What have you bought this month? What are you planning on buying tomorrow? Have you started Christmas shopping? If you’re like me, simply reading these questions begins to saturate my mind with images of pretty clothes, cool decor items, books, fancy whiskeys, records, bracelets, lipsticks… And I can’t say I feel good about that fact. At least not when these things come from large brands and corporations.
Enter: Buy Nothing Day. A day to truly examine your own consumption habits and the consumptions habits of our society. Alternative questions to ask yourself might include: Why did I buy that item? Does it boost my own sense of being “hip” or having good taste? Why is my ego tied to my purchases? Where did it come from? Was it ethically produced or sourced? Could I live without that item? What are the social and environmental costs? What was the role of advertisements in my purchase? How long will it last?
The retail industry employs some seedy tricks. Products from big companies like Apple and Nike, for example, are crafted with a “planned obsolescence” so that before the year is up, you feel compelled to buy again. There are fucked-up reasons that “fast fashion” chains like F21 and H+M can sell you a pair of pants for $10. Ads are meant to make you desperately reach for an unrealistic ideal of being constantly thin, beautiful, and “cool.”
So take today to consider your own history of purchasing and how you want it to look in the future. Talk to friends and family. AVOID WALMART AT ALL COSTS. In essence, fuck the whole idea of Black Friday. I’m not calling for extremism here (I fully admit that I LOVE buying cool shit), but at least reflect on your own actions and mindset.
The most interesting thing I’ve read about Buy Nothing Day comes from a FAQs section. It is this:
Q: Where is the Buy Nothing Day logo?
A: Buy Nothing Day isn’t a brand, it’s an idea and it doesn’t have a logo.
[Alternative visual, not brand, for BND]
[Barbara Kruger- Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am)]
And finally, an anti-consumerist anthem, via Fugazi: