How do Black Friday & Cyber Monday effect the Slow Fashion Movement?

The world in which we live today is plagued by the concept of convenience. With advances in many areas of technology, it is all too easy to get lost in our seemingly insatiable need for the material realm. The temptation to purchase something is made simple and quick, instant gratification for the stressed student, the working mother or the spoiled child. The monotony and effortlessness of shopping blinds us to our over-consumption.

As consumers, we are always being encouraged to buy more through various means: advertisements, sales etc. Thus saw the birth of awareness campaigns, such as the Slow Food and Slow Fashion movements. While the Slow Food Movement rallied against the globalization of food, the Slow Fashion Movement is a reaction against the globalized, mass production of clothes. From the origin of its production, fashion makes its way to its retail store within a matter of weeks to be sold at very low prices. This results in an over consumption, which impacts the environment negatively as well as exploits factory workers.

There are some days that completely hinder this movement, such as the huge sale the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday. Since the 1930s, it has been regarded as the beginning of Christmas shopping season in the United States. Most major retailers open early in the morning and more recently during overnight hours. Shoppers are able to snatch whatever has caught their fancy prior to the colossal sale.

Additionally, for some, waiting in line is too tedious, and thus Cyber Monday was created where everyone could get extremely good deals without ever having to leave the house. Nonetheless this over consumption that stems from huge sales, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, impacts the environment in the sense that it results in the depletion of fossil fuels, decrease of freshwater reserves, and increase in the use of pesticides and man-made fibers–all of which contribute to climate change.

Retailers push Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as it is their source of income. They make more money by getting rid of their old inventory on the biggest shopping day of the year. Cultivating the season to buy things, people end up buying more than they need–they buy things that they normally don’t purchase just because the items are on sale. This perpetuates consumerism and negates everything the Slow Fashion movement stands for.

Mikaella Evaristo is a contributing writer. Email her at violetvision@nyunews.com.

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