A few months ago, I went on Instagram to chat about the Catch 22 of fashion blogging. One of the main elements I touched on was the pressure to be constantly creating new content, keeping up with the hottest trends. A pressure, that so many of us in the age of social media, that we NEED the latest thing, that we must constantly be buying MORE MORE MORE in order to keep up with the impossible race of comparison. I’ve been aiming to be more mindful, both as a blogger and a consumer since. The festive season is just around the corner and we’re never more bombarded with advertisements than in December. Black Friday is in less than 48 hours and I low key want to hide until my bed. Not because I’m boycotting shopping but because, I’m actually set to work that day and I’m somewhat concerned I’ll be swept away in a tidal wave of sale-chasers. With that in mind, I’ve written this little guide on how to survive
the Apocalypse Black Friday this year. Mindful shopping, going local and savvy spending, mean you can work the sales not have the sales work you.
First thing first: is your head in the game? Shopping Black Friday and holiday sales is helpful when you have concrete goals in mind. Otherwise it’s easy to throw all caution to the wind, feverishly buying because everyone around you has lost their mind over 60% off Thermomix and 40 dollar Lulu Lemon leggings. Once you go over that cliff it’s not easy to reel yourself back in. In the words of financial Queen Emma of The Broke Generation, if you splurge $1000 on $3000 of rubbish you wouldn’t have bought full price, you haven’t saved $2000, you’ve spent $1000. You know when you get stuck behind a gaggle of slow walkers in the city, and you’re just trying to get from point A to point B and you think that the universe might just be out to get you? Mindless shopping is to your bank account what inept tourists are for your morning commute- it completely throws everything off the rails. Shopping Black Friday is about mindset and investing in items that you would be happy to buy at full price. For me that includes stocking up on skincare that I swear by, dreamy candles and other classic gifts, chic cashmere sweaters that will be a staple for winter workwear or replacing those boots that were on their last legs. For example, one of the only brands on my radar this Black Friday is Mejuri. Their everyday luxury jewelry is a stylish investment, at accessible prices and some little birds have passed along that they wouldn’t mind finding a certain pair of earrings under the Christmas tree. I’ve been both a paying customer with Mejuri and received gifted products and they always deliver impeccable style and value. You aren’t shopping, you’re investing.
With that in mind, my biggest suggestion is to shop outside of sales. Two brands I really admire, Everlane and The Little Deer instead give up a percentage of their Black Friday weekend sales to charity. For full transparency, I was recently lucky enough to work with Everlane for an Instagram post. It was a total pinch-me moment when they first reached out because I’ve admired them for ages for their quality designs and ethical fashion. The campaign was about going the Extra Mile for the holidays and honestly, I’ve never worked with a brand that takes that idea more to heart. Everlane doesn’t offer sales because it often encourages a wasteful consumption model. Instead they offer a ‘Choose What You Pay’ collection, which allows you to choose your price on overstocked items. Hovering over the three price options will tell you what each covers: 30% off the original covers the basics, 20% off original covers the basics + percent for office overhead and 10% off original price covers the basics + office overhead + future product development. It’s a clever alternative to flash sales as it’s available year round and really shines a light on the fashion industry. Every November Everlane fundraises for a charitable cause; and with their transparent prices and supply chain, you’re guaranteed to feel good about anything you buy. For anyone who’s traded fashion for furniture this year, The Little Deer offers a curated collection of homeware and furnishings. Whether you’re head over heels for bohemian, or just want to dabble, their beautifully crafted pieces give a warm, welcoming feel to a space. Based in Brighton, they also handcraft industrial style furniture from copper, iron and wood. This year they will be donating 20% of their Black Friday weekend profits to Mind, a charity that raises awareness for mental health. You may have also noticed both of these lovely brands have handy websites- so you can shop from the safety of your couch and within arm’s distance of a slice of leftover pie. Sounds like a win, right?
Finally, skip Black Friday altogether and go straight for Small Business Saturday. Supporting local or small businesses mean that your purchase makes a direct impact. It all the chaos of sales and the holidays, the little guys can get drowned out by big corporate marketing campaigns. (You will tear the John Lewis Christmas advertisement from my cold dead hands, but I still can recognize the advantage they have over small businesses). Pop down to the boutiques, buy tickets for local theatre’s production of The Nutcracker or check out handmade gifts on Etsy if you don’t have a crafty side yourself. Two small businesses I will be supporting this festive season are Audrey Leighton Vintage and By Milaner. The Queen of curating, I am vibrating with excitement for Audrey’s December capsule launch on Sunday. By Milaner’s ethically made leather goods make me straight up SWOON. This bag in particular has left me speechless. It’s. So. Gorgeous. And. Classic. Small business is where it’s at, I’m telling you.
Shopping doesn’t have to be a free-fall. I’m saying this as a self-confessed maximalist (I tried minimal for a while and got bored). I’ve found that getting the most out of my purchases by choosing thoughtful luxury and sustainable brands means more than finishing Black Friday with a car full of shopping bags. Leave the dramatic gestures and over the top moments to the cheesy Christmas movies we all love to watch. You know the kind, where the polished, workaholic, city girl has to be reminded about the true meaning of joy, love and the holidays preferably by a hunky and down-to-earth small town guy who for no logical reason whatsoever spends his free time chopping wood shirtless… (alternatively he may be a Prince of totally NOT FAKE small European country). I prefer my Black Friday drama to come from a cozy afternoon watching telenovelas and Hallmark films, not fighting over the last pair of size 8s or fainting when I look at my bank balance the next day.