We all know what Black Friday entails; reduced prices, long lines, and a bunch of sad bank accounts. On one day of every year, you get to buy everything that’s been on your wishlist, plus a few other things that you didn’t even know you wanted! So, what’s the problem?
At face value, the idea of Black Friday sounds great for both parties. For the consumer, they get the items they want at prices they consider fair. And for the companies, they make even more of a profit due to an influx of shoppers.
However, Black Friday has a dark side, and it’s more problematic than it seems. We aren’t here to ruin the fun, but every shopper deserves to understand what Black Friday actually represents and then have the opportunity to opt-out before it’s too late!
Black Friday vs. Small Businesses
Although the consumer culture is shifting towards supporting small businesses more than ever before, Black Friday makes it impossible for small business owners to compete. For larger companies, this tradition is nothing but the best way to wipe out all of last season’s stock that wouldn’t sell otherwise since trends die quickly.
Since large companies that mass-produce typically don’t invest in quality, they aren’t losing anything from Black Friday sales since it didn’t cost them much in the first place. How does this affect small and medium businesses? Well, it’s a much different story when quality and ethics are taken into consideration because the price reflects what’s fair.
Essentially, small and medium businesses struggle to compete against large corporation prices since Black Friday creates a standard, and most shoppers expect to see reduced prices. Beyond that, participating in Black Friday usually results in a loss for small and medium businesses since products cost what they do for a reason, not to deceive consumers.
Black Friday Encourages Fast Fashion Values
As a slow fashion brand, we encourage ethical consumerism and developing healthy shopping habits. Since our world has become accustomed to deceptive advertisements and unethical business practices, it’s time to break the vicious cycle.
On the other hand, the two things that fast fashion values the most is mass production and mass consumption. Unfortunately, Black Friday supports and pushes the same narrative since it teaches society to value sales over everything, including ethics and quality. Not only is this a toxic value to push, but it temps even the most conscious consumers to forget about the good habits they’ve been practicing.
Black Friday’s Impact on the Environment
Last but not least, how does Black Friday impact the environment? Well, it’s estimated that 60% of all countries worldwide participate and “celebrate” Black Friday. That means that one single day, millions of people are driving to stores or shopping online deals.
Millions of people planning to do anything at the same time sounds pretty frightening, but it’s even worse to think about how it translates to waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Once the excitement of owning the trendiest outfit or the newest technology fades away, the products are most likely destined for the trash, contributing to landfill waste or toxic e-waste.
Mass consumption is already a growing issue that threatens the planet all year round, but Black Friday worsens our global pollution problem and normalizes waste. Beyond that, between a massive increase in online cyber Monday orders and physical shopping on Black Friday, it leads to a huge spike in greenhouse gas emissions due to transportation.
At the end of the day, Black Friday doesn’t align with conscious consumerism in any way, shape, or form. If you ever wonder why we choose not to participate in the tradition, we hope that you now have a better understanding of how it impacts small businesses and the negative message behind it. We know how tempting reduced price tags can be, but we encourage you to always put your ethics and values first!