Green Friday: Small businesses are turning their backs on the Black Friday shopping frenzy


ReleaseIt and Green Friday co-founder Peter Krideras. Source: supplied.

Black Friday weekend is just around the corner, but while high-street stores gear up for a sales frenzy, there’s a growing movement of small businesses boycotting the shopping holiday, saying it only results in impulse purchases and waste.

One movement is offering an alternative to the weekend of consumerism with Green Friday.

Headed up by Peter Krideras and Stephen Kulmar, co-founders of goods rental marketplace ReleaseIt, Green Friday will showcase sustainable and ethical brands.

Rather than offering discounts and deals, the site is intended to be a one-stop shop for consumers to discover brands that align with their values.

Participants include Flora & Fauna, Frank Green, Glamcorner and The World’s Biggest Garage Sale.

With a career’s worth of experience in retail and the circular economy, including in the US, Krideras was one of the founders of Click Frenzy. At that time, his focus was on what value shopping events provide to retailers, he tells SmartCompany.

Now he’s exited the business and, while he acknowledges the irony of his 180-turnaround, he says he has evolved as a business person. His focus is now firmly on the consumer, and how and why they shop.

More and more, they’re driven by a desire to do good. This is a generational shift that “is going to revolutionise retail”, he says.

People in the younger generation understand that mass-consumption shopping holiday events are not necessarily good for the environment.

“There’s a new and emerging demographic; one that’s focused on more thoughtful and conscious consumption,” he says

Green Friday offers those consumers a new way to find brands for the shopping holiday weekend, without subscribing to the mass-consumption culture.

The idea is to flip the narrative, Krideras says, encouraging people to buy mindfully rather than impulsively.

The small business Black Friday boycott

Aussies are expected to spend about $3.8 million in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year.

And while some small businesses are going above and beyond to stand out in the crowd, Krideras and the Green Friday participants are not the only entrepreneurs turning their backs on the shopping holidays this year.

Vegan shoe brand Twoobs is forgoing the sales, using this Friday to educate its customers on mindful shopping and encouraging them not to get caught up in the hype.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by TWOOBS (@twoobs)

In a statement provided to SmartCompany, co-founders Jess and Stef Dadon say over consumption is “one of the biggest issues within the fashion industry”.

The dollars they may lose out on from not running a Black Friday sale is something they “can live with”, they add.

Consumers have the power to create change by spending money with brands who align with their values, and “just as important is where they don’t spend their dollars this Black Friday”.

Jame Telfer, Gumbaynggir woman and founder of small-batch aromatherapy business Earth Jinda, also took to Instagram, encouraging followers to support ethical and sustainable businesses, “and better yet support Blak this Friday”.

“While I don’t have sales happening I ask you still remember us this Friday and what your purchases mean to us,” she wrote.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Earth Jinda (@earthjinda)

Another small business, Pinky’s Store and Studios in Melbourne, has also opted out of Black Friday, with the founders saying in an Instagram story that businesses like theirs simply don’t have the margins to make sales possible.

Instead, they encouraged individuals to “balance things out” by also supporting a small business that isn’t taking part in the sales.

And Skincare business Peggy Sue is going one step further. Not only is the business not offering discounts on Black Friday, it is donating 20% of all revenues to a charity that rescues children from the sex trafficking trade.


Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 days ago

Instead of getting greedy like a lot of big businesses, new Australian brand Little Change Creators has decided to promote responsible shopping by using Black Friday sales to offset product donations to well-deserving kids. It’s a great initiative and one that more brands should consider instead of fueling mass-consumerism!