It’s that time again—where our consumerist culture drives the masses to big brand stores and their laptops looking to get the finest deals of the year. The Black Friday tradition gains more and more traction every year, but have we ever asked ourselves how these brands and stores afford to give show-stopping discounts to their customers?

Over-Producing and Over-Purchasing

Senseless mass production fueled by workers making not even a livable income makes Black Friday possible. Mass production leads to an overproduction without a proper demand. Making things in large batches is the cheapest and most efficient way. The production of goods utilizes precious resources, release carbon emissions throughout production, and force workers into unsafe working conditions. All so that a superfluous amount of product will sit in warehouses: unwanted. These goods made at dirt-cheap prices—since they were mass produced—then fly off the shelves at 75% off on Black Friday since companies will still make a profit, despite the resources, environmental cost, and human labor involved. 

The fast-fashion sector specifically provides further challenges. Fast-fashion introduces extensive problems revolving around carbon emission, waste, pollution, and poor working conditions. Yet it is fast-fashion companies who bring us the biggest discounts each Friday after Thanksgiving. They tell us to buy-buy-buy and then discard-discard-discard. The disposable nature of fast-fashion means most of these Black Friday items typically end up in our landfills where they create even more problems worldwide. Yet they continue to over produce for a demand which is not there.

Support Small 

Instead of buying into this controversy, support small businesses. Ditch massive brands and huge chains that slash prices this time of the year. Local businesses cannot compete with the discounts provided by chain retail stores, and not having a discount ready for customers almost makes brands look like outsiders since shoppers expect these sales. Small businesses cannot afford to keep up with the blowout prices from large brands and chain stores, but shopping small means to sustaining your local economy while finding much more unique gifts and goods than any chain store can provide.

Here at eMpulse we put so much love into our clothes. They are made by hand rather than machines one stitch at a time. eMpulse apparel is already marked down to the lowest prices we can offer while still making a livable wage. We work to provide you with the lowest-impact, sustainable clothing that we can source and up-cycle, so that you can feel good about making a purchase.

The Consumer Conscience

It all comes down to our consumer conscience—we feel like we will miss out on a deal even though we already have plenty of goods. We have to turn this feeling around—to one that makes us feel happy with what we already have. Think more about what you want to purchase and ask yourself if you actually need it or is the discount luring you in? Our collective consumer consciousness must no longer be driven by impulses and quick deals. If you’d like to purchase something, try sleeping on it for a week or two and checking to see if you actually need it. We’re not saying to stop shopping, but to purchase wisely, thoughtfully, and from companies helping the planet and its people prosper. And above all else—support small and local businesses, especially right now during these uncertain times!

November 26, 2020 — Kristy Karrer