Boycott Black Friday!
It is redundant to say that Black Friday has infiltrated and poisoned what should be a time to connect with family and be thankful for what we (already) have. However, what most may not have considered is the environmental impact of Black Friday.
To keep it brief (so that you all can get back to hanging out with family), here are the highlights of how Black Friday is detrimental to the environment and why it needs to end:
-excess purchasing means excess production
-tons of plastic is manufactured not only for the cheap toys and goods on sale, but also for all of the extra packaging
-rushed shipping for online orders (predominantly on Cyber Monday) means more diesel transportation to deliver the packages
-electronics create e-waste, 80% of which ends up in the landfill to slowly breakdown and release toxins into the environment
-cheap clothes = clothes that will fall apart quicker and be thrown away
It is undeniable that, regardless of the environmental and social impact, Black Friday is good for the economy. If you are going to shop, consider these tips for how to reduce your impact:
-make fewer trips to the store
-bundle shipping on online orders if possible
-think about whether you/person you are buying for actually needs the item or will use it long term. (Joke gifts are fun, but they are extremely wasteful.)
-consider giving gift certificates to stores or activities that a person might like
-buy items secondhand or items that are upcycled
-have a gift exchange for items that you already own and think someone else might enjoy!
-wrap gifts in old paper or cloth
Consider skipping shopping on Thanksgiving evening or on Black Friday altogether and celebrate downtown SLO on "Shop Small Saturday". The Downtown SLO Association puts this event on every year to draw attention to our local businesses on the biggest sale weekend of the year. Some participants include:
-Junk Girls (upcycled jewelry and gifts)
-HumanKind Fair Trade (ethically made products from around the developing world)
-Office Hours (sustainable menswear)
-Maison Marianne (women's clothing made from all natural fibers)
-EcoBambino (environmentally friendly toys)
Fashion Revolution is also running a campaign to bypass shopping this holiday weekend altogether. Instead of spending money on goods and clothes you don't need, make a donation to Fashion Revolution to help advocate for more widespread transparency in the fashion industry.
" When we buy into the seemingly good deals, we send a message to brands that it’s okay for them to thoughtlessly produce, at the cost of people and the planet, because we’ll help them get rid of their stockpiles as long as they are discounted steeply.” —Fashion Revolution
“Black Friday shopping hurts the environment— but you can help”. Gibbens, Sarah. National Geographic.
“These Three Numbers May Make You Think Twice About Black Friday Shopping”. Paddison, Laura. Huffington Post.
“Black Friday”. Fashion Revolution.