If you’re anything like me you’ll love a bargain. Black Friday is the ideal time to get that new dress or make up palatte or console you’ve had your eye on. But when we take a look at the facts, will we really want to be spending our hard earned money on unsustainable items?
So, before we take a look at how unsustainable Black Friday actually is, let’s take a look at how it effects you as a customer and as an employee.
Over a 100 injuries occur on Black Friday and 12 people have actually died since 2006 while shopping. Can you imagine being so desperate for a sale that your life actually depends on it? Not only is this horrific for the customer but imagine what the staff have to go through; late nights, early mornings and dealing with bloody rude customers.
Now that we’ve had a look at the cons for customers and staff, let’s take a look at the unsustainable side. It’s averaged that the UK will spend around £5.6 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. Think of the amount of Fast Fashion retailers taking part in this. The amount of clothes that will be bought and thrown to the back of the wardrobe without another thought; or tossed into landfill after one use. Think of how much time has gone into making these clothes from workers who aren’t even paid a minimum wage. As a country we have bought into this mindset of how we need the latest staple piece from Topshop or we need these amazing shoes from Missguided. The amount of clothes bought in the UK alone is astonishing.
However, there are some fashion retailers who are abandoning the tradition of Black Friday such as Monki. On their website they have written a statement about how they will not have any deals and they’ve called it “Black Fri-nay” which is kinda cliche but catchy if you ask me. To me, even though Monki is only rated as “It’s a start” on Good On You, I would much rather buy from a brand such as this than I would Pretty Little Thing, one of the worst fast fashion companies there is.
Did you know more than 83% of Black Friday shoppers say they would buy their items and gifts via mobile? It may be great for people who work or don’t want to be trampled by crowds, but in reality, it’s scary to think that a new pair of boots or a new tee is only a click away. Fast fashion retailers have so much power over their customers. There’s always a sale section, but Black Friday is their day to shine.
But why are we conditioned to want the latest item of clothing or the newest accessory? I read an interesting article recently about the Diderot Effect. “The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.” It makes sense that we buy items we don’t need, we just think we need to have them. This, to me, is how fast fashion retailers get us.
So, what can we do to boycott Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year?
For a start, do not give in to the deals you see pop up on your Facebook feed or click on a link to Boohoo deals that your best friend sent you. As hard as it can be if you’re new to the sustainable approach, you have to have some willpower.
Unsubscribe to retailers emails that will undoubtedly be sent to you today and Monday.
I recently noticed I still follow some fast fashion retailers on Facebook and finally got around to unliking the pages so there’s no temptation to look or support them in any way.
You can also create your own blog posts or share your thoughts on your social media channels.
There’s even events going on you can take part in. My sustainable friend Becky is speaking at an event this weekend. You can find the events here.
You can also support small businesses hosting black Friday deals such as etsy businesses or buy on depop or ebay. There’s still ways to get the deals you want, you just have to be more eco conscious!
What are you doing to boycott Black Friday?