Black Friday has been coming under attack these last few years as people are waking up to our obsession over mass consumerism. Strangely enough, the anger over buying more plastic items, at least on Instagram and the like, seems to be louder than the anger over people actually dying on Black Friday. There have been so many incidences that there’s an actual website called blackfridaydeathcount.com. Have there been hundreds of deaths? No. But, the fact that people are dying, at all, while shopping for sales is more than a little concerning, especially since a lot of the incidences resulted in people being shot. Who needs to bring a gun shopping?! #murica, I guess.
Anyways, completely other topic of discussion.
Black Friday isn’t as big in Canada as it is in the States. Sure, you can still find some good deals, but we wait until Boxing Day to go into our frenzy. I don’t even leave my house on Black Friday, but I risk the crowds on Boxing Day (although, this year I wouldn’t go out for either, and no one should be). It became exciting for me after working every single Boxing Day since I was a teenager until my mid-20s. That being said, there aren’t hordes of people just waiting to get inside, ready to trample anyone who is in their way (it’s just not the polite thing to do).
While people need to calm down about Black Friday, and you know, just try not to kill someone over a TV or tablet, some companies are going to the other extreme and putting the kibosh to Black Friday sales, altogether. They are, of course, mainly greener companies that are popping up all over my feed telling us all to boycott Black Friday. Why? Because the companies don’t want to promote mindless consumerism. They’re often small businesses, so my assumption is just that they can’t afford to slash prices down to the bottom of the barrel. Thinx, a brand I love and use regularly, has stated that they won’t do a Black Friday sale because they want people to enjoy Thanksgiving instead of rushing off to the stores before dinner is even over.
I mean, sure. That’s a noble reason, but it’s a bullshit cop-out if I’ve ever heard one. Thinx operates online, which means no one will be rushing outside to line up for deals. You could discreetly shop a Black Friday sale while seeking refuge in the bathroom at your aunt’s house. Another way to get over that issue? Put your your Black Friday deals on Friday. You know, how it should be. No one needs to be leaving Thanksgiving meals early (or just celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in October!) just to go shopping.
But, in the case of Thinx, these products are expensive ($30+ for a pair of underwear, y’all), even if they are so amazing. Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget to buy more and stock up and I live a pretty comfortable life, which means that someone who isn’t right now definitely won’t be able to afford their product and will be missing out on something life-changing. (Fyi, for all of you wondering why undies are life-changing, they’re made so you can go without tampons or pads during your period! Eco-friendly and comfortable. Win win for women. Finally.)
While it’s great that companies are being more mindful about the way people shop, they have to stop and think about those who shop sales because they have to, because they can’t afford it any other day of the week. The ones who also shop for food items instead of big ticket sales like TVs and computers. Sometimes, it’s not the pointless items that people need. Shit, if drywall went on sale, I’d be lining up to buy up the whole store.
There are tons of great green products out there that are cheaper than the mainstream alternative (hello, soap nuts!), but there are tons out there that are so expensive, it’s hard to tap into them. Much like my Thinx. They’re investment pieces and a little sale could help push people in the right direction.
My big Black Friday purchases? Well, they included a couple of Christmas presents, and of course, a Karl Lagerfeld t-shirt because if it’s on sale, I will always buy my beloved Karl. I didn’t leave my house, I didn’t get into a frenzy, I didn’t go overboard with the spending (under 60 bucks, y’all! Praise them sales!), I shopped mindfully. I took note of what we actually needed and then scoured the sales for them (okay, yes, that 8$ dress wasn’t actually needed, but I would’ve bought it for 50$ anyways).
Instead of refusing people a sale, or telling people to ignore the sales, just preach mindful shopping. Some people need those sales, even if it’s just to be able to buy expensive designer clothes.