The mega shopping day! Black Friday is here and many are excited. Like other things out there in the West, Black Friday is gaining traction in India as well. Brands will bombard you with emails and notifications to participate in the Black Friday Sale.

Discounts and Sales are exciting but are they really worth it? In our blog, we’ll explain more about its origin, environmental impacts and some tips to avoid temptation.

We’ve all heard about Black Friday Sales but what is it and how did it come to be?

"Black Friday" was first used by the police in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Visitors flocked to the city for the Army vs Navy football game and for holiday shopping which led to chaos and traffic on the day after Thanksgiving.

Despite several attempts by retailers to modify the name to Big Friday, the term Black Friday became popular by 1961. By the 1980s, Retailers, however, discovered a method to redefine Black Friday, turning it into something that reflected positively on them and their customers. The word had spread across the country, and shops had turned it into a marketing tool.

The Monday, post Black Friday has become popular as Cyber Monday which is the Online shopping version of Black Friday.

Environmental impact

Days such as Black Friday promote over-consumption and consumption of things that are unnecessary. This wouldn’t have been a problem if we had unlimited resources to produce goods and easy ways for the disposal of products without impacting the environment. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

80% of Black Friday purchases are discarded after only one or zero usage. Imagine the amount of resources, plastic packaging, transportation emissions that would have gone in getting the products to the consumer, just to be wasted!

Read more here

Even still a lot of people are protesting against consumerism and the exploitation that comes in hand with buying products.

Check below to know more:

How to avoid temptation

It's not easy to avoid buying stuff when the prices are so low, but there are few tips which can help you during this Black Friday sale:

  • You can Join the ‘Buy nothing Day’ movement to completely avoid any temptation.
  • Shortlist only the thing that you really NEED and buy that in case there is a good discount. Ask yourself, do I really need this product? Can I repair it? Will I use it this time next year?
  • Unsubscribe from emails by shopping sites posting tempting offers

In addition to having negative impact on the Environment, such days also have a negative societal impact. These Days promote mindless consumerism and there are enough articles available showing negative impact of consumerism on mental health. Even in “developed” societies like the US, people fight with each other to get their hands on a few products.

It also has negative financial impact since you end up buying things that you don’t need (even though they are at a discount). So, if you buy a useless item for Rs. 1000 at 40% discount, you haven’t saved Rs. 400; but you have spent Rs. 600.

Indian Relevance

As many things from the West, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have started gaining traction in India as well. Many big retailer’s online as well as offline have started marketing 26th Nov as Black Friday in India. And the sale is not restricted to a particular day but is held over a number of days.

As consumers, we vote with our money. Lets us then vote so that on this Black Friday, the impact to the environment, our mental health, our society and our finances is minimal. 😊

November 26, 2021 — Earthy Route

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