There is no better example of our country’s crazy consumerism than Black Friday and in more recent years, Cyber Monday. I’m not here to comment on the folks who lined up at stores for that 65” while I was still enjoying my Thanksgiving pie or those who logged in first thing Monday to skim the best Amazon deals.

What I can say, is that I was pleased to see some of my favorite brands taking a different approach, following in the footsteps of Patagonia. And why did they do this? They understand so well what will resonate with their audience and also what ladders up to their brand purpose.

Consider what impact you could make this holiday shopping season. With over 174 million Americans shopping during Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation, brands have the opportunity to garner extra brand loyalty and do real good.Click To Tweet

Let’s start with my hands-down favorite brand…. Everlane.

Scrolling through my Instagram feed Friday, I saw that this mainly online eco-conscious clothing store continued a tradition of a #BlackFridayFund which pledged to clean up a pound of plastic from beaches for every purchase. Their Instagram post read “we do Black Friday a bit differently than most” and highlighted it’s a way to give back on a day otherwise known for sales and consumption. This approach feels a bit like jumping ahead to Giving Tuesday, which hey… I’m down to support.

Then there’s all the minimalist brands I follow on the gram. They used the day to make a statement. Yes, they’d love your business but first they asked their customers to take stock of what was already at home before making a purchase. And then for gifts, they had some inspo for “meaningful gifts that aren’t things.” Talk about zero waste and it really did make me pause to rethink what I could offer to friends and family.

And on that minimalist note, let’s not forget about Cuyana. This start-up bag company based in California took the timely approach to #givebetter this holiday with 10% of their Black Friday proceeds going to a local wildfire fund.  I’m suprised not more Cali-based shops took this approach given the heartbreaking devastation in the area.

So what’s my advice to brands whether they’re big box retailers or start-ups?

Consider what impact you could make at a time when consumers are really listening and eager to make purchases. With over 174 million Americans shopping during this time according to the National Retail Federation, brands have the opportunity to not only garner extra brand loyalty, but to do some real good during the holiday season.

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