Black Friday is another example of environment damaging consumerism

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Nearly four in every 10 Brummies’ are expected to scoop for bargains in this year’s Black Friday shopping spree, according to studies. 

Finder.com recently reported that 38% of the West Midlands plan to shop on this annual sales event which now includes Cyber Monday. 

Source: Finders research

Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving, which was introduced to the U.K in 2010. 

NGOs (Non-governmental organisations) claim the occasion highlights overconsumption that will hurt the environment and the planet, despite the day being known for saving costs. 

Further research carried out by Green Alliance in 2019 found that up to 80% of the holiday sales ended up either being thrown away or in low-grade recycling after one use and in some cases, no uses at all. 

Jenny Thatcher, head of Youth and Families at Friends of the Earth, said: “Black Friday can seem like a great opportunity to stock up on cheap Christmas gifts, but we’ve also all witnessed horrific scenes of customers fighting over the latest must-have toys or tech offers in shops. 

“It has been reported that over 80% of Black Friday purchases are used just once, or even never before they are thrown away. But we are hardwired to feel good about getting new things, and retailers know how to exploit this.   

“That’s no good for our mental health, our pockets, or for the planet.  Everybody loves a bargain but perhaps we could focus more on sustainable gifts, things we actually need, and experiences to share with our loved ones this festive season.” 

Source: friends_earth

Some items bought during the holiday period end up in the hands of Rosie Hall, who works in a charity shop in Northfield. 

She said: “When you see how much people donate to us, it does make you think about how much you’re buying that’s brand new and how much you can buy second hand. It makes you think about the quantity of fast fashion.” 

“Black Friday creates a big problem for us. People tend to save their money thinking they’re getting massive bargains and it is a bit of a misconception. Black Friday is encouraging people to buy more than what they need.” 

Ms Hall said her shop has received donations from corporations despite not supporting the shopping day. She said that she couldn’t support the day because of the number of clothes that end up in landfills or are not worn in people’s wardrobes. 

She added: “We have an alternative to Black Friday. We have our Christmas Bizarre. We will try to fight against it and have an event.” 

For more information, see Friends of the Earth’s guide on how to be a conscious consumer: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/live-sustainably-how-be-co

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