Thursday, 22 November 2018

Why I Won’t Be Buying Into Black Friday

Today is Black Friday but I won’t be buying anything. For me I find this day to be a sad day. Here in the UK we used to watch in horror as videos from the U.S showed hoards of crowds surging into shops at 6am, trampling each other under foot and elbowing each other out the way just for a discounted TV. We laughed at the Americans weird tradition of discounting everything before Christmas. And then it came over here. 

I’m not quite sure exactly what year the Black Friday sales started to appear but soon everywhere you looked there were promises of huge discounts and great savings on things we hadn’t even really thought about buying. 

We live in a consumerist culture where we are repeatedly sold material things by advertisers telling us they will somehow give us a better life. If only you had that TV, or that new dress, then you’d be happy. The catch being that as soon as you have that one thing there is always ten more things popping up to supposedly fulfil you. For me Black Friday is the epitome of this. Just a few weeks before Christmas, a day where most of us will receive multiple sparkly brand new things, we’ve decided to have a day to buy ourselves loads of extra stuff too. It is pure consumerism at its best. 

This Black Friday I urge you to think about our planet. I urge you to look at the fact that if we in the West continue to consume at the rate we are going then we will need three more earths to produce at that level. I urge you to think how is it possible a dress that only yesterday cost £40 is now only £15. I urge you to remember that nothing is ever free, some one somewhere is paying for you to buy discounted goods. They are most likely a she, they have most likely worked a 16 hour day and they have most likely not been paid a fair wage or at all. 

Events like Black Friday are exactly what is keeping us from a fairer world where people are given the basic human right of earning enough to feed, clothe and house themselves. We as consumers demand a day to buy at discount, the brands therefore demand a lower price for their products from factories and the factory owners order the workers to work for less. Your actions have consequences and never believe otherwise. 

If there is genuinely something you’ve been desperately needing and wanting for a long time, perhaps a winter coat or a party dress than I realise it makes sense to buy it now at a more affordable price. But please do not just buy for the sake of buying because it is on sale. Buy things that you love and will treasure for a long time to come. 

Many of my favourite brands are doing wonderful things this year. People Tree have shared much about how they offer discounts and how it won’t adversely effect their partners. Thought are giving away a percentage of sales to charity. Fatface are also giving money away from sales to their own foundation that supports many charities. I love these alternatives to Black Friday and I urge you if you are to buy something please buy from a brand that is doing something more. 

Instead of Black Friday, this year I will be supporting the Make Smthng campaign. A campaign that encourages us not to buy something new but to make something. I love to knit, so I will be carrying on with my latest knitting project and enjoying the sense of satisfaction that comes with creating something with love that really matters. 

How will you spend your Black Friday? 

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