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

Black Friday: seven things to do instead of buying stuff

Most Black Friday ‘deals’ are bogus, new research suggests. Here are seven things you can do as a rebuff to hollow consumerism

Most Black Friday ‘deals’ are bogus, new research suggests. Here are seven things you can do as a rebuff to hollow consumerism

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

Which? analysed more than 200 Black Friday offers at eight major retailers, including Amazon, Argos, Currys and John Lewis. It looked at their prices every day for a year and found that 98% 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 distraction machine that is the internet is designed to part us from our cash, especially on Black Friday. Hide from it by getting outside, or curbing your phone use. You could take a leaf out of singer Charlotte Church’s book. In a recent interview with Positive News, she revealed how she kicked her scrolling habit. “I turned my phone on greyscale. Without those colours, it’s amazing how it loses its draw,” she said.

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 started up 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? Set one up yourself. 

Image: Dan Gold

7. And if you have to buy something…

Buy a Positive News subscription, of course. You’ll pay the regular price because we don’t do Black Friday. And because we’re a reader owned non-profit you won’t be greasing the wheels of capitalism, but instead funding more uplifting journalism about the things that are going right in the world. In the spirit of delayed gratification, a copy will arrive via snail mail every quarter.

Image: Micah Tindell
Main image: Jose carlos Cerdeno

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