My Cart



We match every dollar donated to Take 3 For The Sea

ADD - $1

Black Friday, Australia’s First Green Friday Festival & Why We’re Donating 100% Of Our Profits To Invest In All Our Futures

Posted on


Black Friday is a 20th Century shopping tradition that’s lasted the decades, fuelled by impressive marketing and tribal drivers.

We’re reinventing and reusing the idea of Black Friday to lead Australia’s first Green Friday Festival to encourage mindful and conscious Christmas shopping, while donating all our profits over a three-week period with the goal of planting 50,000 trees to invest in our future.

We owe it to our children, the future generations and our planet to reinvent events like Black Friday for the greater good.

Read on for the history of Black Friday, why our brains love a bargain, and how we’re recycling the idea for a better tomorrow.


Black Friday was coined in the United States, famed for its timely pairing with roast turkey, pumpkin pie and all things that come with Thanksgiving.

Myths and stories surround the origin of Black Friday, some dating back to the 1800s.

But the true tale isn’t as quaint as that - it’s another post-war-behaviour meets dirty-marketing-tactic that’s survived more than 60 years, carried by the wave of our 20th-Century love affair with buying more and more and more ‘stuff’.


In the 1950s, across the United States, crowds of shoppers began descending on the cities from the suburbs the day after Thanksgiving; the cold, autumnal day fuelled by the festivities of a Thursday feast and lit with the excitement of a bargain ahead of Christmas.

But not everyone experienced the same joy.

The police were required to work long days away from their families to manage the gaggles of people on the sidewalks, the ill-parked cars and the mayhem of the crowds.

In Philadelphia, the police started using the term ‘Black Friday’ to describe what they’d have to face at work the day after Thanksgiving.

Merchants got wind of the term and, worried about the negative connotation, in 1961, ignited a mass push to rebrand the day as ‘Big Friday’.

It didn’t catch on.

Black Friday stuck and spread, and the marketing devils worked it, expanding a one-day fling into a four-day event of buying madness.


Imagine yourself living in the 1950s. You’d have experienced an era of war; in the generations that went without.

Without nourishment, without possessions, without guarantee, without freedom. The world around you enters a new era.

The economy is beginning to mend, families are booming and you’re beginning to experience choice and freedom.

You went without and now the ads are telling you that you can have more. The ads are showing you how happy you can be. The ads are promising there’s success and freedom to be gained in the act of spending.

Life in the 1950s and 60s, across western culture, was all about more.

And that more was driven by the marketing teams in the Madison Avenues of the world, fuelling consumption for the sake of their own pockets, not because it was going to heal the pains and desires of the preceding decades as promised to the consumer.

Mad Men, A Television Series About A Madison Avenue Marketing Company, Black FridayMad Men, A Television Series About A Madison Avenue Marketing Company


Did you know that shopping was invented?
Back in the oldies, only the wealthy had tons of ‘stuff’ and they didn’t shop for it.

Their clothes were tailored, their art was commissioned, they inherited household items and heirlooms and got bragging rights for quality, longevity, well-made, sturdy pieces that would outlive them.

Enter: this guy and the birth of the department store.

Harry Gordon Selfridge, The Founder Of Selfridges & Co., Black FridayHarry Gordon Selfridge, The Founder Of Selfridges & Co. On Oxford Street, London

Suddenly, women who had been waiting on the wealthy, surrounded by their beautiful stuff, could browse the same beautiful stuff and imagine themselves owning it, wearing it, and sharing the experience and expression of it.

Department stores changed everything. They made stuff accessible. To everyone.

People weren’t (and often still aren’t) buying things because they needed them. They were buying the way they made them feel.


Quite simply: the fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.1


We can’t help it. It’s tribal. We have a deep need as humans to fit in with the gang. We don’t want to be the one left out, left hanging, left last. It’s lizard-brain survival messing with our 21st Century surroundings. It’s all out of whack and totally confused.

We need to create a new experience that we fear to miss; a new normal that we aspire to fit into: a greener expression.


The reality is that you don’t become more successful in consuming more, and shopping doesn’t quench the ever-knocking feeling of FOMO coming from lizard brain for very long.

Unfortunately, mass ‘buy, buy, buy’ events like Black Friday do two things:

  1. They support our supply chains to continue to make more of the things we don’t need, and to sell them at a price that impacts the social and environmental ethics of a product’s development.

  2. They fuel a culture of over-consumption that delivers more waste than is needed, into a waste system that’s overloaded and unable to deal with it, resulting in the pollution of soil and water systems.

  3. They deliver all the profits back to big corporate and marketing companies whose bonuses get bigger the more stuff they shift.

    It can’t continue.

    We don’t have another hundred years to play with.

