With deals starting at 50% off store-wide and $100 gift certificates given out with the purchase of select items, it’s no wonder Black Friday continues to be the unchallenged leading day for retail sales in our country. Naturally, as it is a day set aside for nothing but spending, Black Friday is also an environmentalist’s worst nightmare. It promotes mass production, overstocking, consumerism, and maybe worse than all three combined: waste. This day plants the idea that what we have is not good enough, that we need the newest version or the next best thing; out with the old and in with the new. Knowing this, many manufacturers even build their products so that they will need to be replaced. When you add in the fuel emissions from all the cars going from store to store or just finding a parking spot, all those plastic shopping bags, and that the majority of products advertised were not sustainably manufactured, the case for Black Friday as a “holiday” is still in the dark for the eco-conscious.
In the past few years it’s even become a risk for the shoppers. With online advertising and social media outlets providing new ways to spread the word on sales, the physical mass of shoppers flooding stores at daybreak has become a safety issue providing horror stories of its own. In 2011, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death by a crowd of 2,000 consumers. In that crowd was a woman 8-months pregnant, also knocked to the ground. She was rushed to the hospital where she suffered a miscarriage. The infamous pepper spray incident over an Xbox is still brought up to this day, and the year before that another armed mom threatened to shoot any shoppers who wouldn’t let her cut the line to Toys ‘R Us. A day I personally remember as a chance to bond with my grandma and have an innocent splurge has turned into a sickening, harmful competition. And this year stores nationwide are extending Black Friday by opening doors – and making employees come in an extra holiday shift – the night before the event knowing people will actually abandon their family dinners on Thanksgiving to get a spot in line.
So what can we do about this consumerism madness? Some radical opponents to Black Friday have been observing a Buy Nothing Day as a form of protest. This could, in theory, help with crowd control and it certainly would give those who participate by not participating a personal feeling of “doing the right thing” but for now it remains ineffective. In a nation like ours, something like Buy Nothing Day will never, at least in the near future, catch on to make the reverse-consumerism statement it was created for. And if it were to work – an entire day where literally no one buys anything – then the impact this could have on our economy would be frighteningly detrimental. The massive loss of profits from that one day could hike up prices for the rest of the year and could impact the employment status for those on an hourly wage. We have to find a happy medium where people aren’t trampled and factories aren’t blasting out waste and pollution at double the rate for just one day.
Luckily, Lux & Eco has our own version of partaking in Black Friday that we think will leave the savvy shopper and the abstinent environmentalist feeling satisfied. Right now we are offering an extra 10% off all of our brands and FREE shipping for Black Friday sales. Forget waiting in line or fighting for the last one on the shelf. In the comfort of your own home browse our online collection of luxury items that are all made of the highest quality materials, are sustainably made and fund environmental and humanitarian causes. Handbags, neck ties, Apple accessories, skincare, candles, jewelry, and all your other holiday gift checklist items can be found on our site, and everything is environmentally-friendly. Before check out, you can choose to donate to one of our inspirational and successful partner charities like Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, City Harvest, The Blind Project, or Global Green. Don’t forget to use our promo code “BLKFRDY” to receive your extra 10% off already discounted boutiques, plus free shipping! Give back while you buy your holiday gifts! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe, sustainable Black Friday from Lux & Eco!