Why Black Friday & Cyber Monday Kinda SUCK!

Laura Camilleri | 20 November 2020


 The term “Black Friday” has had a bunch of meanings over the decades. First it was the title given to the US stock market crash on Friday, September 24, 1869. In the 1950s it was the term for when people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving, to score themselves a four day weekend. With retailers remaining open, the “sick” took advantage of the extra day off and hit the shops to start their Christmas shopping. In 1966, Black Friday was used by the Philadelphia Police Department to describe the long shifts, shopping chaos and unbearable traffic on what was becoming an infamous calendar day.

Timeline of Black Friday

As the years passed, the finance world seized control over the term. Retailers began turning huge profits and that’s where the ‘black’ comes in (black for the colour ink used in accounting to mark profit, whereas red was for loss). Marketers then sprinkled some glitter and turned “Black Friday” into what we know it as today!

What was once a day of sales has now turned to a week and encompasses Cyber Monday. But how can a week of shopping bargains possibly be a bad thing?

We bet you have seen the footage of people losing their minds over the last TV on the shelves. They destroy literally anything that gets in their way. In 2008, a male worker weighing in at 122kgs, standing over 6ft tall, was trampled to death in Walmart when crowds stampeded into the store.

Timeline of Black Friday

This period sucks and not just because of the overnight phenomena of sane human turning into wild beast. But the toll this week takes on the environment. Discount culture encourages overproduction and enormous volumes of waste that our planet simply cannot manage.

This frenzied consumerism needs to stop and if you don’t believe us, watch David Attenborough’s, ‘Life on Our Planet’. As a society we need to eradicate the disposable nature of clothing and spend our money on high quality, sustainable garments.

Though if you think this Black Friday hoo-ha is just another of America’s 99 problems, it’s a craze that hits our Australian shores too (hello Boxing Day sales). So this year, don’t get sucked into the marketing glitter bombs. Shop smarter, not faster.

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We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the Traditional Custodians of the Land in which we operate. We would like to pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Elders past, present and future.

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