Every year, Black Friday whips shoppers up into a state of mass consumption, bombarding us with marketing emails, advertising and sales messages, creating a bargain hunting frenzy. Hotly followed by December and the Christmas shopping season - more of the same.
But behind those cheap prices is a hidden cost. Exploited workers paid less than the real living wage, oceans overwhelmed with plastic waste, air pollution increased by delivery vans, deforestation, overflowing landfill sites.
We can’t sustain this rate of consumption any longer and yet there’s still a lot of excitement for Black Friday.
We can’t just turn off the volume on all those sales messages. Shopping at this time of year is the norm and we don't expect to change that over night.
But there is an alternative…
The average UK consumer is expected to spend over £200 this Black Friday weekend, so what if we could take that excitement, and channel it into something more positive for people and the planet?
What if that £200 could go towards paying people a real living wage, keeping local communities thriving?
What if we could redirect some of those sales from global corporations to small businesses?
Every time you buy from a small business, it’s a cause for celebration.
It’s you playing a part in celebrating and supporting someone’s dream, and helping them to put food on the table.
Many small businesses are operating in more ethical and sustainable ways, using fair supply chains, no exploitation, and more eco-friendly business practices.
What if, this holiday season, we could support them, simply by switching how we shop?
That’s the ethos behind the #ShopEthicalInstead campaign – a positive alternative to Black Friday.
Organised by #EthicalHour – the world’s first and largest support community for people who want to live and work more ethically, #ShopEthicalInstead is now going into its 5th year and is set to be bigger and better than ever!
Having weathered the pandemic and now entering a cost-of-living crisis, it’s a challenging time for ethical SMEs, but they are still fiercely committed to paying living wage, creating jobs, supporting communities and treading as lightly on the planet as possible.
99% of all businesses in the UK are small businesses. We are proudly a ‘nation of shopkeepers’.
For every £1 spent with a small or medium business, 63p remains in the local economy – compared to just 40p spent with larger firms.
If we want to support everyone through the cost of living crisis, if we want our local communities to stay vibrant, diverse and beautiful places to live, and if we want to live in a world where everyone is paid a fair wage for the work they do – we need to support the small businesses on our doorstep.
We need to #ShopEthicalInstead.
Making ethical shopping easier
Throughout November and December, we spend more money than any other time of year on gifts for our loved ones.
This year’s campaign is focused on making it easy to buy good gifts from the ethical small businesses all around you.
#ShopEthicalInstead 2022 launches on 1st November and runs until the last postage date in December (21st), bringing you gift guides, tailored by recipient, to make it easy and convenient to find the perfect gift.
There will be opportunities to meet the business owners and makers, hear the stories behind the products, and see first hand what a positive impact it makes when you buy from a small business.
Over 100 small businesses have been hand selected for inclusion in this year’s Virtual High Street – bringing them all together in one place to make your Christmas shopping more convenient.
Every brand involved has been checked for Green Claims Code compliance, so you can shop with confidence, knowing that they’re not greenwashing.
And it’ll be easy to find, recognise and support them, because they’ll all be sharing branded #ShopEthicalInstead content created by #EthicalHour’s communications team at agency 181st Street.
What impact will it make?
Powered by a leading communications agency, with a centralised approach to content creation, the campaign is giving small businesses access to marketing expertise and resources that many cannot usually afford.
With a combined audience of over 1 million people, #ShopEthicalInstead is giving small businesses a bigger voice at a crucial retail moment. Helping them achieve cut-through as a combined force, without advertising spend, in a way that simply isn’t possible otherwise for individual brands.
How can you get involved?
As a consumer…
From 1st November, read the gift guides.
Sign up to be the first to hear when the Virtual High Street opens its doors.
Search the #ShopEthicalInstead hashtag on your social media platform of choice to discover the stories behind these brilliant brands.
Please do share the small businesses you find, love and buy from – it makes a big difference! Include the #ShopEthicalInstead hashtag to support the campaign!
As a brand…
It’s not too late to get involved in this year’s campaign.
We’ll be adding new brands in December, so if you are a small business driven by your ethical and sustainable values, please fill out this form and we will be in touch.