Among all those years that many people invited you to boycott Black Friday, this might be the most serious one that you should listen to. Black Friday is tempting, I can’t lie. I really would like to buy a thing for less than half of its usual price but it’s affecting more than an individual.
Black Friday usually only takes effect on online shops like the evil Amazon and/or some big chain stores around the U.S. or some other countries and this just helps those stores to grow and get more powerful thus makes people have less power to change the way they behave.
This year, the case is more special than other years. With the pandemic and everything going on, the economy of many countries are collapsing and many shops are suffering from it.
Also, local stores suffer a lot. Since the pandemic began, close to 100,000 businesses have permanently closed. Small businesses ― defined as private companies with fewer than 500 employees ― have especially struggled to survive this year due to less cash flow and smaller operating margins.
This is not just during the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, many local stores were suffering from Black Friday because many people get attracted to those big (usually chain) stores and never shop from local stores again.
Local businesses are struggling to survive and Black Friday is not good news for them.
Black Friday also produces tons of waste. Aside from the physical and financial toll that Black Friday has on shoppers, there are also environmental consequences.
The promise to deliver items in just a couple of days (looking at you, Amazon Prime) requires putting thousands more trucks and ships in service, adding to the pollution that’s already in our air and water. There’s also the ridiculous amount of packaging involved, which floods recycling centers and ends up in landfills.
That’s not to mention how so much of the crap that’s purchased during the Black Friday shopping frenzy ends up in the hands of people who don’t even want it. In fact, 61% percent of Americans say they received at least one unwanted gift over the holidays, according to a 2019 survey by Finder.com, a consumer savings site. That equates to $15.2 billion spent on unwanted gifts. Clothing and accessories make up the most gifted but unwanted items, fueling the carbon-intensive fast-fashion industry that contributes to overflowing landfills.