee-washing station for women farmers in Rwanda.
Six years ago ethical fashion retailer Everlane established a Black Friday fund that donates a portion of sales to charity. This year, $10 from every purchase will go to Oceana to help fight ocean plastic pollution. The goal is to raise $300,000 tomorrow to reach a total of more than $1 million since the Fund's creation.
UK-based clothing retailer THTC makes "eco-friendly and politically conscious street wear, made from hemp, carbon-neutral organic cotton, and recycled salvage plastic fibres." Starting Black Friday to December 2, it offers no discounts or offers, expecting customers to pay the usual fair price for goods, but it will donate 30% of profits to the Refugee Community Kitchen. In THTC's own words,
"No discounts. No once-in-a-lifetime offers. No cheap crap. No lining the pockets of Phillip Green, just so he can vomit overpriced champagne off the bow of his yacht. We’re trying to make a difference in the world, while sticking true to our principles of trying to reduce consumption and consumerism."
Perhaps the most famous anti-Black Friday campaign, REI's Opt Outside is entering its fifth year. The outdoor gear retailer will close its door once again to all sales, both in-store and online, and encourage people to get outside instead of shopping. Join a community clean-up, they say, and read the recently-published 52-week Opt To Act plan.