In the early morning, following the celebration of a fraudulent friendship between colonizers and Native Americans portrayed by the selfish, bloodthirsty colonizers, millions of consumers flock to the nearest producer in hopes of scoring amazing deals just in time for the holiday season.
While this holiday trend seems nothing more than a sweet opportunity to score some sweet gifts for you and your loved ones, the truth of the holiday is it benefits the CEOs of major companies exponentially more than the workers and laborers who bring your products to the shelves. Happy Black Friday, America!!
It is true the origins of Black Friday reveal that the purpose of Black Friday was in order to bring retail owners a significant profit by offering discounted merchandise. After dealing with a whole year of loss, owners would attempt to alleviate their circumstances by offering unbelievable discounts on their items in order to rake in a profit from consumers, who were under the spell of unbelievable markdowns. While this seems like a harmless practice and a win-win for both the consumer and the producer, it was, in the 1870s, but now as the richer have grown richer and the income gap increases, Black Friday is a holiday only for the 1% to celebrate.
To first get into why Black Friday is another sham of a holiday, we need to first consider what good it can do.
Provide deals for consumers in time for the upcoming holidays.
Release outdated styles in order to clear shelf space for the influx of new sales
Bring producers a large profit.
Okay, these seem pretty nice. We, the consumers get a nice deal and the producers get more money. A fair trade in my book, but as the producers receive more money, you would assume the workers who crafted these items, the workers who sold these, or simply the majority of workers would see a pay increase at this time, right? But no, if you are a salaried worker, you will most likely not see an increase in your pay due to Black Friday, huh funny. One might say, "But if you don't work on Black Friday, then you shouldn't be paid more." Well, to that I say, for working on Black Friday, which has been so clearly advertised as a holiday to the public, no holiday or overtime hours are offered, weird. So, what benefits are the workers really getting? Having to deal with an influx of consumers and antic customers? Being screamed at by angry mobs for the backup of the lines? Yes, that seems like the perfect holiday for me, but it's not. It's not a holiday for them. They are paid the exact same amount of money for tens of times the work.
So you may ask, " Where is all this money going, then?" And to that, I will provide you with this backstory. This all began in the city of brotherly love, Philly. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, thousands of suburban consumers would flock to the marketplace prior to the Navy-Army football game ensuing the next day in order to max out their holiday shopping before it was too late. This was a day that no cop in Philadelphia would be able to take off due to the increase in crime rates due to all the pandemonium. This was known in Philadelphia as Black Friday. Many attempts were created nationwide to flip the name to Big Friday, but no trend was to ensue, but was to follow is what is presented to American's every 4th Friday of November. Merchants and producers took the initiative to turn their "red sales to "black" by offering items discounted in order to see what might be their first profit of the year. But as the richer became richer and the 1% gained oh so much, leaving an unattainable divide, Black Friday became the celebration of capitalism. To answer the question, all of the profit gained from the sale of Black Friday shoots directly to the top of the top, missing all of the sweatshop laborers and working poor inside of the shops. The main offender, fast fashion.
If you haven't read or heard about fast fashion, I recommend you do a quick google search or check out my blog post "5 Ways To Save Your Environment" before continuing this part of my blog. To give a quick recap fast fashion is a business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, and mass-producing them at low cost. This seems, again, like a win-win for the consumer and the producer, but what I am learning from these win-win situations is that they are too good to be true. These fast fashion companies such as Boohoo, Fashionova, and Forever 21 facilitate these factories called 'sweatshops' which are known for their extremely poor, no, life-threatening working conditions and unsustainable pay. You may say, "No, no, no, America has regulations to make sure that this doesn't happen." Yes, yes they do, but how these scumbags get around these regulations is by hosting these sweatshops overseas where such working conditions do not exist and there is such a vacuum for jobs, people will take whatever may come by just to have a chance at living. This is wrong. This is immoral. To save a quick buck, companies risk human lives in the name of "capitalism". The workers in Indonesia are not paid a cent more after the Black Friday "holiday", but they are sent the newest fashion trend to cheaply replicate in order for it to hit the shelves in time for the second wave of consumers that arrives for the true holiday season.
Workers across the country are striking today in order to protest the inequality of Black Friday. I implore you, look deeper than the superficial items that are now $10 less than yesterday. Look into the mistreatment of workers across the country and the rest of the world. I assure you, a new Fashionova top may please your best friend this Christmas, but the child in the Philippines who lost their finger for it means much more. Together we stand a chance of stopping the rich from stomping and misusing the poor but only united. I am not saying the answer is boycotting all Black Friday items, but boycott fast fashion moguls for the betterment of everyone, from the workers serving you, to the people you assembled them. There will be no change unless we demand it. Here a couple of websites that can help you determine if a store is fast-fashion or not:
A quick google search should also suffice.
Not to forget, that fast-fashion is absolutely horrible for the environment, emitting millions of tons of greenhouse gases, but today let's focus on the people. After all, isn't the season all about thinking of others before yourself? Please consider spending your money and time at a people-friendly and environmentally-friendly retailer.