The day after Thanksgiving in the USA has been dubbed ‘Black Friday’. Just in case you haven’t heard of it, it is a day when shops and businesses slash their prices and encourage consumers to take advantage of the low prices. It is also associated with scenes of stampedes in shops as people race to get the discounted items as well as overflowing email inboxes as offers flood in.
Although it can be helpful to take advantage of low cost items close to Christmas, it also helps to fuel rampant consumerism as people are likely to purchase things due to the low cost, not a need for the item. Therefore, we think it’s beneficial to try and avoid Black Friday where possible so we’ve come up with a list of alternatives.
- Giving Tuesday (https://www.givingtuesday.org.uk/)
Giving Tuesday is held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (30th November 2021). The purpose of this campaign is to encourage people to use their time or money to give back as opposed to shopping. If you want to take part, consider making a donation to charity, volunteer some of your time at a local community project or check on your neighbour to make sure they are OK.
Just a Card (https://www.justacard.org/)
This campaign is striving to prove how important every sale is to small businesses. Even if you purchase ‘just a card’ you are helping these businesses to succeed.
Buy Nothing Day (http://www.buynothingday.co.uk/)
As the name suggests, the purpose of this campaign is to challenge you to buy nothing on Black Friday. This is to show how many of the purchases made on Black Friday are unnecessary and that we are drawn in by low prices and what we perceive to be good deals. It also helps to show that although recycling is a good thing to do, it’s better to actually reduce the amount that we buy to begin with.
Small Business Saturday and Social Saturday (https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/campaigns/social-saturday/)
Both of these events are held on the day after Black Friday and have a very similar premise. Instead of spending your money with big, multinational companies, why not look closer to home and spend your money at a small, local business or social enterprise?
Similar to Small Business Saturday, Artists Sunday encourages people to shop from small, local businesses but focusses on creative businesses. It’s an American campaign so we don’t have a link to share, but try looking out for local craft fairs or online sellers.
If you want to have a look at the Black Friday sales, we suggest asking yourself a few questions before you click ‘buy’. Do you really need it? Will you use it? Is it as good a deal as it seems?