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International Buy Nothing Day – Anti-Black Friday

27 November

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 27 of November, repeating indefinitely

What is Black Friday? Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the USA. This day is a holiday in the USA so it became popular for consumers to start shopping for Christmas on this day. Over the last 20 years big retailers began offering discounts on this day, increasing its popularity further. The idea of Black Friday has now spread around the world and is now followed by Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving, when people often buy more…

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the USA. This day is a holiday in the USA so it became popular for consumers to start shopping for Christmas on this day. Over the last 20 years big retailers began offering discounts on this day, increasing its popularity further. The idea of Black Friday has now spread around the world and is now followed by Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving, when people often buy more online).

Is Black Friday out of control?

Although it can be great to save money, many argue Black Friday encourages people to buy things that they don’t need and can’t afford. It encourages a level of consumerism that is not sustainable, and feeds into many issues such as fast fashion’: very cheap clothes that are worn a few times before being thrown away.

Additionally, many people seem to lose control of their spending and tempers on this day, fighting over bargains and spending excessively.

Black Friday is also bad for small shops, who cannot afford to offer the same level of price cuts as big companies can.

Buy Nothing Day

Since 1997, Buy Nothing Day has been held on the same day as Black Friday, to make people think more about what they consume, and the impact it has on their finances, society, and the environment. During this day people try to  buy nothing at all for 24 hours. It can be surprising how difficult this actually is.

Ethical spending

As well as spending less and not buying unnecessary items, Buy Nothing Day aims to raise awareness of how to be a more ethical consumer. For example, you can avoid buying fast fashion, not automatically upgrading your mobile at the end of a contract, reusing and repairing what you have instead of replacing it, and avoiding inbuilt obsolescence. These kinds of decisions help protect the environment as well as saving you money.

What else can you do on Buy Nothing Day?

Some people carry out protests at shopping centres. Others avoid the shops completely and go for a walk in nature instead. Another alternative, the Buy Nothing Coat Exchange, is an idea which is spreading. People donate winter coats throughout November and anyone who needs one can come and take one on Buy Nothing Day.

Explore the British council’s Buy Nothing Day Quizzes and worksheets here.

Details

Date:
27 November
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