What if instead of rushing into Black Friday sales, you instead tried not to buy anything at all? That is the goal of the “Buy Nothing Day” challenge, which has been celebrated for several years as an international day of protest against consumption at the same time as Black Friday.
While many consumers around the world rub their hands in the run-up to Black Friday to find great deals, others are scrambling to keep their credit cards or bills warm in their wallets.
On the same day as the famous Black Friday and its traditional barrage 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 forcing us to reconsider our consumer behavior.
But the challenge is far from new: it was launched by Canadian artist Ted Dave in 1992 before being taken up by the activist collective and magazine Adbusters and disseminated internationally. You may have never heard of it.
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But Buy Nothing Day has also been celebrated in Europe for several decades. While it is celebrated on the same day as Black Friday in North America or France, Swedes prefer to celebrate it on Saturday, the day after the annual consumer frenzy.
However, it remains to be seen how many people will be willing to take on the challenge of not buying anything for 24 hours!
A global form of protest against today’s consumer society, Buy Nothing Day joins the ranks of many alternatives to Black Friday and focuses on a more rational approach to consumption that is more in line with an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
In France, as elsewhere, several groups and movements have emerged in recent years to counter this marketing action, such as Green Friday, #30DaysChallenge and Take Black Friday.
But these initiatives still need to be better known. According to a recent survey for CSR and ESG engagement platform NooS Global, 56% of French respondents have never heard of Giving Tuesday.
This humanitarian day, created by New York’s 92nd Street Y Community and the United Nations Foundation, encourages citizens to donate to charity on the Tuesday after Black Friday. Nevertheless, this year it celebrates its 10th anniversary!