What if, instead of pouncing on Black Friday promotions, you instead tried to buy nothing at all? That’s the aim of the “Buy Nothing Day” challenge, which, for several years, has been observed as an international day of protest against consumerism, coinciding with Black Friday.
While many consumers around the world are rubbing their hands together at the thought of finding good deals in the run-up to Black Friday, others are challenging themselves to keep their credit cards or banknotes warm in their wallets.
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On the same day as the famous Black Friday event, and its traditional flurry of promotions, others prefer to celebrate “Buy Nothing Day.”This tradition is gaining increasing attention at a time when the climate crisis and inflation are making us reconsider our consumption patterns.
But the challenge is far from being new: it was created in 1992 by the Canadian artist Ted Dave, before being taken up and spread internationally by the activist collective and magazine Adbusters. You might never have heard of it.
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However, Buy Nothing Day has also been celebrated in Europe for several decades. While it is observed on the same day as Black Friday in North America or France, the Swedes prefer to celebrate it on Saturday, the day after the annual consumer frenzy.
Still, no matter the day, it remains to be seen exactly how many people are ready to take up the challenge of not buying anything for 24 hours!
A global form of protest against the current consumerist society, Buy Nothing Day joins the ranks of many alternatives to Black Friday, focusing on a more rational approach to consumption, more in tune with an eco-responsible lifestyle.
In France, as elsewhere, several groups and movements have emerged in recent years to counter this marketing operation, such as Green Friday, #30DaysChallenge and Take Black Friday.
But these initiatives still need to become better known. According to a recent survey conducted for the CSR and ESG engagement platform NooS Global, 56% of French respondents have never heard of “Giving Tuesday.”
Launched by New York’s 92nd Street Y community and the United Nations Foundation, this humanitarian-minded day encourages citizens to donate to charities on the Tuesday following Black Friday. It will nevertheless celebrate its 10th anniversary this year!