Image for Black Friday: seven things to do instead of buying stuff

Black Friday: seven things to do instead of buying stuff

As research reveals that most Black Friday ‘deals’ are bogus, here are seven things you can do as a rebuff to rampant consumerism

As research reveals that most Black Friday ‘deals’ are bogus, here are seven things you can do as a rebuff to rampant consumerism

Black Friday is nearly upon us which means bargains galore, right? Er, no. Analysis by the consumer group Which? has revealed that most deals offered on Black Friday are bogus. 

Which? analysed 200 Black Friday offers last year at seven major retailers, including Amazon, Argos, Currys and John Lewis. It looked at their prices every day for a year and found that 98 per cent were cheaper or the same price at other times compared to Black Friday.

Nevertheless, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among the busiest retail days of the year. Footage is rife of people scrapping over (supposedly) discounted flatscreens on shop floors. If it all makes you feel a little queasy, here are seven things you can do in quiet protest.  

Black Friday
1. Actively buy nothing

The flip side of Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day, an international rebuff against consumerism. It all began in Vancouver, Canada, in 1992 when the artist Ted Dave decided we needed a day for society to examine the issue of overconsumption. It’s since caught on in the UK, Sweden and beyond. 

Image: David Lezcano

2. Get something repaired

A needle and thread is all you need to take a stand against throwaway culture. Upcycle your ripped jeans with a few stitches (in time). Alternatively use some Sugru mouldable glue to repair a broken USB charger or a hole in your wellies. You could even take your broken electronics to one of the many repair cafes or fixing factories that are opening across the UK and beyond. There, experts can help you fix anything from computers to bicycles. Most offer repairs for free or a pay-what-you-can-afford basis. 

Image: John Anvik

Black Friday
3. Switch off

The digital world is engineered to tempt us to part with our cash, especially on Black Friday. Hide from it all by curbing your phone use. Who knows, it might even lead to a permanent shift in behaviour. 

Image: Kelly Sikkema

Black Friday
4. Plant some bulbs for spring

The antithesis of instant gratification, burying bulbs in the soil now will mean you have some beautiful blooms when winter has passed. Black Friday is coincidentally around the best time to plant tulips. 

Image: Wai Siew

Black Friday
5. Give old items away

Clutter. We all accumulate it. Whether it’s clothes, toys or books we aren’t going to read again. Rather than leaving them to gather dust or feed moths in your wardrobe, why not bundle them into a bag and drop them off at your nearest charity shop? 

Image: Susan Holt Simpson

Cost of living
6. Swap stuff

A clothes swap in a south London boozer is helping people refresh their wardrobes for nothing, while challenging the throwaway culture promoted by fast fashion. Waverley Garms – a play on the host pub’s name, Waverley Arms – is one of many such events that have been started during the cost of living crisis. It was launched by Nunhead resident Cat Lewis. “We get a real range of people coming along,” she told Positive News. Can’t find one locally? Then set one up yourself. 

Image: Dan Gold

Black Friday
7. And if you have to buy something…

Buy some brassicas. Huh? It’s a cabbage. An unseasonably warm autumn in the UK has led to a glut of these vegetables, far more than would ordinarily be bought this time of the year. Buy a load to save them from spoiling, and make some kimchi or sauerkraut, which could help support your immune system this winter.

Image: Micah Tindell
Main image: Adolfo Felix

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