Black Friday has arrived — both in calendars and in the Aussie shopper’s consciousness — but how does the consumerism that goes with the sales event fit with outdoor brands that preach sustainability from the hills? Alissa’s done some digging.
What originally started in the United States, as a post-Thanksgiving tradition has now taken over globally. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, brands compete ruthlessly on sales and with the recent difficulties in forecasting demand – and a backlog of late deliveries still being felt from the pandemic – you might be able to snag heavily discounted stock from previous seasons.
Now’s your time to save big for year-round gear. Keep your eyes open for items you’ve been looking to upgrade, even if you might not be ready to pull it out next week.
Despite this rising trend down under, many brands are aiming to reframe Black Friday, opting into a so-called ‘Green Friday’ which encourages consumers to shop mindfully, and often the brand has some form of charitable/ sustainable action associated with a sale.
Although Australia still widely adopts the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sales, the outdoor industry often leads the mainstream retail space in giving back to the outdoor spaces we use their gear in. With so many of these brands named after outdoor spaces to explore: Patagonia, The North Face, and the like, it makes sense that they not only create durable gear but that they also give back to wild places.
Read more: The Dark Side Of Cheap Gear
Let’s dive into what brands are doing to make this Black Friday look a little greener, and looking past the potential for greenwashing, we shine a light on brands that make sustainability a central consideration in their day-to-day business.
Zorali from its onset has strived to be a leader on the path towards sustainable outdoor/lifestyle gear.
With the support of GreenStory, Zorali will be measuring the carbon emissions from every product sold and will be offsetting every gram of carbon emitted throughout their Black Friday sale.
The offsets from each sale will be invested into conservation, reforestation, and renewable energy products across the globe.
Patagonia feels synonymous with sustainability when it comes to the outdoor industry, being leaders in so many aspects of business.
Initiatives include ‘1% for the Planet’, which provides 1% of their gross sales to organisations supporting environmental solutions, to advocating for wild places like their current campaign to end the logging of native forest in Victoria’s Central Highlands.
From organic cotton tees to natural rubber and synthetic blended wetsuits, Responsible-Down Standard certified insulating jackets and recycled materials in many of their products, Patagonia takes on robust environmental responsibility and animal welfare when making each of their products.
(and if you don’t need anything new, take their own iconic advice below…)
Project Blank is a wetsuit, swimwear, hardware, and accessories brand created by a community of green-minded ocean lovers. If you’re just getting into surfing or looking to upgrade your wetsuit, have a read about these Eco-Friendly wetsuits and consider shopping their sale.
Project Blank plant trees, remove plastic, offset carbon and have consistently encouraged the recycling and upcycling of their — or any other brand’s — wetsuits.
If you need even more reasons to support the legends over at Project Blank, they’re also partnering with us on our Underwater Forest Project to help plant a crayweed forest on Sydney’s coastline.
The North Face
The North Face has an ambitious goal to have 100% responsibly-sourced apparel fabrics by 2025, and footwear and equipment by 2030.
From recycled fabrics to responsible chemical management, to solar-powered factories, their performance-driven products prove that quality outdoor gear can also be made with a commitment to sustainable and ethical practices.
Ever tracked a package and watched it ping all around your state before it finally ends up at your door? I sure have and each time it makes me a little uneasy knowing the emissions used to get my packages to me. Arc’teryx provides carbon-neutral shipping to help offset the environmental impacts for consumers.
Throughout the year, Arc’teryx dedicates certain days to donating 50% of revenue from all sales on www.arcteryx.com.au to supporting groups that are seeking to understand the challenges their communities face, ideate on what might be possible and act towards solutions. Read more about Arc’teryx’s Do Right Days.
We also have a podcast produced with Arc’teryx’s support to help keep you company on your commutes or to help make life admin that little bit more fun.
Amble Outdoors offers outdoor gear without having to compromise on function, style, or sustainability for your adventures.
Each order is carbon neutral with the investments going to support wind farms, solar power, and forest protection.
With each order placed through Amble, normally 1 tree is planted, but for Black Friday, they’ll be planting 10 trees for every order!
Mont manufactures high quality, durable gear designed specifically for Australian conditions, to help keep your adventures enjoyable and avoid damaged gear ending up in the landfill.
With an aim to become carbon neutral, Mont is planting trees for every order placed. By January 2021, 180,000 trees had been planted, with the goal of 1 million trees to be planted by 2025 around the world.
This Black Friday Mont are holding their only online sale for the year, and planting 10 trees with every order. 20-60% off storewide too. Go on.
Read more: Get Your Arse Into (Aussie) Gear
XTM was Australia’s first carbon-neutral sporting goods company, which happened in 2008! They invest the value of their emissions into sustainable projects around the world from wind energy to reforestation to hydroplants.
With their deep understanding to take care of the planet, they have a year-on-year plan with actionable items to go land-fill free by 2023, opting for biodegradable and compostable packing and supplies, products made from natural fibres and aims to halve their emissions by 2030 and entirely by 2050.
Icebreaker’s natural fibres help regulate your temperature while taking on all sorts of outdoor activities.
The sustainably-sourced merino wool provides natural performance alternatives to synthetic-based apparel to create a healthier more sustainable future for our species and the planet.
The company also regularly releases transparency reports, adds other natural fibres to their clothing and encourage you to wear your clothing many times before washing, as it doesn’t take on smell.
Wild Earth recognises its role as an outdoor retail brand in not only getting us equipped to head outside to enjoy the outdoors, but also to protect it.
They are currently in the process of becoming B Corp certified to help guide their sustainability measures and align with the company values and standards. Between their head office, Burleigh Heads location and distribution centre, they are 60% solar-powered and have the goal of increasing their line of sustainable products stocked by at least 10% over the past year.
When shopping Wild Earth and looking for sustainable products, they have added a green leaf icon near the price to help identify that the product meets one of their sustainability fields. These vary from being B Corp certified, made from natural or recycled materials, or the brand is carbon neutral.