A Good Company is not taking part in Black Friday. Instead, we are celebrating Green November.
Great, a new Holiday. Hear us out.
Green November is simple. We think a good decision for the environment should be rewarded with a fair discount - no scrambling and no “today only” sales.
For the entire month we will offer a flat 15% saving on all our products—all sustainably manufactured and packaged, and with climate compensated shipping.
Throughout the year we plant a tree every time someone purchases from our marketplace. It doesn’t cost you anything extra. We like trees and they are important. You can read more about this initiative here.
For Green November, we will plant an extra tree for every €10 in sales in addition to our standard tree per order policy.
How Black Friday harms the planet
Every year Black Friday comes around and every year it’s the same thing.
Businesses start to deliberately drive people crazy by rolling out seemingly low prices on popular items, in the hope that crowds will rush in and purchase even more once they walk through the doors.
If you’re in a small family struggling to get by and you need to get the best possible price for a stove or a washing machine that’s one thing, and waiting for that once a year deal is completely understandable. If you’ve had your eye on a really special item you know someone you love would appreciate but it’s normally out of your price range, by all means, get it.
Those are both conscious decisions. But Black Friday seems to bring out the worst tendencies in people. It champions mindless consumption and waste. The weekend Black Friday kicks off is like the opening of a blockbuster movie and every year projections are made as to whether it will be a hit or a flop.
Last year was another record breaker, with online sales revenue hitting $7.4 billion in the US alone.
The sad fact is that once the excitement has died down many of these purchases will quickly be discarded, ending up in landfills or sat forlornly gathering dust on a shelf. A large proportion will be sent back.
Liquidation platform B-Stock Solutions estimates that more than 30% of online purchases are returned, and this is significant part of the problem.
Data via eMarketer (2018), Star Business Journal (2017), and Forrester via The WSJ (2015)
The hidden cost of returns
There is a substantial environmental impact from returned goods that consumers may not consider and which often isn't made clear.
Many e-commerce companies do not explain the return process in detail, the reason being that the most prolific returners also tend to be the best customers.
Some companies have dedicated sorting warehouses, but many returns are processed in faraway places where labor is cheapest and costs low.
Returns need to be checked, processed and repacked so items travel for thousands of kilometres before going back to sale.
The extra mileage significantly increases each products carbon footprint and, for many retailers, it's easier to simply throw the returns into a landfill.
Bottom line—take an extra moment to think about whether you really need that product before buying it. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.
Join us for Green November
There’s nothing wrong with making a profit or trying to find a good deal. The money saved is what we store away to cushion the ups and downs of life. That’s the Ant and the Grasshopper. It’s also nice to treat yourself now and then. Sometimes you just want that nice bag or you want to reward your daughter for her excellent behaviour with a new Mario game.
But shopping in general, and holiday shopping in particular, promotes a culture of mindless consumerism that is harmful to the environment and people too.
With Green November we want to award you for making a more conscious decision. No need to wake up early. No need to make a quick decision that you might regret later.
You have an entire month to consider whether something we sell is something you want. If not, that’s fine. If so, then you also get to help us plant a forest.
We hope you will participate in Green November 2020 with us. Use #GreenNovember to share ideas on how to make an even bigger impact, and look out for our carbon-saving tips on our socials throughout the month.
And if you own a company and would like two participate - hit us up. We’d love to share with you how we buy our trees or work together to plant an even bigger forest.