This weekend sees the arrival of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, though it seems that store offers have been going on all week -in the UK at least. Every time we turn on the TV or open our inbox, we're faced with special promotions and offers. I wonder if it's the same in your country? Is it something you look forward to or something you loathe? I decided to look up some alternatives to Black Friday and to ask some fellow bloggers for their tips and thoughts. Here's what I discovered...
Black Friday alternatives
#BrightFriday - an alternative to Black Friday, this campaign attempts to raise awareness of the consequences of fast fashion and the fact that according to WRAP an estimated 300,000 tonnes of clothing a year ends up in landfill. Instead of shopping for more clothing, this campaign encourages us to revamp our wardrobes by having a clothes swap,or restyling items we already own.
#OptOutside - REI (an outdoor retail co-op) encourages people to reconnect with the outdoors over the holiday season. Last year they closed all their stores on Black Friday and paid their 12,000 strong staff to spend time outdoors. Last year their campaign encouraged more than 1.4 million people to #optoutside.
#GreenFriday - "Green Friday is all about supporting locally made items and experiences such as beauty treatments or theatre tickets as an alternative to buying yet more “stuff” - explains Emma.
#BuyNothingDay - is a day that rallies against international consumerism. Originating in Canada in 1992, it's "a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption." You can read more here. Events organised by this group include sit-ins, credit card cut-ups,and a dawn-to-dusk switch off of non-essential appliances such as phones, TVs and computers.
Sinead has another interesting viewpoint, "We don’t do Black Friday....I know how damaging it can be to small independent retailers. I am happier to spend full price and know where my money goes."
Eva highlights the difference between want and need, "I really hate how we're all tricked into spending money. For something we don't really need...We also buy only one present for everyone at Christmas. It's only the grandparents who are hard to convince, that the children don't need another plastic toy."
On the other hand, if you really need an item, it's got to be worth a look, right? Check out these Black Friday tips to make sure you're getting the most for your money:
Benny says, "I've needed a washing machine, a cooker hob, a couch, dining table and chairs, phone and a bed for 6 months. I've had my eye on what I wanted and picked everything up for about 50% of what I would have paid 6 months ago (not that I had cash then). If you are shopping for specifics and know their real prices then it's great."
Helena reminds us that Black Friday isn't the only time to grab a bargain, "If you are a savvy shopper then you may have picked up things in the January sales and others throughout the year like us."
Victoria also has a plan, "This year I have a wishlist so I know what margin of discount I'm looking for and I am also mindful that some do raise their prices beforehand so the discounts appear better."
A fellow admirer of Apple technology, Hayley says, "I’ll be keeping an eye out for the Apple store deals, it’s the one day of the year they offer discount."
Other options include supporting those brands that support others such as Pukka Herbs, who are donating 100% of their profits from Black Friday back into the community.
Do you shop on Black Friday? Are you prepared with a wish list or brand that you're going to price check tomorrow? Or will you be staying home/doing something completely different? I'd love to hear if you have any tips or stories to share.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Minimalism -Things I No Longer Buy