Boycott Black Friday

Think before you buy this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Shoppers are expected to spend around £10 billion during the Black Friday sales, and the pre-sales have already kicked off as companies like Amazon decided to start slashing prices a week early.

However, while thousands hit the streets or the web in pursuit of a bargain, it’s the planet that picks up the tab. This type of unsustainable consumption puts a strain on resources and is devastating for our planet, as cheap goods end up in landfill, often only a few months later.

Where are shoppers spending their money?

In recent years, shoppers have ditched the high street and now pick up their deals online. However, as well as these bargains landing on our doorsteps wrapped in a whole load of plastic and other unnecessary packaging, the companies themselves are often causing damage to our societies and planet.

It is often the tax avoiding companies that reap huge profits from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As more shoppers stay indoors and shop online, it is the online giants that are benefiting the most from Black Friday sales. Amazon, Ebay and Apple, which all score worst in our anti-social finance category for likely use of tax avoidance, will rake in huge revenues that in the past have often flowed into offshore tax havens.

Image: Amazon Warehouse
Amazon warehouse

Amazon is largely responsible for bringing Black Friday to the UK in 2010 and has dominated the shopping event ever since. Amazon is already marketing this year as the “biggest ever Black Friday sale”, but we’ll continue our boycott campaign against Amazon for its consistent use of tax avoidance.

Backlash against Black Friday

We have created a ‘shopping without Amazon’ series which outlines our boycott and lists alternative ethical retailers to help you avoid the online giant this Black Friday and beyond.

Since this shopping frenzy hit the UK 8 years ago, there has been growing disillusionment with the event. Which? has even claimed that 87% of Black Friday products are cheaper or the same price at other times of the year. 

M&S, ASDA, House of Fraser and Selfridges will not be holding Black Friday sales this year. M&S chief executive said it would be shunning the “retail bonanza” because it “sucks sales forward”.

Shoppers are also boycotting the event and instead vowing to buy nothing on the 23rd November. Buy Nothing Day now runs alongside Black Friday as an antidote to the consumerist event. It claims that Black Friday “sucks the life out of small businesses, who cannot compete against this ruthless price cutting”. 

If you feel like you need to buy something over the weekend, consider smaller ethical businesses, like the ones featured in our ethical online retailers guide, which unlike Ebay, Amazon and Apple are more likely to be paying their fair share of tax.

The 23rd of November also marks the start of ‘Make Smthing Week’, which ‘promotes a movement of makers and alternatives to consumerism’. This international festival has been set up on the same day as Black Friday to challenge this consumerist culture and to encourage everyone to get creative with friends and family instead. You can find a list of events in your area on their website.

So if you are going to get crafty, only buy from independent local businesses or avoid shopping altogether.

We encourage everyone to #shoplesslivemore this weekend.

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