November 20, 2021

Black Friday shopping guide: Shop here, not there

Written by valeria

Saving Money

The time is upon us again--- early alarms, long lines, and highlighted lists---it's Black Friday week. Traditionally known for its hectic crowds, limited inventory, and much anticipated deals, it is a whirlwind of hope, disappointment, patience, and the lack thereof. But what if you didn't have to put up with any of it? What if instead, you chose to support small businesses? Let us show you how.

small business

Shop here for...clothes

If you're hoping to snag some deals for matching sweatsuit sets, or cozy sweaters for the cooler season, then there are a lot more options available than fighting over your size in a mall store. And bonus: all of these are also ethical and sustainable businesses, so not only are you saving yourself a headache, you're also helping to save the planet.

Pact:  High quality organic fabric with basic, every-day pieces for the whole family (toddlers and children included).

tonlé: committed to a zero waste philosophy, this company uses reclaimed materials for their more abstract and unique pieces. And if you don't fully love them, or outgrow them, you can even send them back to avoid the dreaded landfill.

Girlfriend Collective: If the past year has taught us anything, it's not to underestimate the power and versatility of activewear. Girlfriend Collective is a company that is passionate about two things: sustainable, eco-friendly fashion and inclusive sizing. Here, you will find a range of activewear, underwear, and loungewear meant to fit any type of body, with 100% eco-friendly packaging and quality, recycled materials. In other words, a true win-win.

Shop here

Not only is big box store jewelry expensive, it's also not exactly unique. If you're looking to truly wow that someone in your life ---and do it on a much more manageable budget---then check out these small businesses.

Italic: While this business didn't exclusively start off as a jewelry store, it has recently expanded to include it, and we'll tell you why that's a big deal. Italic is actually an online retailer where you can find clothing, handbags, home goods, and more that are made in the same factories as designers like Miu Miu and Prada — just without the label and for a fraction of the price. So you know that the pieces you find here will be luxurious, and you can snag them for under $200.

Star Crossed: If you're shopping for someone a little younger  ---say, the teen in your life---then Star Crossed is one of our top recommendations. Featuring unique, trendy pieces that can be purchased for under $20 (and won't tarnish), this young company will do them, or your wallet, no wrong.

Montserrat: Whether you're looking for a statement piece or something more classic, you can find them here amongst their large collection, with many listed at under $100.

Shop here

The thought alone of the crowds and sample testers at an Ulta or Sephora this weekend makes me shiver all over. If you feel the same---and want to find something that can't be easily found anywhere else---then check out these indie makeup brands instead.

Rude cosmetics: If you ---or the person you're getting this for---likes color and personality, then this is the makeup brand of your dreams. Highly pigmented, cruelty-free, and vegan, these formulas are fun, blendable, and let you truly explore your own creativity, without limiting you to theirs.

Realher: If the founding story of this company doesn't get you---created as the ultimate gift from a father to his daughter----then its products and message certainly will. Realher is committed to empowering women, with positive affirmations as product names and shades rather than the traditional crude descriptions. They're also transparent about their donations to various non profit organizations that support community and female empowerment. Not to mention that the products themselves are gorgeous.

Sigma Beauty: This is a brand that's very close to breaking out from indie status into mainstream status, so definitely a worthwhile mention. Their selection is broad, their ingredients are clean, and they even have 40% deals for Black Friday. What more could you ask for?

While we wish that we could give small business suggestions for the most sought after industry --- tech--- those video game consoles and new laptops will just have to be bought the more traditional way. But if you do end up snagging a new phone this holiday season, keep in mind that your now old one can still be repurposed, and maybe even passed down, with a $5 SIM card from TextNow. Activate it with your old phone, and have access to unlimited calling and texting wherever you go, even without WiFi, for free.And if you have your own list of small business you think should be supported this shopping season, list them in the comments below!