Black Friday? Let’s think before we buy-day!
It’s beginning to look a lot like
Christmas Black Friday
Deals in every store
But the prettiest sight to see is the T-shirt that will be
In your own set of drawers.
It’s that time of the year and already our favourite brands are filling up our inboxes and newsfeeds with their “best deals yet” and “massive savings”. Black Friday once again looms, tempting us with even more brilliant new things for our homes and wardrobes.
Did you know that Kiwis spent about $250 million over the four-day Black Friday sales last year? This was a 7% jump from the year before and 11% from the year before that. Black Friday now rivals Boxing Day as New Zealand’s busiest and biggest day in the shopping calendar, and a third of us are using it to shop for new clothes and shoes.
The low prices offered by Black Friday deals feel like a welcome break from the squeeze on our wallets from rising living costs. I don’t know about you, but I certainly have a list of items I need and plan to purchase during Black Friday Sales. It’s a slippery slope and there is so much temptation to buy more and more just because the price is low.
Over-consumption has been engineered in our society since the 1950s. Every day we are fed narratives that the next thing, the one that is just out of reach, is the key to our happiness. We often turn to consumption to fill a void of some sort because we’ve been trained to believe that new things will make us happy, more desirable and more beautiful. That may be confronting to read, but I think we all know deep down that it's true.
Our love for a good deal isn’t going to change overnight and that’s okay. But, let’s not forget that mindless consumption sales like Black Friday, are not a good deal for the people who make the products we buy or our planet.
Tearfund has been shining a spotlight on over-consumption in the fashion industry as it’s among the top five industries most at risk of having products made using slavery. In the last two decades, the volume of clothing our world produces and consumes has increased by a massive 400%. We know that the quantity of clothes we purchase puts an ever-increasing number of people at risk of exploitation. When we embrace our culture of over-consumption at times like Black Friday, our personal decisions are feeding a system that only works because it exploits vulnerable people.
So, for Black Friday this year, take a beat before you swipe your card or add that extra item to your basket. If you need to shop, write a list of items you know you need and stick to it.
Black Friday is a cool opportunity to learn, discuss and reflect on the place of consumption in your life. We’ve got a great reflection series on conscious consumption to help your journey, and if you’re part of a faith community, we have a special version for you.
Conscious & Christ-centred Consumption Conscious Consumption