Black Friday – favors shopping and the climate crisis
Black Friday: Every year it traditionally takes place in the USA on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year on November 26th. The next Monday is Cyber Monday. The motto: discount battles and shopping madness. Who gets the best deal, who discovers the craziest deals, who buys the most? Hardly anyone thinks about the effects on our environment...
Why Black Friday and where did it come from?
The so-called Black Friday traditionally falls on the day after Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in US states. It all started in Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania. On November 24, 1961, local retailers there reduced prices for the first time in order to lure people into the city on the bridge day between Thanksgiving and the weekend. On November 24, 2006, Apple became the first company to host a one-day shopping event where all products were discounted. The reason: The discounts were intended to increase product demand. Germany followed suit in 2013.
Why is Black Friday called Black Friday?
There are different theories. Some are probably thinking of the stock market crash in Germany in 1929, which fell on a Friday: Concerned investors rushed to the banks - similar to the bargain hunt and shopping chaos of today. The fact that some retailers have the chance to be in the black instead of in the red on this one day of the year could also be a reason for the naming.
The scam behind Black Friday
Behind Black Friday is a profitable marketing strategy: boost consumption, empty warehouses. In a saturated market such as Germany, you need “causes” to increase shopping. Millions of people around the world buy an enormous number of things in just one day that they actually don't need. Because the price is attractive.
The consequences of Black Friday on our environment
A new television, laptop, printer, refrigerator, coffee machine or would you prefer a new perfume, bicycle or mobile phone? Whether technology offers or cheap travel, whether online or offline: people shop until their credit cards glow. However, many people do not realize that our planet is also glowing. There is a lot of packaging waste and the CO2 emissions from transport increase enormously. A vicious circle that fuels global warming . The devastating consequences: floods, forest fires, hurricanes, extreme weather.
Are we being trapped on Black Friday?
Black Friday always has the best deals, doesn't it? According to a study by WISO, customers tend to save no more or less than on other days of the year. But why is the impression given that the best deals are on the same day? The trick lies in the deceptive promises of various providers: "Save 50% and more on product XY"!
What sounds so tempting is often more appearance than reality. The “original price” is usually the “manufacturer’s recommended retail price” (RRP for short). This is extremely high and is usually never really collected. Clever: The higher the "original" price is given, the more we can - supposedly - save.
Neuroscientists also studied the effect of discounts on the human reward system: Just looking at percentage signs on price tags is enough to activate this area in the brain. So it's no wonder that on a day as discounted as Black Friday, more is usually bought than planned or needed. In the long run, however, this high does not make you happy. According to a study, the initial euphoria can even be followed by negative emotions, as feelings of guilt or inner emptiness spread.
Another problem is that discount battles are fueling an ever-increasing trend towards the discount society. It is simply becoming more difficult to sell products at the actually reasonable prices.
Our Green Week and other counter-movements
This consumer behavior does not fit our understanding of sustainable consumption, which is why we are clearly opposed to discount battles. Nevertheless, we also want to give something on Black Friday: above all, to our nature. That's why we start from 22.11.-29.11. the green week. We plant twice as many trees for each product sold and donate 10% of the proceeds to a non-profit association. Be sure to check out our Instagram account to find out more.
There are now some counter-movements that are taking a stand against overconsumption on Black Friday:
For example, White Monday , a movement from Sweden, calls for questioning our consumer behavior and encourages people to shop sustainably. Existing resources should be used, product life cycles extended and solutions for throwing away found. Participating companies undertake not to engage in any Black Friday marketing or to offer any exclusive discounts in this context.
On Green Monday , some companies donate part of their earnings or plant trees. Like us. 🌳
On Giving Tuesday , the global day of giving, the focus is on togetherness: giving, helping, sharing and donating where help is needed.
The “Buy Nothing Day” was organized in Vancouver in 1992, known in Germany as “Kauf-nix-Tag” , which calls for (voluntary) abstinence from consumption for 24 hours.
What to do on Black Friday
Become part of our Green Week and do something good with your purchase. Give something back to the environment together with us. Question yourself with every purchase: Is it an impulse purchase or do I really need it? Do I have to buy this new or is there a more sustainable alternative? Do I already own something similar?
If we are all more aware of our consumption behavior and its impact, we can make a difference together. Our planet will thank us. 🌎
Order climate-friendly chocolate now
More climate-related topics in our blog: