For a few years now, the American phenomenon “Black Friday” has also become a true happening in our country (NL). On that one day in November, companies give "massive" discounts and we spend our money en masse on Christmas gifts, TVs and whatnot. Although we still bought super unconsciously in the pre-corona era, since corona there seems to have been more awareness of the impact of our buying behavior. 'Consume less' is what we hear people talking about more and more. Which brings me to this question; is Black Friday and mass buying still relevant in 2021?
A shopping feast
Black Friday, the shopping holiday, is all about buying and selling. Big discounts, free products and other great deals are offered by many companies on this day with only one goal: that you will buy more. The euphoric feeling, the kick you get when you buy something at a discount, is the emotion that is manipulated on this day. Because you really don't want to miss out on this great offer! The manipulation is working, because in 2020 the number of Black Friday purchases increased by no less than 10% compared to the previous year. In one day, iDeal payments via webshops amounted to 134 million euros! Now covid-19 forced us to order more online, but let's put that aside for now. If we can spend so much money in one day in our small country and make webshops go crazy processing our orders, are we simply not just buying too much stuff? Shouldn't we be a little more aware of that?
I too have benefited from great deals in recent years during Black Friday. It has been great for Christmas gifts or a good excuse to stock up on a bulk of Nespresso cups (and I don't even drink coffee). But when the idea of Black Friday came up again this year and I now manage two webshops with sustainable products myself, I started to think.
I'll be honest about it; extra turnover is of course a nice bonus and I can definitely use it this year, the year in which I take a big risk by completely changing my company. But at what expense? Encouraging people to buy even more in a world where there is already so much abundance?
Of course I want my gift boxes to be sold, but I don't want people to buy from me just to sastify that craving feeling. Like: “Great, I could get a discount so I took two instead of one”. That's not why I created Earth Friendly Gift Boxes. The core purpose is to inspire people to lead a more sustainable life and that certainly includes reducing consumption. Promoting a shopping spree therefore feels completely contradictory.
With Earth Friendly Gift Boxes I want to show you what sustainable possibilites there are. Because yes, we like to give gifts, but can't that be done in a more sustainable way? Why spend your money on ten different little gifts for no purpose, instead of one beautiful gift that promotes a more sustainable lifestyle? This way you buy less, burden the environment less and make an impact on others with your gift.
No Black Friday
After having doubts, it is actually feels very natural for me not to participate in Black Friday. I do not believe that Black Friday should still be a thing in this age. Buying more contributes to a larger ecological footprint and that is precisely what we do not need in the world.
Is my decision not to participate in Black Friday smart when it comes to my business? I don't know, time will tell. What I do know is that I stand behind my decision and hope to raise awareness with this statement. Because a more sustainable world starts with yourself!