Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day? I know which one I’ll be taking part in
- Credit: Steve Adams
It’s Saturday, November 18 - less than a week to go until the annual round of stupidity that is Black Friday.
Yes, this is the pre-Christmas sales event that has, like many phenomena I can’t help thinking we’d be better off without, found it’s way across the Atlantic to these shores in recent years.
Who can forget Black Friday 2014 when sales frenzy-induced fights broke out in stores across the country?
It’s all-the-more crazy when you realise that many of the ‘bargains’ people were out to grab weren’t really anything of the kind.
Did most of those people really need another cinema screen-sized flatscreen TV or had they been hoodwinked into believing they did by retailers attempting to off-load stock on a gullible public ahead of the festive season?
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I prefer to take part in the antidote to Black Friday: Buy Nothing Day.
Started in the 1990s by Vancouver-based artist Ted Dave, Buy Nothing Day is aimed at highlighting over-consumption and since 1997 has been held on the same day as Black Friday. Supporting it involves no effort at all.
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“Buy Nothing Day is where you challenge yourself, your family and friends to switch off from shopping and tune into life,” says the UK Buy Nothing Day website.
“The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from buying stuff - anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending. Instead of shopping people around the world will take part in a 24-hour moratorium on consuming, either as a personal experiment or public statement.
“The anarchy that ensues on Black Friday has now become an absurd dystopian phenomenon. Big retailers use the event to spin out highly competitive one day offers, which often creates a rabid free for all.
“Black Friday sucks the life out of small businesses. If you really need to shop on Buy Nothing Day, ignore the big retailers with their aisles of organised landfill and support local independent shops and businesses.
“Buy Nothing Day isn’t about changing your lifestyle for just one day - we want it to be a lasting relationship or maybe a life changing experience. Make a commitment to shopping less and living more.”