If you need the deals because money is tight, then there’s no judgement from us. But if you sense that maybe your attitude to consuming isn’t what it should be, these ideas may be helpful.
1. Buy Nothing Day
Handily happening on the exact same day as Black Friday, BND is a brilliant way to see how conformed you are to the consumerist mindset of this world. It’s surprisingly hard, even for a day. Part protest, part mini secular Lent. Follow @buynothingday on Twitter.
2. Clothed in righteousness
The problem with fashion is that its entire premise is that you must buy new or different stuff every ‘season’ (or even week or month). Like all over-consumption, this means manufacturing unsustainably and, all too often, unethically. Disposable clothes need to be cheap, and clothing brands aren’t going to take the financial hit, so garment industry workers are paid a pittance and work in awful conditions.
The real answer is to buy clothes less often, but if the social pressure or desire for self expression is too great, go to charity shops or have a clothes swap. To inform new purchases, take a look at: knowtheorigin.com.
3. People of the books
Of all the addictions out there, book buying (not to be confused with book reading) is one of the most powerful and charming. But we still want to do it ethically, right? Jeff Bezos doesn’t need your money or more power in this world. So, use bookshop.org to buy from smaller independent bookstores and help them compete with the Amazon behemoth.
4. Taking the ‘gross’ out of groceries
Supermarkets are notorious for pressuring farmers and other suppliers into unfair relationships, so avoiding them is always a good idea. The Co-op is marginally better (because it is run democratically by members rather than shareholders and has a long history of progressive activism). But local farmer’s markets, grocers and ethical pop-ups are seeing a resurgence. Find one near you!
5. Renew your mind
The difficult truth is that we cannot buy and spend our way out of a set of problems created by overconsumption. The most ethical thing you can do is to buy less and to give more to charities trying to save the environment and human beings in bondage. This is hard and will take prayer and God’s grace.