Reflecting on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

I first heard of Black Friday around 8 years ago. I watched a YouTube video of an American teenage girl heading out to the mall to shop the Black Friday sales. When she arrived back home, she did a haul of what she purchased and shared the discounts that were on offer.

I live in the UK and although Black Friday is an American tradition, it has now been adopted here too.

Black Friday can be a chance to buy items you’ve wanted for a while at a discounted price. It can also be, a chance for retailers to encourage people to buy old stock.

With the ever-growing conversation about shopping sustainably and reducing our consumption of fast fashion, I think a lot of people that would have once rushed to spend money have now become a little disenchanted with Black Friday.

There were quite a few different opinions being shared and conversations happening online. I personally save my thoughts and opinions for my blog but it was interesting to see what was being shared on social media.

Below is some of what I saw:

  • A UK based fashion retailer selling things for up to 99% off which meant a dress was on sale for 8p.
  • People criticising those that bought cheap clothes from the UK based fashion retailer.
  • People criticising Black Friday overall.
  • People on Instagram sharing brands that were offering discounts, as part of a paid #AD.
  • People highlighting that Black Friday is not a reason buy things you don’t need but you may as well get a discount on the things you were planning to buy anyway.

These days everything I buy is first on a list on my phone, in a note book or an excel spreadsheet. I bought a few different things on Black Friday but they were all intentional well thought out purchases.

However, in previous years I’d have probably just bought a bunch of cheap clothing without even considering whether I needed it or if I would still want it in 6 months time.

People often use this idea that if you wouldn’t buy something at full price, don’t buy it in the sale.

I disagree.

As someone that mostly shops in the sales, I can admit that there are lots of things I wouldn’t pay full price for. I might be reluctant to spend £190 on a bag but will happily buy it for £110 on sale. I think it’s really just about the mindset because if you’re buying things that you need and have use for getting it on sale won’t change that.

Many people get at others for how they shop without considering peoples individual circumstances. For those that don’t shop second hand and don’t have a lot of money to spend, indulging in the sales may be the only time they can comfortably afford to get everything they need.

I’d be lying if I didn’t write about the fact that I’m someone who enjoys shopping and actually finds it exciting.

There were times when I could feel myself on the verge of getting carried away as I browsed Farfetch, Net-a-porter, The Outnet and Flannels for a bag even though I already have more than a dozen. Or a site I purchased from, where I found myself adding 4 items to my basket even though I only planned to buy 2.

Luckily, I’ve made enough of an effort to change my shopping habits. I was able to close the tabs and remove the items from my basket, instead of spending money on things I don’t even need.

It is worth noting that knowing what I know, I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable buying clothing for 8p or even 38p. The reason for this is, clothing that can be sold that cheaply is not clothing made to last. In fact, I actually believe it’s good to spend a decent amount of money (subject to the individual) on the items we buy because it ensures we value them more.

But there are plenty of people that see things differently which is why the cheap clothing was selling out so quickly.

Overall, I just see Black Friday as another sale. Granted it does encourages excessive consumption however, I also think that we as individuals have to simply be a little more thoughtful about the way we shop.

For me that means no longer buying things just because I like them or because they are cheap but instead putting more thought into whether it is something I need, something I will use regularly and something I will keep for years to come (or until it runs out in the case of beauty items).

By the time it got to Cyber Monday, I was tired of shopping. Although, when I saw that Coach was selling selected colourways of the Tabby 26 at 50% off, I was more than tempted.

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