So Black Friday is upon us. It feels a bit forced doesn’t it? An export from America, were we not fine without it? Just to be clear, I am not knocking small traders, independents and the self-employed who piggy back on this to earn more money. It is their creativity and entrepreneurialism that is stimulating and stabilising the economy, so good on you for seeing this as an opportunity.
I guess the Marxist feminist rises in me and I tend to dislike seeing large multi-nationals continue to gain through intensive marketing aimed at us everyday folk, whilst damaging the environment through continued use of plastics, poorly managed planet Earths resource sucking supply chains and exploitative export processing zones (factories largely filled with women in low income countries).
As a stylist who has a deep passion for clothes, I feel torn. Why? Because I love shopping and I LOVE bargains so technically this is my dream moment. However, I don’t like the idea that the media are just feeding the big old capitalist machine we live in. There is something dark and sinister, maybe it’s in the name.
The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in Philadelphia. This was in a shopping context where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Doesn’t sound great does it? Whilst in the UK we get broadcast online footage of people treading over people to get into the store, grim! There is actually a website for tracking deaths on Black Friday http://blackfridaydeathcount.com
Gosh, this is all getting rather dark, however the environmentalist in me rears up, as I feel this strange day encourages the over buying of needless items, which isn’t good for the planet. I guess we could all do with some bargains ahead of Christmas and yes saving a few pounds is always good. I can’t help but feel overwhelmed as suddenly all the shops/brands are banging on at you to spend more money, when really the truth is the offers will still be there, you will still save money even if you choose to shop on other day.
Ironically, I am actually obsessed with sales, last year I opted not to party on NYE (I know, I can hear you gasping) but instead have an early night so I could hit the shops the next day in Portsmouth\UK at Gun Wharf Quays. I was ecstatic and in my element, designer clothes doubly discounted, so why I am meeting Black Friday with so much resistance? I guess I just don’t like feeling manipulated and I feel in some way that is exactly what Black Friday is all about, manipulating people to part with money, its bleak, just like the name and it’s background.
Sorry for being a bit torn and harsh sounding about this, I could have written a joyous article singing it’s praises but it wouldn’t of been honest of me. I will make up for it by posting another article pronto about Christmas Party Outfits, whoop whoop. Feeling much better already, phew.