Black Friday - Cyber Monday is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Now, if you consider yourself a good environmentalist, you probably abhor this weekend.
I did for a long time. I thought it represented everything wrong with consumerism highlighting one of the worst aspects of human nature - greed.
My family never participated in the Black Friday madness growing up. The Friday after Thanksgiving . was a day for relaxing with family, napping and eating leftovers. The thought of waking up at 3 am to score a deal on something never really appealed.
Besides, my family tended to buy all of their Christmas presents in July. What can I say, I come from a long line of overachievers.
As I became more environmentally minded and learned more about overconsumption and how it's destroying the planet, my hate for this day grew stronger...
But, my mind started to change a few years ago... when I bought something I desperately needed, new organic cotton underwear, on a CYBER MONDAY SALE.
The following year, a Reformation sweater that I had been wanting all season long. When it went on sale, I snapped it up SO FAST.
That's when I realized the sales aren't the problem, it's the attitude. And, don't get me wrong the knock-out, drag down fights that break out in the mall with people loading everything into their carts buying just to BUY is a problem.
But, if you're mindful, conscious, and intentional, I see no problem with getting a deal. After all, if you've been trying to support ethical and sustainable brands, you've probably realized that it costs more!
It costs more to pay people a living a wage and to use materials that are better for the environment. So, this sale weekend is an opportunity to buy something that might fit into your budget a little bit better.
It's an opportunity to support a brand who's doing the right thing while paying a little less.
I've seen a lot of people bash Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales... and I get it. But, for a movement that struggles with accessibility, let's not add "having to pay full price" to the long list of imaginary requirements we have in our minds of what it means to be a good environmentalist.
So, if you're planning on shopping this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I've rounded up a few tips to make sure you're buying something that will truly add value to your life and that you're not just buying because "it's a good deal!"
1. Make a list!
Great news! I'm writing this post early so you have time to think about what would truly add value to your life.
In the moment, it's so easy to get caught up in all the good deals. It's easy to get seduced into buying something you don't really want. I'd like to encourage you to make a list of all the things you need or want.
Find the websites and stores that you like to shop at and go in the plan and stick with it to the best of your ability.
2. Would you pay full price?
This happens to me when I'm shopping at the thrift store ALL. THE. TIME. I see a cute dress, try it on and think, "It's cute." Then I look at the price tag and see that it's only $8.
And, I think to myself, "Well, it's only $8," so I'll get it! Then I wind up with a dress I wear once or twice before being donated again a year later.
This isn't an efficient use of my money or resources. So, I've started estimating the retail price of an item. That $8 Madewell dress I tried on would have cost around $125 brand new.
Would I buy that dress for $125? HECK NO. It was not that cute!
So, ask yourself, would I be buying this if it weren't on sale? And, if the answer is no, put it back!
If you're actually going out on Black Friday the hustle and bustle can be extreme. You can be whipped into a frenzy. Emotions are running high and with so much going on it's easy to lose track and just start piling stuff you don't need in your cart.
Make sure to breathe. Take some deep breaths and calm your brain. Just because chaos is around you, doesn't mean you have to experience that same chaos.
Use this time to check-in with yourself and stay present in the moment.