Thursday, November 19, 2015

Black Friday meets Buy Nothing Day
– The bout of the century

This year is something special. Black Friday, or shopageddon day, coincides with Buy Nothing Day (Note: this doesn’t apply to beer!). It’s next week on 27th November. Apparently this occurs only once every 73 million years and since there weren’t any shops the last time it happened some doomsday experts are predicting a tear in the time shop continuum where we all get sucked into a vortex of uncertainty which renders our decision making circuits and credit cards incapable of working or making rational choices.

So, do we sacrifice ourselves on the altar of consumerism, to get the bargain we don’t really want for less than we would normally have to pay for it? The something for less culture that delivers nothing of value and ends up in landfill in the blink of an eye.

Predictions indicate that UK Internet sales on the day will reach £1 billion with total spending reaching £1.4 billion and over the entire weekend nearing £3.5 billion. This in a country where, we are told, there is no money to pay for essential services (except Trident) and we have to have austerity. And please do note that 20% of that figure is going to the Treasury in VAT.

Or do we “spend” the day tending our soul by just going for a walk in Hainault Forest Country Park or Fairlop Waters and just chilling out in the company of friends and family. Giving our friendly Corporate chains and their workers a well-earned day off so they can rest their RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) conditions from repeated use of a calculator to work out their VAT return or from repeated use of a till?
"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 with their isles of organised landfill and make a commitment to support local independent shops and businesses."
Fortunately there is an alternative – the Reverse Advent Calendar

Just give away a piece of your stuff each day from 1- 24 December to someone who actually needs it. The sort of stuff you bought at last year’s Black Friday and found you didn’t need. The stuff that somebody else bought at last year’s Black Friday, had second thoughts about and gave it to you as a Christmas or birthday present. Use your own networks or maybe try Streetbank or Streetlife. And don’t forget Redbridge FoodBank.

Declutter this Christmas.

Above. Delivering much needed aid to the poor, needy and starving in the UK at last year's Black Friday


  1. How about donating one bag (or failing that, one item) to a charity shop every day of Advent? It does not have to be the same charity shop each time.

    1. This shouldn't be a problem in Barkingside High Street ...