Black Friday weekend is now the time of year when we are encouraged to spend, spend, SPEND. Consumers are told to grab an 'amazing never-been-seen-before, will-never-be-seen-again deal before the sale ends on Cyber Monday. The shopper rage is enough to put you off Black Friday for life. Over the past few years, the truly devastating effects of Black Friday have come to light and many consumers turning away from the tradition. Is stopping Black Friday the solution?
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is traditionally the Friday immediately after American Thanksgiving. The BBC reported Black Friday's name comes from its association with retailers moving "into the black" i.e. turning a profit. Now, it is something incredibly different. Black Friday through to Cyber Monday ( the Monday after Black Friday) is a hotbed for bargain-hunting shoppers who can save a great deal on pretty much anything. From 2014, Black Friday Weekend sales have become a core part of the UK shopping calendar and it looks like it isn't stopping any time soon.
The problem with Black Friday
The frantic buying seen during Black Friday has been claimed to encourage overconsumption and materialism according to Dr Diana Ivanova, a research fellow at the University of Leeds' Sustainability Research Institute.
Although there is little evidence on the environmental and social impact of Black Friday, experts have reported these to the four areas where Black Friday is most harmful:
Manufacturing of products
Packaging, plus added packaging used for shipping
Delivery of the item
Wastage and lack of recycling of existing products