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Black Friday: A Celebration of Consumption

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Black Friday has become an event on the calendar. Brits are expected to spend £5,6 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year. That works out at £843 per person.

Black Friday is a celebration of consumption. A day of excess, waste and decadence. Where people come to blows over a new T.V.

Fast fashion symbolises this throw away society. Retailers encourage people to buy clothes they’re likely to wear no more than once or twice. While this is good for retailers profits, it's a waste of resources and contributes to the climate crisis.

It also results in waste, lots and lots of waste. In 2016 the UK generated over 220 million tonnes of waste. That's the equivalent of 220 empire state buildings.

So why do people keep on buying stuff? Research shows we like new things, that's why going shopping is often referred to as ‘retail therapy’. But this feeling is short lived and cyclical. You’ll soon get tired of the item you've purchased, and want to buy more stuff to get that boost of happiness.

There are alternatives to buying new clothes from retailers. Buying second hand clothes means rather then ending up on landfill, someone else can enjoy unwanted clothes. After all, the likelihood is they’ve only been worn once or twice anyway. This is better for the environment and still gives you that feeling of having purchased something new.

How about clothes swapping? There are some great apps available which allow you to donate clothes in exchange for other people’s donations. You could take this further and host your own clothes swap party with friends.

Changing our habits as consumers can have a powerful effect on limiting the effects of the climate crisis. Mindlessly consuming things will lead us to an undesired future. So this Black Friday rather than visiting the bright lights of the high street, go to a second hand shop, or even better, host your own clothes swap.

Blog by Paul

Community Champion

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