Yes, It Is Possible To Shop Black Friday Mindfully

Your indispensable 10 step guide to keeping your cool and avoiding (expensive) mistakes.

black friday 2021

by Laura Antonia Jordan |
Updated on

Discounts can do the strangest things to us – throw in the words ‘for a limited time only’ and you’re on an express train to an expensive mistake. Trust me, I know. Some of my greatest sale fails: shoes (so many) I can’t – and will never – walk in, jeans I can’t breathe in, a high-vis yellow trench coat (useful if I ever go into crowd control), a white suede Balmain top that, while fabulous on the hanger, was over ambitious for a stain-prone person like me (luckily white suede is easy to clean. Oh, wait…). But I’ve also had triumphs: black tailored trousers from The Row that elevate any look, jewellery I wear every day without fail, a Loewe dress that I lusted after months before I snapped it up - at a 40% off discount. Sometimes the shopping stars align. This Black Friday, as the discounts and sale alerts come flooding in, keep your cool and shop consciously by following these simple steps.

1) Set a budget

Simple: if you can’t afford it, it’s not a bargain. Set yourself a time limit too, the bombardment of emails and targeted ads means you could easily lose a day to trawling through websites. And we’ve all spent enough time as it is glued to our screens this year.

2) Plan ahead

Ideally, you’ll already have wishlisted the pieces you want. If you haven’t, then just think about the pieces you really feel your wardrobe is missing. Sure, a psychedelic kaftan might look fun but before you add to basket – pause, be honest – are you really going to wear that? (I admire you, by the way, if you are).

3) Don’t feel pressured

It’s the limited-time only! urgency of Black Friday that can lead many of us astray. If you’re not sure, then wait – sometimes the discounts get even better.

4) Look for brands giving back

Look, the most sustainable way to shop is not to shop at all. If you’re going to, then seek out brands that are using this as an opportunity to give back. Baukjen and Isabella Oliver have ‘swapped deals for deeds’ this Black Friday, and will be donating 100% of profits to charity. AllBirds are hosting a Green Friday, going against the grain by raising prices on all products by £1. For every piece sold, the brand will match it by a pound, with the money raised donated to Fridays For Future, the youth-led international climate movement founded by Greta Thunberg.

5) Support small and independent brands

OK, so the high-street and luxury retailers have some great deals this Black Friday. But independent labels are also getting in on the action. In a year when many of these brands have struggled to stay afloat, consider this an excellent opportunity to support them.

6) Invest in classics

Another way to shop more sustainably (not just for the environment, but for your wardrobe too) is to commit to pieces you know you’re destined to be in a committed relationship with. On your hit list then: tailoring, shirts, cashmere jumpers, classic coats. Think too about the things you’ll really get use out of, which right now probably means a luxe tracksuit and workout gear. Proceed with extreme caution around trends – they’ll probably be dated by the time you can actually take them out for a twirl again.

7) Get that special piece

Had your eye on something special? Now is your time (see: the aforementioned Loewe dress, even sweeter when you get it as a discount).

8) Rent!

If you’ve spent the past few months cleaning out your closet, there’s no reason to clog it up now. Rental services like OnLoan are offering discounts on their subscriptions.

9) Get your Christmas presents now

The big win for Black Friday is the timing: pre-Christmas. Consider this your golden opportunity to stock up on presents now. And, yes, treating yourself counts as a good act too.

10) Buddy up!

If you like shopping with other people (personally, I don’t. I am a solitary shopper who likes to be responsible for her own mistakes) then find someone to shop with. You’ll have to do that remotely this year, so an ‘Honest Opinions Only Plz’ WhatsApp group is the way forward.


SHOP: The Best Black-Owned Businesses To Shop From This Black Friday

Kazvare Made It1 of 11

Kazvare Made It

My first recommendation is homeware and stationary brand Kazvare Made It. Whether you're organising a colouring in party, or are looking for the coolest pop culture cards, wrapping and homeware in town, Kazvare Made It has you covered with everything you need to start this season with a grin! I have my eye on the All Star Playing Cards, and the Cats Love Beyonce colouring book!

