Black Friday: Spend Less, Save More, Be Happier

Last Thursday, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends, however, this day is no longer just a reason to get together and eat turkey, it is also about shopping. Black Friday, the American retail tradition based around Thanksgiving (which marks the start of the Christmas shopping season) has been around for a long time now and Cyber Monday is becoming more and more popular too- another day of nonstop shopping, only now from the comfort of your laptop.

(Photo Credit: wearable.com)

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day in the USA and in fact, a huge success in Europe and all around the world- Christmas is just around the corner so it is, in theory, the perfect time to treat yourself or to get some shopping done before the hectic Christmas rush. However there is a sense of chaos around this day that, in my opinion, makes the whole shopping experience absolutely unappealing. 

Buy more for less, whether you need it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you can afford it or not. “Spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need to give to people you don’t like.” This sentence summarises exactly what Black Friday is all about. I personally love shopping and fashion- it helps me to relax, it is fun and I love the creative side of fashion. However, I do not see the appeal of camping outside a shopping centre to get the best deals or the massive fights between customers that occur throughout the day. I mean, is all the fuss really necessary?  

(Photo Credit: theonlinestylist)

There are many cool initiatives trying to beat the Black Friday phenomenon, for example, Patagonia’s Black Friday ad back in 2011 read “Don’t buy this jacket.” You may be asking yourself why a clothing brand would ask people not to buy their own products? However, the campaign had sustainability in mind, aiming to make consumers think twice before buying anything superfluous and to encourage everyone to take a more sustainable approach to consumption. 

(Photo Credit: Patagonia)

Another movement derived from Black Friday is #GivingTuesday, which took off two years ago in the UK and now runs successfully in approximately 70 countries. It originated as a consequence of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday phenomena and invites people to do good for others, from volunteering, donating to even just saying some nice words to that person next to you. I find this concept very refreshing and cheerful! Along the same lines, this year United by Blue  presents “Blue Friday”, with the intention of doing a green transformation on the big shopping day; the brand encourages their customers to wake up and get out to the streets to fill one bag with trash instead of rising early for shopping- they even send you a free clean-up kit!

(Photo Credit: Ecoture)

There is nothing wrong in treating yourself from time to time and purchasing a new dress that you probably don't need but makes you look absolutely gorgeous and, lets be honest, it is even better if the price tag says fifty percent off, isn’t it? However, hopefully next time you go shopping you dedicate some time to think what it is that you actually need, how often you are going you wear that new piece of clothing, or where the clothes you are buying come from- believe me, it doesn’t take that long and you will definitely end up making much better decisions!