Why you should buy small this Black Friday season

The coronavirus, as I’m sure you’re tired of hearing, has changed the world in more ways than one.

Since March 2020 has seen a tumultuous election, an unprecedented series of unfortunate events and severe destabilization of the economy. The stock market has had its ups and downs throughout the year. In recent months, in particular, small businesses have borne the brunt of this economic instability, and many have gone bankrupt in response to a sharp drop in business.

As someone who works with an abundance of small businesses and has worked behind the cashier during a big sale like Black Friday, I urge you to ditch the fast fashion mall retailers and shop small this weekend to support brands that really need this.

Fast Fashion and (environmental) economy

Fast fashion is one of the most deteriorating industries in the world, and big events like Black Friday funnel money to some of the world’s wealthiest businessmen to help them continue their destructive businesses.

The owner of Zara’s parent company, Inditex, Amancio Ortega, is the sixth-richest man in the world, and a look at Inditex’s history of public worker abuse lawsuits gives you a good enough reason not to want to put money in his pocket. Most environmentalists cite fast fashion as “one of the 5 most polluting industries in the world”, with thousands of tonnes of CO2 and textile waste dumped into streams and forests every day.

Fast fashion retailers depend on cheap labor and use sweatshops in small countries to get you clothes faster and faster. The impact of fast fashion on a regular scale is terrifying, but it only gets worse on Black Friday.

By buying from major retailers this Friday, you are heading towards those “high highs” and ignoring those “low lows”. This year’s Black Friday is especially important for small business owners who have struggled to keep their profit margin stable since the pandemic began, as companies like Amazon soared in profits.

The purpose of Black Friday is to maximize corporate profits, but do we really want to help and benefit companies that invest little in preserving our world? Small businesses need you to turn to them, especially now, to keep them going. They always have amazing sales, and the real people behind it will put their heart and soul into making sure any product you receive in your hand or in the mail is top notch.

What is a small business?

By small businesses, I don’t mean boutiques that sell to other fast fashion retailers.

Small businesses are a cohort of self-created and self-developed businesses that involve direct association with the production process through ownership. Maybe it’s a college student who started making jewelry in her dorm, or maybe it’s a girl who paints pictures, or a handmade and ethically produced clothing store. It’s essential to review their sustainability promise and anything they share about treating workers before you do your Black Friday shopping. If the company does not publicize its production process or sources, I encourage you to avoid them.

By buying small this year, you’re essentially giving the world a double whammy of goodwill: supporting local businesses and contribute to the creation of a better environment.

When I’m behind the checkout on Black Friday, I can tell you the smiles I see on the owner’s face when we make a sale. I can assure you that your money every Black Friday isn’t making Ortega dance happily, nor are you contributing to his livelihood.

Small businesses to watch

So in case you don’t know where to start on the small business front, here are a few I found that have amazing sales on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday and have amazing people who run them.


Raw & Rebel:

Raw & Rebellious is a handmade jewelry store in Atlanta, GA. Owner Sarah Smyth is very open about the production process of her business and has grown the business from scratch. She maintains a strong social media presence on Instagram and shows off stacks, new products and her design process. All this week she has amazing sales, each on different things in her store.

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Gypsy Jewels:

Also based in Georgia (I guess I’m biased), Gypsy Gems is short on Athens and has some of the coolest pieces. Their social media presence is also impeccable and they have a super unique and cool aesthetic. Last year, their Black Friday sale was 30% off, and I’m sure there will be some amazing deals this year too!

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Looking for places and brands to revamp your wardrobe this season?

Cool is a construct:

I’ve written about them before, but Cool is a Construct is very open about their production process and sells super cute vintage pieces that are super unique! Don’t hesitate to go discover them this Friday.

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There are plenty of small, sustainable clothing brands you can check out other than Cool is A Construct.

Most of them are also very present on social networks, so they will not be difficult to find if you look! Vintage stores are also a great idea; While their deals might not be as crazy as some fast fashion retailers, you’d have the satisfaction of knowing that your purchase didn’t contribute to pollution and the growing pockets of a corrupt businessman. . Awoke Vintage Brooklyn has moved most of its business to Instagram, and you know that not everything you buy contributes to a bigger carbon footprint.

Gifts/Other Things

Various things you might fall in love with this season!

Get Luvstruk:

Another Georgia-based brand (surprise, surprise) is a paint brand run by Hayley Ahuja in Athens. The paintings are perfect for a small gift for a friend.

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denim cum:

Selling everything from crewnecks to custom vintage shorts and jeans, Spunk Denim is a small company that only uses vintage jeans and tops, and all embroidery and patinas are done in-house by the owner. Spunk Denim holds a special place in my heart because I designed their website and the owner Allyson is super interactive with her customers. While I’m not sure “Spunk” is looking to do anything special for Black Friday, you should definitely check them out!

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Desi it’s me:

For all my Desi girls, Desi is Me is run by a student in California and has some of the most unique and simplistic lehengas for most occasions. The silhouettes are super flattering and the design and production processes are super transparent. If you’re looking for a lehenga for any occasion, even if it’s not Diwali season anymore, Desi is Me will be your new go-to store!

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Takeaway meals

There are so many small businesses looking to you as buyers to help them out in light of the current economic and general state of the world. Make an impact this Friday and shop small!