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Save the planet and your bank balance – boycott Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. What started off as a simple way to bag yourself a few deals and get ahead with your Christmas shopping, has fast become a rampant display of mass consumerism and mindless spending. This year, I’m urging you to boycott Black Friday.

With the environment being such a topical and pertinent issue, Black Friday seems even less appealing.

But, why should we boycott Black Friday?

In this post I’ll cover:

  1. Why I’m boycotting Black Friday
  2. The personal finance case for the boycott
  3. How boycotting Black Friday can help save the planet
  4. Will you miss out on any deals?
  5. What you can do instead

Why you should boycott Black Friday

The majority of the people who make our clothes live in poverty. In fact, Oxfam estimates that it would take a major fashion CEO just 4 days to earn what a female garment worker in Bangladesh will earn in her entire lifetime.

Equality isn’t just for the people on your doorstep or even in your country. It’s for everyone. Every person deserves to be paid fairly for their work and to be able to support themselves and their families.

Throughout November, global fashion activism movement Fashion Revolution will catalyse a campaign against overproduction, overconsumption and waste in the fashion industry.

The movement encourages individuals to take a stand against mindless consumption, combat fashion’s culture of disposability and exploitation, and say no to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

“Black Friday is a scam. It’s one more way to get citizens to think they are finding a bargain, when in fact they are hunting an illusion. Black Friday is about the rush, the speed, the compulsion.

“At Fashion Revolution we are asking you to stay conscientious and to buy with purpose,” says Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution co-founder and creative director.

The personal finance case for the boycott

Simply put, you’ll save money.

While you may think you’re saving money by buying discounted products, in reality you probably won’t be.

Which?’s 2020 research, found 98 percent of the Black Friday discounts advertised the previous year – including promotions on popular tech, home and personal care products – were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after the sales. 

And 85% of the items had also been the same price or cheaper in the six months before Black Friday. 

In fact, just three of the 119 products tracked – that’s 1% – were at their cheapest price on Black Friday.

Additionally, you may find yourself tempted to spend more than you ordinarily would on things you don’t need. You’re not saving money if you’re buying things you never needed in the first place.

How boycotting Black Friday can help save the planet

Black Friday represents fashion’s systemic overproduction problem, with big brands thoughtlessly churning out new products at the cost of people and the planet.

Brands get away with this wasteful business model because cleverly marketed seasonal markdowns mean their customers help them get rid of unsold stock.

An estimated 100 billion pieces of clothing are made each year, but according to our 2021 Fashion Transparency Index, only 14% of major fashion brands publish the quantity of products they produce.

Meanwhile, just 27% of major fashion brands say they are investing in circular solutions such as textile-to-textile recycling, while only 32% have clothing take-back schemes in place.

This hyper-discount culture where there is so little value placed on clothing, the resources used to produce it or the people who make it needs to stop. Surely, we deserve better from our wardrobes.

Additionally, consider the impact of your deliveries and driving to the shops on the environment. Are unnecessary journeys taking place to get your unnecessary purchases to you?

Will you miss out on any Black Friday deals?

There may be some deals on offer.

As previously mentioned, most Black Friday deals aren’t actually deals. You can get the products cheaper at other times during the year.

For those that were simply planning on browsing, you almost certainly won’t miss out on savings. It’s not saving money if you didn’t need to spend it in the first place!

If it’s a question of affordability and you’re sure you are getting the best deal, then it may be worth buying the items you were planning on buying anyway. Do your research first though. Make sure you are saving money on the items.

What you can do instead

Aside from boycotting Black Friday, You can get involved in the campaign by choosing alternative ways to have fun with fashion like upcycling, repairing, swapping and sharing.

You can also spread the message that overproduction costs the earth on social media. Hold brands accountable by asking #WhoMadeMyClothes? and #WhatsInMyClothes?

During the Black Friday weekend (26th – 29 November 2021), a series of sustainable fashion brands, retailers and rental platforms, including ELV Denim, Loanhood, BEEN, Sabinna and Lone Design Club are pledging to donate 5-15% of their sales instead of promoting discounts that encourage unsustainable practices of overproduction and overconsumption.

There are also plenty of other things you can do to support mindful spending.

Other initiatives to support

Firstly, support Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday takes place on the Tuesday after Black Friday. The idea is to give something back to your local community or wider society.

It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.

Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Alternatively, if there are purchases you need to make, try supporting Small Business Saturday.

Finally, the best thing you can do is shop mindfully all year round. Be aware of price, quality and ethical sourcing.

Try and buy clothes and other items that will last you a long time, rather than cheap garments that you’ll wear once and then through away.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media @Katie20Percent to keep up to date with all my latest posts.

If you enjoyed this post on why you should boycott Black Friday please like and share it with your friends and/or on social media. What are your thoughts on Black Friday? Will you be joining in the boycott or looking to nab yourself some bargains? Comment them below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

By The Twenty Percent

Hi I'm Katie and I use my blog to help young people take control of their personal finances.

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One reply on “Save the planet and your bank balance – boycott Black Friday”

I love this post, Katie! Did you know that Black Friday is also Buy Nothing Day? I have a post coming out on that very topic tomorrow morning. We’d be so much better off – and not just financially – if we put an end to this mindless consumption. Like you, I will not be shopping on Friday. You couldn’t pay me enough to venture into that chaos.

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