A national campaign encouraging consumers to buy Irish goods on one of the busiest shopping days of the year - the last Friday in November - has been launched. 

The "Green Friday" campaign aims to encourage people to shop locally and support Irish brands and businesses this Christmas. 

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events have been enthusiastically embraced by consumers here, with more than €50m spent over the course of the weekend last year.

But this November 29, the Green Friday campaign will ask people to think of the local economy, support jobs and help nurture the country's creative community, manufacturers and service providers by buying Irish.

The new initiative is led by Marian O'Gorman, CEO of retail group Kilkenny and is backed by trade associations including the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Retail Excellence, Chambers Ireland.

The Small Firms Association and Irish brands and retail businesses countrywide are also behind the campaign.

Brands and businesses are being encouraged to market their products under the Green Friday banner this Christmas, highlighting the value of shopping locally. 

With Brexit uncertainty and trade tariffs lingering, now, more than ever, we need to reawaken people to the significance of buying Irish and shopping local, Marian O'Gorman said at the campaign launch today in Dublin. 

"Irish brands and designers are second to none, with many that are leaders on a world stage. We, as consumers, need to appreciate the fundamental fact that by keeping money in circulation in our own communities, we are protecting jobs and public services," Ms O'Gorman said. 

Up to €4.65 billion will be spent by Irish consumers during the Christmas period, based on research by Retail Ireland.

"Irish consumers are seeing more and more how buying locally-made products from Ireland's designers and makers is an inspired choice that helps our economy and our environment," said Brian McGee, Market Development Director, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. 

SFA Director Sven Spollen-Behrens said that Christmas can add a major economic impetus when shoppers back small businesses and help maintain jobs. 

"If each adult spent just €20 extra in small local businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €73m for small firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres," he added.