    Black Friday is an event that needs turning on its head. The idea and the tradition need rethinking, recycling and reusing to drive greater good and tackle the wrong-doings its currently fuelling. Because it doesn’t have to be an evil affair.


    • During Black Friday 2017, more than AU$200 million was spent in Australia, more than to £1 billion was spent in the U.K., and more than US$5 billion was spent in the U.S.

    • Black Friday increases air pollution, with an additional 82,000 diesel delivery vans estimated to be out on the UK roads alone to fulfil orders, with plastic toys and short- living electronic goods among the most popular purchases.

    • Black Friday-fuelled Christmas shopping also contributes to the vast amount of waste discarded at this time of year. Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging was thrown away and not recycled in the UK last Christmas – which is more than the weight of 3.3 million Emperor penguins.

    • US shoppers expect to spend US$1,007.24 each! Of that, $637.67 is spent on gifts, $215.04 on food and decorations, and $154.53 on promotions. 

    • All this frenzy is created with an average discount of 23%.




      We founded The Clean Collective to identify solutions that would drive positive social and environmental change in our everyday purchases, habits and traditions.

      We know Black Friday has become a part of the Christmas shopping process, and while we believe the holiday is about more presence and less presents, gift-giving is a deep-rooted human tradition.

      We’re not going to boycott it, we’re going to work with it, because it’s far more effective to turn the tide by flowing with it, rather than swimming against it.

      • Imagine if every gift we purchased this year drove a positive social and environmental impact.

      • Imagine if our gifts nurtured our bodies and the planet, came with a ‘quality over quantity’ bragging rights, and gave back to a greater cause.

      • Imagine if our gifts were so useful and so kind they were never wasted or discarded.

      • Imagine if businesses donated their profits to invest in our future. Wouldn’t that be the evolution of Black Friday that we need?
      Australia's Green Friday Festival, Reinventing Black Friday


        From 11th November – 26th December we’re running our 46 Conscious Days Of Christmas campaign where we’ll be sharing tips, tricks and solutions to help you create a conscious,better-impact Christmas. From gift giving to decorations, food preparation to food waste –stay tuned!

        Australia’s First Green Friday Festival

        To help you get natural and plastic-free gifts that are equal amounts of useful and damn cool, we’re offering you up to 20% off sitewide from 12 November to 2 December - before, during and after the Black Friday weekend - in Australia’s first Green Friday Festival.

        This three-week time frame means there’s no need to rush – you can consciously and mindfully choose your Christmas gifts, unlike the craziness of a Black Friday hustle.

        To reward your eco-gifting efforts, when you order over $300 in a single purchase, we’ll add a $20 gift voucher to your parcel – an extra treat for you, or another Christmas gift to share!

        To drive even bigger impact, during this time, we’re donating 100% of our profits to planting trees! Our aim is to plant 50,000 trees as a community, delivering Australia’s first Green Friday Festival.

        The impact of 50,000 trees

        Trees are the lungs of our planet. Planting more trees is one of the most impactful things we can do for our environment.

        When planted in the right areas, over the right timeline, 50,000 trees will:

        • Absorb the amount of C02 equal to driving a car 32,500,000 miles - that’s the equivalent of driving from Perth to Sydney and back 664 times!

        • Release enough oxygen to sustain 100,000 humans.

        • Reduce runoff caused by rainfall by up to 50,000,000 gallons.

        • Contribute to other environmental impacts, such as promoting insect and plant species biodiversity, composting, organic farming practices; improving climate change resilience; ending soil degradation and farmer-based deforestation; reforesting landscapes; conserving local forests and animal habitats; and recharging groundwater tables.
        Jacinta Arden, the incredible Prime Minister of New Zealand has committed to planting 1 billion trees with the New Zealand industry between 2018 and 2027, averaging 100 million news trees per year over a 10-year period.

        "It is my responsibility to take a lead role on climate change," Jacinta says.

        "My challenge to you all is to join us on that journey and leave a legacy we can all be proud of... we owe it to ourselves, our children and future generations [to mitigate the effects of climate change]”.

        We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

        We urge you to take part in the Green Friday Festival; to shop consciously with us this Christmas and to join our community mission to turn a black 20th Century tradition into a brighter, greener festival for our future.



        • environmentalists
        • environmentalists


        By Charlie Thompson

        Charlie Thompson is the Cofounder and CEO of The Clean Collective, a toxin-free and waste-less shop and community. The Clean Collective was founded on the belief that even the tiniest change, when made together, can result in a huge, champagne-popping difference to the world. You can join them on Facebook (@cleancollective) and Instagram (@thecleancollective) for chemical-free and zero-waste tips, tricks and solutions.

        What Interests You?

        Connect With Us

        Explore Our Site

         -  -
         -  -
         -  -
         -  -
         -  -

        Hello You!

        Join our mailing list