When it comes to shopping during the holidays (ie. Black Friday), this country has gone somewhat haywire. Not to say that people should not shop during the holidays, but when the thoughtful gesture of purchasing a gift becomes a sport, or a battle, it’s time to rethink what we’re doing.
Back in 2015, retailer REI closed the doors of all of its stores on Black Friday, and still paid each of its 12,000 employees for the hours that they would have worked. According to Forbes, that bold initiative inspired what some people are calling “The Alternative Black Friday Movement”. The closing of REI retail outlets inspired Patagonia to donate its Black Friday profits to grassroots organizations. Pretty cool.
Essentially, The Alternative Black Friday Movement has become a rallying flag for people to participate in more thoughtful gift buying exercises. Maybe this coming Black Friday (November 24), we might all decide to take a deep breath, and rethink the values that surround the holidays. It doesn’t mean that we can’t shop for our loved ones during the holidays, it just means that we need to start shopping in a more meaningful way. Shop locally, buy goods made in the USA, be environmentally conscious, think about fair trade… somehow, someway, make a stand.