Are you buying this year's Christmas presents or maybe just something nice for yourself? Black Friday 2020 attracts millions of people with sales and reduced prices. But are you buying something you actually need, or are you just falling for the same old corporate tricks?
This year, Black Friday will commence three months after Overshoot day, which sadly occurred on the 22nd August. Overshoot day tells us when we humans have used more resources than the earth can generate in the same year. As companies entice us with their reduced prices, they make us buy products we neither need, nor want. The Black Friday sale fuels consumption, which in turn fuels carbon dioxide emissions.
According to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the average Swede consumes 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The average in the world is 6.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, but what is measured to be sustainable is only 1 tonne per person per year. This means that Swedes consume ten times more than what is deemed sustainable and often with things we do not need. Overconsumption in Sweden is a fact.
Sadly Swedish' consumption has increased by 25% in recent years, but this is not something we ourselves experience, according to John Magnus Roos, author of “Konsumtionsrapporten”. When we buy something, dopamine is secreted and we feel security, well-being, comfort and other similar feelings, almost like a rush. But these emotions are very short lived, which creates a need to "have more" and with companies' special offers and attractions during the Black Friday sale, it becomes more difficult to resist the temptation to buy unnecessary things.
According to statistics from Prisjakt, many retailers are raising the prices of their products before Black Friday, in order for the consumer to believe there is a major price reduction, which is increasing the ‘satisfaction feel’ of a good bargain. Misleading marketing? Yes and we fall for it, one of many corporate tricks to make you buy more.
There are several organizations that are acting against the consumer frenzy during Black Friday 2020. Including Conscious Consumption, which runs "En köpfri dag" (A purchase-free day). The concept is not to buy anything at all for 24 hours as a counterpoint to Black Friday, a campaign that started already in 1992 in Canada but has come to Sweden in recent years. White Monday, which has now changed its name to Circular Monday, has also begun to emerge and is a day when there are offers and discounts on goods and services on circular alternatives
There are several options that allow you to consume more sustainably. The absolute most important thing is of course to buy second hand and contribute to things being reused instead of being newly made. Another option is to review what you already have. Ask yourself, will the replacement product really make you happier? But if you can’t resist the temptation to shop, then take a moment to think about whether it’s a desire created by the companies, or if you actually need and want the product. Finally, it is of course important to invest in companies that genuinely care about sustainability factors and that create as little impact on our planet as possible.
Instead of making offers, we at Lifelong have chosen to take a stand against overconsumption during Black Friday 2020. We want to offer an "Anti-I-bought-this-because-it-was-a-great-deal kit" with the purpose of creating a more conscious consumption. If you question yourself on the reasons for your purchase and still decide to buy, then you have made a conscious decision, without companies controlling you through manipulative ad campaigns. Have a look at our instagram page the coming days for the kit.