Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. – Fight Club
Every year, Black Friday shows us an almost caricature-like image of consumerism. Sale signs floating around everywhere, ranging from ‘buy 1 get 1 free!’ to ‘40% off (almost) everything!’ (the almost part being the crucial detail). People flocking to clothing stores, eager to find the best deal. Naturally, it’s amazing to get something you already wanted at a discount. But if you’re trying to find something you want to buy on sale, are you still saving money? Furthermore, what does the fact that these retailers can sell products at a steep discount while still making a profit tell us? Is the deal just that good, or is the original retail price just ridiculous? What is the true cost of these ultra-affordable items?
The documentary The True Cost explores the world of fast fashion, consumerism and the many questions it raises. How much do clothing pieces actually cost to make and what is behind that number? What is the psychology behind overconsumption along with the ethical and environmental implications that follow?
The Buy Nothing Day strategically placed the day of (in the US) or after (in Europe) Black Friday, aims to draw attention to the evergrowing problem of overconsumption. Whether it be a day-long hike or walking around a mall pretending to be zombies, there are various types of activities and protests taking place on Buy Nothing Day.
And while you don’t need to be running around a mall cutting up credit cards in protest, we could all use a day off of shopping to remember that we don’t need to buy everything!
Stay happy and healthy!