Black Friday, originally introduced in Philadelphia, 1961, came about as a way of police officers describing the heavy traffic that occurred the day after thanksgiving. Nowadays Black Friday, known across the globe as a day for mass sales and discounts.
Black Friday is a great and easy way to get the things you want at a guaranteed discounted price… just in time for Christmas too! What’s not to love?
However, some brands notably use Black Friday to encourage overconsumption. The impacts resulting from this are devastating to the environment, the day no longer seems as wonderful does it.
“Up to 99% off”
“Everything £8 & under”
A notable brand that utilises Black Friday to offer extreme discounts is the fast fashion brand Pretty Little Thing(PLT). In 2020, PLT offered a sale where everything was under a pound. You may be thinking a huge reduction in profit was imminent due cutting prices so severely, however, due to the sheer amount people buying into the sale, their profit increased. The aftermath of the sale was seen across social media platforms such as TikTok. Short videos started circling, people’s rooms covered in mass amounts of clothing they had purchased in the sale.
Looking at this from an environmental perspective, we all know the fast fashion industry contributes masses to global warming, with its quick turnover of clothes that are only stylish for around a month. Overconsumption is one of the biggest problems when it comes to trying to tackle climate change. The overconsumption of short-term trends is a real problem, due to the inevitable fact that these clothes will end up in landfill due to them no longer being deemed ‘stylish’.
It’s looking increasingly likely that Pretty Little Thing will have the same sale this year, and there’s a potential that other fast fashion brands will follow in their footsteps. This is when the line between Black Friday being ‘a fun way to grab discounts on great items’ and a toxic encouragement of overconsumption fades.
So, this year, before you’re considering buying into one of these ridiculous black Friday sales, think about how much you need the item. Don’t buy for the sake of buying, as that benefits only the company selling it.