Sales season is starting again and all over the world the %sale% labels will, for many, become the beacon of light. But on the same day as Black Friday, 27th of November, the international day of protest against consumerism, Buy Nothing Day, reminds us of keeping our money in our pockets.
It has finally arrived, the time of the year everyone is waiting for. In the U.S.A. its called “Black Friday”, here in the Netherlands it’s the “Korting” (sales) season before Christmas. Buy more, think less and get crazy. So far 7 people were killed since 2006 and 98 people got away with injuries on Black Friday frenzies in the U.S.A..
I first read about “Buy Nothing Day” in “The Moneyless Man” in which Mark Boyle starts his money free journey on that day. It is not very surprising that this celebration of freedom from consumption is not advertised all over the place and especially not on high street. Except for the environment and the individuals, nobody benefits from “Buy Nothing Day”, not the multinationals, not the economy and not the politicians. It’s a sign that the economy is recovering (it has been recovering for years now) when the end of the year report states that people have spend more this year.
So how are we supposed to celebrate or rather get through “Buy Nothing Day”?
- Use today to get your grocery shopping done for Friday by planning ahead (three meals)
- Don’t eat out, no take-away
- Go cycling, jogging or work out at home (yoga, pilates) with some help of youtube
- Avoid the fitness center
- Most of us have full wardrobes and not shopping for one day won’t force us to walk around in rags
- avoid high street, no window shopping
- alternatives like reading, gardening, going for a walk, listening to music are for free and much more relaxing
In the Netherlands the “Buy Nothing Day” – “Koop-Niets” Day falls on the last Saturday of November (28th).
Finally I want to give you a little update on my 21 pieces experiment and point out some of the difficulties I encounter while I avoid to buy clothes for a year. Three months into this experiment I haven’t bought any clothes or shoes or bags and so far it hasn’t been a problem. Now with winter approaching I exchange my autumn clothes with my winter wardrobe and everything gets much more fun with woolen pullovers, vintage leather pieces and boots. I have no clue what happens on the catwalks, read news of Balmain x H&M chaos with a grin on my face and disappointment in stomach and I certainly have saved a lot of money (compared to last year about 1000 euros in three months).
Yesterday I got my first care package for Xmas from my parents, a package the size of a small child filled with clothes, chocolate, shoes and herbs. The chocolate and the herbs I welcome, the clothes and shoes I pierce with my eyes. Not because they have come from sweat shops in Bangladesh, they probably didn’t but who knows nowadays, not because another pullover would make my wardrobe explode, but because there is no point to not consuming if others do it for you. How do we reduce our impact if it is balanced out on the other end. This isn’t a personal problem as fashion and food waste is a worldwide issue. Large stocks of fast fashion trends end up in landfills.
Let’s celebrate “Buy Nothing Day” by refusing to shop for one day but also refuse to accept presents and stand our ground for a more fair and healthy economy. (sorry to all of you that were born on “Buy Nothing Day”)
For those of you who cannot get enough of rebelling against Black Friday, feel free to extend this to Cyber Monday on November 30th.
image via fonkonline.nl