With Black Friday upon us, many Brits are searching for an alternative to the annual retail madness.
As retailers gear up by offering ever more discounts on goods, here are six good things you can do instead of sharpening your elbows and digging out the deals.
1. Buy absolutely nothing
Since last year, a campaign advocating the purchase of zilch has grown ever more popular.
Buy Nothing Day’s website states: “Lock up your wallets and purses, cut up your credit cards and dump the love of your life - shopping!”
The people supporting it hope to curb consumerist culture and the waste generated by the mass shopping event.
Dr Kirsten Brodde of Greenpeace Germany explains: “Because it is so cheap, fast fashion is one of the highest selling product categories on Black Friday, with many major fashion brands and retail giants jumping on the bandwagon.
“Greenpeace has shown that fashion production uses lots of precious fresh water and pollutes rivers and seas with toxic chemicals, long before it hits the shelves. We are also consuming and trashing clothing at a far higher rate than our planet can handle.”
And by the looks of many stores this morning, it appears Britain may be heeding the advice.
2. Shop at a retailer giving something back
This year on Black Friday, retailer Patagonia will give 100% of global sales from its retail stores and website, Patagonia.com, to support grassroots environmental organisations.
3. Shop at an ethical store, and donate in the process
As well as offering 20% off everything, retailer EthicalSuperstore.com said it will donate an item to the UK’s busiest food bank for every order over £30.
4. Give some cash to charity
There are hundreds, if not thousands of deserving charities in the UK and abroad - all desperate for donations to help fund their hard work.
So instead of splurging on a 42” TV, why not donate to a charity of your choice.
Organisations campaigning for donations on Black Friday include World Jewish Relief, who have dubbed the day #LackFriday, as well as initiatives like no.gifts, which choose a charity project for you.
5. Shop at a charity shop
Singer Charlotte Church declared her intention to only shop at second-hand stores on Twitter early on Friday morning.
6. Visit a relative you’ve not seen in ages
If you don’t feel able to spend or donate and the idea of doing nothing on Black Friday doesn’t appeal either, why not take the time to visit someone you haven’t seen in ages.
Loneliness among the elderly is a particular issue, prompting an entire festive campaign by charity Age UK.
Marianne Hewitt, head of brand for Age UK, told The Huffington Post UK: “If you can get out and about and there’s someone you know who might not be able to it would be great if you can pay them a visit.
“But a phone call and giving someone a bit of time is important too - it can make such a big difference.
“You can volunteer for Age UK’s telephone befriending service and you can do this in your own time and have a really good conversation with someone.
“It can take a short while to get set up and matched with someone, but then you start calling them every week. It’s amazing how you can establish a friendship over the phone. Me and my lady talk about tennis.
“It’s certainly an issue throughout the year but it is in winter that people really think about it.”
You can find out more about Age UK’s telephone befriending service here.