Buy Nothing is the new black.
While it was projected that nearly half of Canadians would be seeking shopping deals on Black Friday, a growing international movement – with roots in B.C. – is pushing back.
Buy Nothing Day was the brainchild of Vancouver artist Ted Dave who first organized the event in Vancouver, B.C. in September 1992 as “a day for society to examine the issue of overconsumption.”
Dave approached Vancouver-based Adbusters Magazine with the idea, subsequently collaborating with them on the promotion of the event that became an annual trend.
In 1997, it was moved to correspond with “Black Friday,” the biggest shopping day of the year, according to technology company ShopperTrak.
The protest movement caught on around the world.
In 2015, American outdoor gear company REI joined in by launching #OptOutside, closing their doors on the busiest day of the year to give their employees a day off to enjoy the great outdoors.
Patagonia, another U.S.-based outdoor store followed suit in 2016, pledging to donate 100 per cent of its Black Friday profits to grassroots environmental groups.
Adbusters Magazine continues to uphold the tradition of campaigning for the day of buying nothing. In addition to promoting the day, they also hold performance protests and set up credit card cutting stations, among other initiatives to challenge consumer thought.
For those that do need to make purchases on Buy Nothing Day, the campaign encourages buying locally.
In Victoria, the Think Local First app helps users find more than 200 local companies and allows them to collect points while they shop, redeeming points later for discounts at locally-owned businesses.
The Think Local First campaign is a pushback against globalized online economic activity.
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