Ethics Surrounding Black Friday Mania
I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy a good deal, and to be honest, the Christmas list I handed to my husband is a little long. I very much partake in consumerism, especially during the holidays. It’s hard to keep my wallet closed when every store consistently has seemingly good deals every week. It’s even worse if you are like me and have your card number programmed into your phone so really, all a purchase takes is a few taps of your finger. I also do try and keep in mind where my items are coming from. How many of these are made overseas because of large companies seeking the cheapest labour possible? Then you have to think about the working conditions in such a place that allows such cheap labour to begin with.
Now, I am in a battle with myself over whether or not the cheaper sales prices, especially on Black Friday, which I wait for all year, is worth it when I think of the larger picture. I keep telling myself that I need to think more ethically when it comes to my purchases. This can be difficult in our society given the materialistic world we live in, but it is not a bad thing to become more conscious with your shopping habits. It is hard as Canadians to find something that we like and can afford with a tag that says, “made in Canada.” If we can sit and scroll through a few websites, price matching to see how low the price can get, it is probably not the best ethical choice. Let’s think about whether we could possibly purchase a similar item from a local person who spent a lot of time and money making the product. That makes the steeper price tag a little sweeter.
I did a project in one of my classes recently that discussed this topic, and I found out something shocking. My favorite cardigan that I had just bought, not surprising it was made In China, but it also caused so much pollution while in production. I did not realize that not only are our favorite items not ethically produced, but they also have such a large ecological footprint. The small sale price that I had paid for this cardigan seemed insignificant compared to these unethical outcomes.
That is why this Black Friday, I want to support more local businesses. Local art and handmade crafts cost more, but we know who is creating the pieces. We also know that we are doing a better job ethically and morally by supporting local businesses. For myself personally, I treasure my local made items much more than my store bought items. There is so much love and thought that goes into creating, and it feels good to know I am helping a local person in my community rather than a box store that literally wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if I shopped there or not. That is the difference; local vendors see us and value their customers.
A few months ago, I discovered a small shop in Walkerville called The Urban Art Market. I came across their Facebook page, and instantly, I was in love! It took everything not to just tell them to take all my money! At least if I did “over spend” as my husband might say, I could feel good knowing my money went to a good place and I have a unique, handcrafted piece. Their shop is nestled in a cute area on Chilver road, right off Wyandotte, which has many cute shops. The last time I went, I went into at least 3 other stores before finally making it back to my car. The Urban Art Market features different local artists with products ranging from babies, kids, pets, home, and fashion. Anissa Noakes is the owner of the shop but stresses that all of the fabulous makers keep the shop going. They have over 35 makers, all from Windsor Essex, and have been voted best YQG made Shop 4 years. Check out their Facebook and Instagram page for more product info, hours, etc. ? They also have a Kingsville location.
My challenge is for you to think of what your favourite local spots are in Windsor and how you can support them this holiday season. I would suggest you check out The Urban Art Market, but also drop a comment and let us know what your favourite spots are. I am always looking for new places to shop, and I would love nothing more than to support our local businesses here in Windsor. Happy Black Friday and holiday shopping! ?