Black Friday, the first Friday after Thanksgiving in America, which sees the dramatic temporary drop in prices across stores in a bid to force people to panic buy just as Christmas approaches. Black Friday began in 2006 and has been a growing international craze in recent years, but the sales are no longer limited to Friday, with many retailers continuing the sales over the weekend and recently rising Cyber Monday. Where the huge sales hit exclusively online, following on from the Black Friday madness to create a full weekend of bargains.
So what is the result of Black Friday?
The reality is, our relentless consumption is ruining the planet “Climate breakdown, soil loss, the collapse of habitats and species, the sea of plastic, insectageddon: are all driven by rising consumption.”
Beyond this, it sends consumers crazy, with customers camping outside stores the night before just to get that bit closer to the sales in the morning. The injuries and deaths that have occurred for the sake of a bargain is insane! A website titled Black Friday Death Count keeps track of all the deaths and injuries which occurred on this given day since Black Friday began in 2006.
Exploited workers remain victims during Black Friday
Amazon says that Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 was the biggest shopping day in their history. However the Amazon warehouse workers felt differently as the overworked employees in Europe protested against poor conditions and low wages - during Black Friday the circumstances do not change for these workers who have to handle these products at an immense speed. This is just the grievances of one company and one set of employees, I imagine that the effects of Black Friday hit workers internationally.
How much money are you really saving?
Which? spent a year looking at the price of products sold six months prior to Black Friday and six months following Black Friday and found that 87% of the Black Friday deal items were available at the same price or cheaper during other periods of the year, with a whopping 46% products found to be cheaper on at least one day in the six month following Black Friday.
Can you ease the problem?
Buy Nothing Day is campaign group that encourages you to “Lock up your wallets and purses, cut up your credit cards and dump the love of your life - shopping”, on the same day the Black Friday hits the stores. They promote the motto ‘ShopLessLiveMore’ and encourage minimum spending for economic and environmental reasons. Check out their website linked above to find out more!
Before you hit the sales in Black Friday next year, question whether you actually need too or not. If you do feel you want to indulge in your shopping habit, why not hit up one of your local independent chains? Amongst the chaos, small business suffer as they struggle to match the ridiculous price drops of larger chains, help locally while you can!