Black Friday is the day when retailers finally begin to turn a profit for the year. In accounting terms, losing money is also known as being “in the red” because accountants traditionally use red ink to show their losses, and use black ink to show their profits. Thus, the name Black Friday since they make lots of money.
The determination of getting items often leads several people injured, and unfortunately, even a few deaths. Black Friday, being one day after Thanksgiving, holds a lot of ironies. While Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you already have, the next day, people are pushing people out of their way to consume items, not caring about other people’s safety.
We don’t normally associate the fashion industry with massive environmental damage, but we should. One aspect we never consider is about the clothes we wear, the people behind it, and the impact the industry is having on our world. According to the Guardian, Many people involved in these industries are severely overworked and underpaid. A demonstration of just how awful these conditions are is the collapse of Rana Plaza, where a garment factory was housed in Bangladesh. The day before the collapse there had been several clear warning that the structure was unsafe, a day before there had been a large fissure in the building. On that day in 2013, more than 1000 people died, crushed under a building of a totally preventable travesty. Despite these shocking conditions, people remain to flood into Dhaka. These people involved in working for the textile industry are desperate to make a living and refugees in their own country with no alternatives.
A recent study done by the New Yorker shows that a majority of consumers in the US already know exactly where their clothes are from. Many people only feel guilt when they’re stuck with this information but have no intention of changing anything. This is a tricky situation because even though this issue is very horrific, there are some advantages. Outsourced labor, which it is not always appealing, it keeps many countries out of poverty.
Instead of always going out and buying more products, you could swap clothes with a friend or acquaintance. In fact, there is a website called swap.com who strive to make it easier than ever to buy and sell new clothes, pre-owned clothing, toys, and more. Which essentially keeps millions of items out of landfills and prevents textile waste. With websites such as these, there is no need to throw away clothes and toys that can be reused and enjoyed by someone else.
Although we may not always want to know the truth behind everyday things, such as the textile industry, it is important that we bring awareness to these matters. The next time you go black Friday shopping consider the industry behind the products you’re consuming, and maybe even consider swapping clothes with someone else instead.