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Forget Black Friday – celebrate Buy Nothing Day instead
November 26, 2016, 8:56 am

Are you fed up with the hype around Black Friday, the pre-Christmas 'sales bonanza' day when retailers attempt to offload as much produce as possible ahead of the festive season?

If so, you might consider taking part in Buy Nothing Day instead this Friday.

Now in its 24th year, Buy Nothing Day was the brainchild of Vancouver-based artist Ted Dave, who conceived it as a "day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption".

Since 1997 it has been held on the same day as Black Friday, in a pointed response to advertisers' efforts encouraging consumers to spend more – and there are now associated campaigns in dozens of countries across the world.

The UK website for Buy Nothing Day says: "The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from buying stuff – anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!

"Instead of shopping, people around the world will take part in a 24-hour moratorium on consuming, either as a personal experiment or public statement.

"The anarchy that ensues on Black Friday has now become an absurd dystopian phenomenon ... Black Friday sucks the life out of small businesses, who cannot compete against this ruthless price cutting.

"If you really need to shop on Buy Nothing Day, ignore the big retailers ... make commitment to support local independent shops and businesses."

Black Friday was virtually unknown in the UK before 2010, but has quickly become Britain's biggest shopping day. In 2015 approximately £2 billion spent in shops and online over the 24-hour period.

Greenpeace has said it supports the message of Buy Nothing Day, and is using the day to raise awareness of the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

Dr Kirsten Brodde of Greenpeace Germany writes: "Because it is so cheap, fast fashion is one of the highest selling product categories on Black Friday, with many major fashion brands and retail giants jumping on the bandwagon.

"Greenpeace has shown that fashion production uses lots of precious fresh water and pollutes rivers and seas with toxic chemicals, long before it hits the shelves. We are also consuming and trashing clothing at a far higher rate than our planet can handle.

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