Green is the new black, as environmental and economic motivation combines this festive season, to prompt staying local with our purchasing decisions.

Champion Green is calling on shoppers to make it a Green Friday on November 26th next, buying online or in-person with local and Irish businesses. The campaign is encouraging consumers to think about sustainable communities and jobs, and its backers have the following advice for savvy green shoppers.


With more people expected to shop online in the lead up to Green Friday and Christmas, it’s important to do so safely.  Visa, supporters of Champion Green, have shared these top tips:

  • Use a safe and easy way to identify yourself:If it’s an option, set up identification methods like fingerprints or facial recognition on your phone and within your banking apps. This will give you a quick, easy, and safe way to prove it’s you that’s making the payment.
  • Look for the “s” –When paying online, look for the padlock icon when browsing and check the URL to ensure it begins with “https://”. The “s” at the end indicates a secure connection. Additionally, check that the web page address doesn’t contain spelling errors or strange characters.
  • Be on the alert – Check your statements regularly for any unusual or suspicious transactions. Be mindful of publicly sharing information that identifies you – like your address – and never share your PINs or passwords with anyone.  Tell your bank if you spot unusual payments that you do not think you’ve made.
  • Beware of phishing scams –Be careful of unsolicited and suspicious emails or phone calls from those trying to steal personal information, like your account number, username and password. Most financial institutions never request financial information from you out of the blue, so avoid clicking on any links or downloading files sent to you in a text or email.


An Post is a Champion Green partner, highlighting the ‘shop local’ message in Post Offices and through a Champion Green postmark on mail.   The national postal service also provides affordable delivery options for SMEs’ e-commerce trade. 

Advice for sensible shopping includes;

  • Following customs changes this summer, online shoppers can be hit for VAT and customs duty on purchases from outside the EU, including Great Britain, so check where the seller is based.
  • Be aware of fraudulent messages about duty payable. The website can help identify legitimate messages from An Post, and also gives some handy advice about scams and encourages scam awareness.
  • Gifts below the value of €45 (including postage) from non-EU countries require valid electronic customs data, but do not require any customs or VAT to be paid. If it’s a lower value gift, ensure those posting it complete their forms properly to indicate this.
  • Check where the retailer is located before you shop. The website address may end
  • in ‘.ie’ but the retailer could be outside the EU. Check for advice.  The website also has useful tips on franked mail and affordable delivery options for SMEs’ e-commerce trade.


Sustainability is important environmentally and also means preserving living local communities, Evelyn Moynihan, the Kilkenny Design CEO who helps run the Champion Green campaign, says.

  • By supporting the local producers, makers and independent shops and businesses that make Ireland unique, we are preserving an important aspect of our identity and culture.
  • Local shopping also helps reduce waste, emissions and air-miles.
  • It’s quick and easy to buy gift vouchers for local shopping and services, from meals out to beauty treats to gym memberships, either online, over the phone or in-person.
  • Discover a priceless unique treasure by commissioning local art or design work
  • Local employers should think local when deciding corporate gifts or staff bonuses
  • Buy a spring staycation voucher or gift event tickets to family and friends; everyone needs something to look forward to!
  • Share your great local purchases and recommendations on social media, and link to for amazing local businesses to back!

Smaller businesses have invested in excellent online shopping and instore retail experiences, so Green Friday organisers are encouraging people to consciously seek out local retailers and service providers online for their holiday shopping.

For true quality that gives back to your community, shop instore locally or on an Irish website. Spending with global multi-nationals can incur extra duty and possible supply chain delays, so love local is the message for a happier Christmas for everyone”, Marian O’Gorman, Champion Green founder and Kilkenny Design Chairman, advises.

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