Can Black Friday and Sustainability Coexist?
Black Friday and the controversy of being a person who strives to live a more sustainable life, and if I should support this Black Friday thing. But first things first… where and why this so called Black Friday was invented? —Yes, I did my research— and I did find quite a few parts of history about the Black Friday name.
What is Black Friday?
In late 19th century President Lincoln made Thanksgiving holiday official. And it is known that the day after thanksgiving (which is usually the fourth Thursday of November) the “official” Christmas shopping season begins. This is the most profitable day of the year for retailers and businesses given to shopping activity generated the day after Thanksgiving.
The “black” term is used because it refers to the retail company or the business profitability. Meaning that the company has earning after all expenses. A couple of things that are also related to the term “Black Friday,” Takes us back to 1869 the year when the boom of gold price lead to a stock market crash, when the Gold Standard was a thing. And then back to 1929, the year notable of the Great Depression. It’s worth mentioning that these two notable events were driven by greed. Reason why retailers and businesses were not quite comfortable calling the most profitable day of the year like that. Because it refers to the darkest days.
Do I Support Black Friday?
Giving you my point of view on whether I support Black Friday or not. I see it from different angles and different perspectives ex. pandemic levels of unemployment, stimulates economy, employment rate.
It is necessary to mention that retailers and businesses had to come up with new strategies for Black Friday due to Covid-19. Many retailers are stretching Black Friday “specials” throughout the holiday season, online orders, curbside pickup and so on. Some of them have announced for the first time in five years that they are significantly hiring employees for the season like Walmart… Source here
Amazon for example, the figure includes the 175,000 temporary workers the company has hired during the pandemic, 125,000 of whom will be given the chance to become permanent employees.Source here
The level of unemployment has fallen since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States according to stats in October…
This is why I DO support Black Friday.
Is decent work and economic growth part of the Sustainable Development Goals? From where I understand it is!…According to UN.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a historic recession with record levels of deprivation and unemployment, creating an unprecedented human crisis that is hitting the poorest hardest. “
COVID-19 has disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy…..Source UN.ORG
You can continue reading this article HERE. So, Yes! we do need the movement of the economy and we need to generate more jobs in order to get to this goal.
This is why I DON’T support Black Friday
Coming from a culture where you are lucky enough to receive a single gift on Christmas Day had so much impact in my persona the day I moved to the USA. When I saw the lines that people are willing to make in order to buy… God knows what! It was and still is something that simply, just blows my mind.
Having in mind our current situation pandemic, lockdown, etc. and with technologies that both make our lives easier and convenient. At the same time (in my personal opinion) makes us quite dependent of these services (and sometimes a bit lazy ) 🤷🏻♀️ where we can easily develop a consumerist behavior (I know, there can be many factors attached to this due to the current situation) but this is a reality.
Retailers, Businesses, Small Businesses worked around their Holiday season strategy sales. Moving mostly to online sales and stretching deals from one day to a week. As a matter of fact...I do perceive Black Friday culture as an expression of meaningless consumerism where we are bombarded with “offers” because many retailers create fake high prices before Black Friday, so we (as consumers) can mentally think it’s an awesome deal.
Leading to a Different Economy
“Societies are in turmoil and economies are in a nose-dive. The International Monetary Fund has reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009.”Source UN.ORG
An example of this can be to move from a Linear Economy=Take, Make and Dispose to a Circular Economy: Make, Use, Return. This means that we have to stop acting as if there are infinite resources.
Make supply chain more CIRCULAR from production, consumption, repair, manufacturing, waste management. Not only to be more green and improve the health of the environment. This can create economic benefits, the fact of moving from a linear economy to a circular economy involves cost, time and rethinking the supply chain and products.
I think that Black Friday and Sustainability can coexist. But as long as peoples mindsets continue to live in a consumerist mind with impulse shopping behaviors, we are far from the reality of a circular economy. This is also part of the influence of the culture which it has now been for almost 100 years (speaking of the Black Friday culture)
Now, if you are planning to purchase something, take into consideration that you might or might not find “a great deal.” Just make sure you make a meaningful purchase, things that you absolutely need and not for the sake of buying something. Know the source, support small business and buy quality over quantity.
I would love to hear your comments about this…
After this, you may be interested into watching THIS VIDEO.