Did you know that the term “Black Friday” was first used in the year 1869 and that it had nothing to do with shopping? That’s right. As this Huff Post piece details so well, the first known reference to Black Friday was in relation to a big dip in gold prices – on a Friday – that caused the market to crash, making it a dark day. So dark you could say it was, well, black. Fast forward to the late 1950s and the term was used again. This time it was about shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, but not in the way you might think. Philadelphia traffic officers loathed the day because the shopping frenzy created chaos, and big headaches for traffic police. Several games of telephone later and today, most people believe that Black Friday is the day that retail outlets do so much business that their ledgers go from red to black, turning the year’s debts into profits. That and it's the best day for holiday shopping deals.
Here at What’s Good, we don't play the Black Friday game. The Black Friday of today stands for just about everything What’s Good is not: mass consumerism, big box retailers paying rock-bottom wages so they can make the biggest profit margins selling mass produced goods (likely produced overseas where labor practices are questionable), without any – or very little – thought about what goes in them. Asking folx to work on a day they might rather be with family or resting or traveling. And what's worse, making the discount available only on that day. Ugh. These are just a few of the reasons we invite you to take a break from shopping, from holiday stress, from work even, and join us for what we are calling BreakFriday.
While our online store is open 24/7/365, our team has Black Friday off to get some well deserved rest. We know plenty of men who prep, clean, and prepare for Thanksgiving, but it's a fact that in many families it's the women who do most of the organizing, shopping, hosting, cooking, cleaning, and generally taking care of people. It’s a day that is hard to be present with so much to do, as Jennifer’s sister-in-law recently lamented. Doesn't everyone deserve the next day off for a little self-care, no matter what that form takes? So dig into Thanksgiving, get up early, run yourself ragged putting on the perfect feast, but take the next day off, for you.
Enjoy some time off, maybe read a book, binge your favorite shows, go outside with Mother Nature, which we here at What’s Good are doing our best to protect with our eco-friendly products.
If you must shop, we encourage you to use your dollars differently—with more purpose—and not go into big box establishments this Friday. If you need to, go on Saturday. Show them that you want their team to rest, too. Online is a different story. For example, our store will be open and the world can buy from us, but no one will be working on Friday. We'll be in on Saturday, as we normally are, to ship and answer questions and great our local small business shoppers. So being thoughtful about WHEN you buy, can be just as important as when you buy. We don't shop on Labor day either.
Now we ask, What If everyone opted out of Black Friday, and instead, took the day off, then shopped with purpose all year round? Think about the kind of world we would live in if everyone did this One Green Thing? Here are our Top 5 Benefits:
There would be fewer microplastics harming our oceans, sea life and humans.
BONUS: Many team members, especially moms, would get a good break. And keep in mind, with all the schools closed on Friday, it will likely cost moms money to work on Friday.
Join us, take a Break Friday. Don't we all deserve to slow down?
About Stephanie Bowen: After two successful careers —one in broadcast journalism, another as a communications and PR pro working in global health, development and rights — Stephanie is harnessing her love of story and strategic communications for positive impact with the consultancy practice, SHARE: Stories that Buzz. She is a contributor, sounding board, friend, and customer of What's Good.
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