How to ‘Better’ Your Black Friday
Say it with us: Black Friday sucks. As the conscious consumer movement has gained speed, we’ve gone from counting down the days until Black Friday hits, to doing everything in our power to rid ourselves of it.
This day of capitalistic opportunity began in the ‘80s and has since grown into the behemoth shopping day that lives across the United States today. But when you get down to brass tacks, the deals of black friday don’t amount to anything more than the deals offered throughout the rest of the year. Not to mention, when brands cut corners to make their products cheaper for you, the world and our most vulnerable communities suffer. So, what’s the point?
WHERE DID BLACK FRIDAY COME FROM?
The origins of this day have a dark history, mainly stemming from the 1960s when Philadelphia streets were riddled with frenzied attendees of the big Army-Navy football game held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Philly police dreaded this chaotic day and the traffic jams that came with it, so they coined the term ‘Black Friday’. Nothing to do with shopping! Who knew? It wasn’t until the ‘80s that the Black Friday we know and loathe took retailers by storm. In an effort to increase profits and put a positive spin on this day of disarray, brands began launching promos and sales that would ensure steady profit margins for the last quarter of the year.
And so, Black Friday was born. Decades later, in 2005, the world wide web and online shopping brought us Black Friday’s readily-available-and-equally-evil-twin, ‘Cyber Monday.’ Oh, (evil twin) brother.
This year, there are so many ways you can choose to opt-out of Black Friday’s chaos… but we’ll just name a few.
AT HOME OR IN-STORE: DON’T SHOP AT ALL
The only way to avoid the pitfalls of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are to do just that: avoid them altogether. In years past, big names like REI and Jones Snowboards have given up Black Friday by encouraging their customers to enjoy the great outdoors in lieu of shopping all weekend long. Sign us up.
Avoiding in-store purchasing in 2020 seems a bit obvious, but to be crystal clear: don’t be part of the shopping mob this year. We’re pretty sure your friends and family will understand why you chose to distance yourself from frenzied shoppers in the middle of a pandemic.
Make a donation on behalf of a family member, friend, or just do it for you! Talk to your friends and family about the issues that matter to them most. Need a nudge in the right direction? We got you:
Keep in mind, these are just recommendations. If we listed all of the incredible organizations working to save this planet, we’d be here all day… be sure to spend some time researching the environmental organizations most meaningful to you.
Local or global – a donation to an organization similar to the ones listed above will leave a greater impact than that new pair of shoes you considered gifting to yourself or a friend.
SWAP IT OUT
If our efforts to dissuade you from Black Friday deals have failed, then alas, we beg you: at least shop smart.
There are thousands of brands out there that are making incredible products – products that are not only better for you but could also have a positive impact on the planet. From ethical supply chains to regenerative ingredients to sustainable packaging, the possibilities are endless. (By the way, CANCEL AMAZON.com. Like, now. Browse 1% for the Planet’s Network Auction instead, where 100% of proceeds will go directly to supporting the organization’s efforts to save the planet).
Consider swapping out some of these “no-no” items for the good stuff:
Not only is Patagonia the bee’s knees, but if they follow suit of their own Black Friday decisions in the past, your purchase is likely to benefit the environment – like, a lot.
Fact is, if you’re reading this article you’re already of the mindset that we really don’t need more stuff. Your dollars are better spent supporting people, causes, and organizations that are doing the heavy lifting to save our planet, promote racial justice, and make the world a better place overall.
The crazy, mind-numbing frenzy of consumerism is on its way out. Finding time to hike, meditate, surf — or whatever self-care activity suits you — and donating to causes that matter most to you is most definitely in.
Buh-bye Black Friday.