Cartoon by Margot Wester
Cartoon by Margot Wester

Behind Black Friday

December 21, 2019

Thanksgiving comes with many gifts for high school students: a relaxing five days off of school, a delicious meal with family, and time to reflect on the positive aspects of the past year. However, this season also brings a more controversial tradition: Black Friday shopping.

There are over a hundred million Americans who choose to brave the crowded stores on Black Friday. Clearly, there are benefits to shopping on this day. The sales offered are often the best deals of the entire year. This is very important to high schoolers who may be looking for a cute winter coat or a shiny new laptop. There is no denying that Black Friday can help keep our wallets full, if we shop carefully. This shopping day is also a positive social event. Many students go to the mall with their friends on Black Friday, navigating the deals and crowds as a group. During winter in Bloomfield, there aren’t many options for places to have fun with friends. Black Friday offers the coveted opportunity to spend time with loved ones in a unique setting. 

However, we also must acknowledge that there are also drawbacks to a day where our nation focuses solely on shopping. Black Friday, in its purest form, is just for buying items. This contributes to America’s already prevalent focus on consumerism. The day also promotes fast fashion, which is inexpensive clothing that is produced very quickly in order to keep up with trends and market demand. The industry is infamous for adding pollution and waste into a world that is already reeling from the effects of global climate change. The more consumers purchase these products, the faster fashion grows. Black Friday gives these companies a boost, harming our environment.

Therefore, we must reflect on both the benefits and drawbacks of Black Friday, and encourage the student body to shop mindfully. Some sales are positive for our bank accounts, but buying something just because it is on sale contributes to the negative consumerism that threatens to destroy our planet. We urge you to enjoy the deal-heavy shopping with your friends and family, but to remember that it’s not necessary to buy items for the sake of having more material possessions.

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