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Green Friday

The big green dilemma: Green Friday, Black Friday or both?

Black Friday is now a firm fixture in the calendars of consumers around the world. While a great point in the year to bag deals and for brands to capitalise on increased shopper spending, many consumers are waking up to the detrimental effects of Black Friday – ever heard of Green Friday?

From relatively humble mid-century beginnings in the US, Black Friday gained momentum in the 1980s, gradually making its way to global marketplaces. Fast forward to the 2010s where what dominates the headlines, aside from the savings, are negative environmental impacts, major societal shifts collapse and even deaths. Below are just some of the worrying stats surrounding Black Friday:

Beneath the chaos and overconsumption, a growing movement is shifting away from impulsive and damaging shopping behaviour towards a better relationship with our planet and a more sustainable ecommerce ecosystem. Green Friday, backed by European Commission, ECODES and WWF, is an anti-Black Friday movement rooted in embracing ethical and mindful shopping, and brands are quickly joining in and putting environmental issues ahead of profit margins.

Brand provocations for Green Friday


To help reduce e-waste, this year Curry’s launched its first Green Friday event, with the aim to ‘to unite sustainability with immense deals’. The retailer will offer discounts on over 140 home appliances, all designed to reduce energy usage, thus lowering household energy bills.


Lifestyle apparel brand Tentree will plant 10 trees for every item purchased over the Black Friday weekend, while also offering their community deals on products that are ethically made from sustainable materials.


In 2022 the outdoor giant raised over €23,000 for the European Outdoor Conservation Association to help fund conservation efforts across the world. This year, their Green Friday initiative will give customers the power to decide which conservation projects will receive their support, and they can choose the specific project they wish to endorse after making a purchase.


Always ahead of the curve, back in 2016 Patagonia achieved a record-breaking Black Friday in sales and donated 100% of its global retail and online sales from the shopping event straight to grassroots organisations which work in local communities to protect air, water and soil for future generations.

As millennials and Gen Z customers amass more purchasing power, sustainability is becoming a top priority. Here at Wavemaker it is no different. Our Greenmakers community is on a mission to help all staff and the wider network live a more sustainable lifestyle, in and outside of the office, to aid our clients’ sustainable growth and to help make a better future for everyone.

Following WPP’s Net Zero commitment, GroupM and the agencies within have been working on the best and most accurate way to decarbonise media. By working with our media partners, competitors, industry bodies and more we aim to have a standardised approach that will help reduce emissions for the whole industry.

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