The hustle and bustle of the festive season is truly upon us, as we watch the shops fill with Christmas shoppers looking for gifts for their friends and loved ones.
Words: Beth Dennis
One of the biggest days in the consumer calendar is nearly here: Black Friday. On the 24th November, shops worldwide will heavily discount a variety of goods, to entice shoppers into making purchases. At the same time, shoppers are poised to grab the best bargains they can.
The system appears to be mutually-beneficial, shops make sales and consumers get discounted goods. We don’t pause to think about the negative impact Black Friday can have, and think about why we shouldn’t contribute to the purchase, consumption and waste of produce.
Black Friday is a huge money-maker; it’s estimated that £7 billion will be spent between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One in three people worldwide take part, and 10% of the UK public take the day off work to shop for discounted produce.
The event appears to be fuelling consumerism, unnecessary purchases and excess waste, rather than encouraging people to purchase gifts with thought and care, that they know the recipients will cherish and appreciate.
24% of Black Friday purchases are made on impulse, showing that less thought is going into their gifts, and they are caught up in the hype of the day and the temptations of discounts. In addition to this, only 30% of people keep and use all of the gifts they receive – meaning 70% of us receive gifts we don’t really use. 87% of people have also admitted that they receive at least one unwanted gift at Christmas, which shows the unnecessary purchases and waste that Black Friday can generate.
In order to combat this, Traidcraft, the home of fair trade, has created a #JustFriday. This campaign focuses on putting the love and care back into gift-giving, by buying fewer, more thoughtful gifts. Traidcraft is encouraging us to pay more attention to where our gifts have come from, how they’ve been made, the materials that have been used, and the stories behind who has created them. Putting this love and consideration back into your purchases will help you to find gifts you know you’re your loved ones will enjoy, taking the power away from Black Friday. By doing so, you transform it back to any old Friday.