We Are Nomads2 of 11

We Are Nomads

For beautifully curated handmade interior accessories, homewares and vintage finds, inspired by the founder's travels to Africa and beyond, head right on over to We Are Nomads. If you feel like staying in and snuggling up with a good book, we love this rustic striped cushion to jazz up any chair.

Charlotte Mensah3 of 11

Charlotte Mensah

If you're in the mood to feel pampered, check out Charlotte Mensah's range of hair products, from shampoos and conditioners, to oils and deep nourishing masks, Mensah has everything you need to feel taken care of as the nights draw in.



Staying with self care, Soap Smith's products in their beautiful packaging and gift boxes offer much more than your usual Christmas bath set. This Black, female founded business has soaps and bath soaks, named after and inspired by different areas of London. They have just launched their dirty sugar scent and cobbled streets of Columbia Road, and I can't wait to try it.

Puff Puff Ministry5 of 11

Puff Puff Ministry

Puff Puffs, small fried dough balls, might sound simple, but Puff Puff Ministry takes them to a whole new level. Founded by a group of Black British sisters, and using their mothers recipe, Puff Puff Ministry are on a mission to bring the joy of puff puff to households across the UK. They're available for National UK delivery, and whilst everything looks great, their vegan Biscoff box looks out of this world.

House Of Cinn6 of 11

House Of Cinn

House of Cinn's cinnamon rolls not only smell and taste good, they do good too - because as well as selling the most decadent cinnamon rolls, they are also a social enterprise using cinnamon goodies to help the homeless. They offer nationwide delivery on boxes of their buns, sign up for notifications about restocking.

Sanchou2019s7 of 11


Sancho's, a sustainable and ethical fashion & lifestyle shop, really has curated a little something for everyone. From men's and women's clothing, to stocking fillers, jewellery and homeware - whatever you need, Sancho's has it! For Christmas stocking fillers I love their scented room spray, and Christmas Cracker Candle. You can shop their Zero Waste line, or even their Transparent Pricing 'pay what you can' collection, where the lowest price covers just the cost of the item and shipping it to you, the middle price pays for the item and covers their overheads such as the shop, bills and staff wages, and the top price covers all of this with a bit more to invest into the future of Sancho's so that they can continue to grow as an ethical and sustainable business. Remember that if you're able to spend more, you're giving someone who might need some help, the opportunity to spend less - a nice way to share the love this festive season.

Mythical Canvas8 of 11

Mythical Canvas

Mythical Canvas unlocks children's creativity through art, by allowing children to customise and bring their drawings to life by customising their very own pair of canvas shoes. You can buy fabric pens alone, or combo packs of canvas shoes and fabric pens, to have a creative Christmas! 10% from every purchase goes towards providing art packs for vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

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Sammi Maria

Sammi Maria Jewellery is a beautiful, Black owned jewellery brand, that doesn't break the bank in a year where finances have been hard for many. Sammi Maria makes jewellery inspired by different cities in the world, with a 'laid back, city girl' style.

Afrocenchix Soothe Natural Scalp Oil10 of 11
CREDIT: Afrocenchix


The scalp oil is the very first product created by Afrocenchix founders Joycelyn and Rachael after they both suffered from traction alopecia. They formulated the scalp oil to help grow their hair back. It relieves itchiness, helps prevent a dry scalp and is eczema friendly. Afrocenchix began after an endless quest to find the perfect healthy products finally ended when founders Joycelyn and Rachael decided to start creating our own line.

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Feathers and Wings

The final brand that I want to give a platform to, on this Blackest Black Friday is Feathers and Wings, a jewellery studio based in London, specialising in fine jewellery and demi-fine jewellery. All of their pieces are handcrafted by Black female founder, and metalsmith Jane Bannor, who creates sustainable and ethical rings, necklaces, jewellery and bracelets using recycled gold, recycled silver and gold-fill. She has everything from incredibly delicate, low cost pieces like the Rose Gold Radiance Stacker, to captivating necklaces, and pieces available for customisation - perfect for gifting.

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