Most of us love a bargain, but this Black Friday I'll be paying full price for my purchases - and I urge you to do the same if you can.
This is because cheap deals hide a harsh reality - someone, somewhere, pays the price. From underpaid workers in poor conditions, to small businesses pressured into offering discounts they can't afford to give, to consumers ending up with poor quality items they don't need and that will end up in landfill.
Has it been made to last?
Instead of falling for the allure of a bargain, this Black Friday I will be focusing instead on mindful shopping, thinking carefully about any purchases and asking myself: ‘Do I really need this? Was it made with intention and craftsmanship? Is it sustainable? Will I want to keep it forever - and has it been made to last?’
Taking the time to think about what we buy elevates our purchasing power and ensures sustainability and quality becomes the norm - ultimately making these choices cheaper as demand grows. Being more mindful about what we buy also gives us more money to spend on good quality items.
Sustainable choices and quality products usually come from small businesses and artisans, and buying from them has the added bonus of knowing the money you spend with them will be circulated back into their communities, supporting local cafes, shops, and skilled trades, sustaining jobs and ensuring neighbourhoods thrive. I would much prefer my hard-earned cash to go here than to corporations and sweatshops who treat their staff poorly and don't pay their taxes.
We Risk Losing Unique Products And Quality Craftsmanship
Backing small businesses offering high-quality, sustainable goods also ensures you’ll have choice beyond marketplaces like Amazon. Otherwise we risk losing access to unique products, quality craftsmanship and ethical products altogether.
Here in the UK our version of the Black Friday sales of excess festive stock used to fall on the day after Christmas - the Boxing Day Sales. But recently the UK has taken to offering huge Black Friday discounts - risking disaster for small businesses who often make most of their year's sales in the lead up to Christmas and can't afford to offer discounts during this period - especially in today's economic climate.
So my plan - and my plea to you - is to resist Black Friday pressure and instead choose mindful, full-price purchases from small stores and creatives and leave the chaos and mass consumerism of Black Friday behind.