Although the majority of us in Australia have never actually experienced a Thanksgiving celebration firsthand, there is one element which has made it onto our shores.
And that’s the Black Friday sales.
The day marks the Friday that follows Thanksgiving, which always falls on the fourth Thursday of November. The day generally signals the beginning of sale season and it’s one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Think of it as the US equivalent of our Boxing Day sales.
However, thanks to the internet, Australians – and every other country with access to the internet – can now participate, with email sale alerts from our favourite stores flooding our inbox.
And while they’re oh-so-tempting, the anti-shopping movement #buynothingday, is asking consumers to resist in the name of sustainable shopping and ethical consumerism.
According to the ABC, here’s how much we waste in Australia…
According to Bustle, the movement started in Canada 25 years ago as a reaction to violent Black Friday sales – think manic shoppers elbowing their fellow consumers for a half-priced TV. The idea started as a one-day shopping detox and it quickly gained traction worldwide.
This year, social media users are using the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and sharing how and why they plan on avoiding the sales, both in-store and online.
Some cite anti-consumerist reasons and say they don’t want to add to landfill, while others would rather not spend their money on things they don’t need just to participate in the consumerist holiday.
Although in Australia, we’re physically removed from the shopping mall mania, the movement is still food for thought as we may or may not be perusing the sales.
Statistics from the ABC’s 2017 program, War on Waste, show Australia is the world’s second largest consumers of textiles, with the average Aussie buying around 27kgs of new clothing a year. In comparison, the global average is 13kgs annually.
While these statistics indicate that we might have a shopping problem, the problem also stems from the fact that the microfibres used in polyester, and clothing made from synthetic fabrics, don’t decay and either pollute our waterways or end up in landfill for years to come.
To bolster the movement, environmental NGO Greenpeace has teamed up with anti-waste organisations like Fashion Revolution, #BreakFreeFromPlastic and Fab City Global Initiative to launch the ‘Make SMTHNG’ campaign, which asks people to share, care and repair what they own to “give our beautiful planet a break,” says Greenpeace Make SMTHNG campaigner, Robin Perkins.
This is how people are responding to #buynothingday on Twitter: