This year, the movement against overconsumption and the Black Friday madness has been growing in size and significance. We too wanted to denounce the excesses of this week, because of the damage done to our planet by senseless consumerism. Sure, it is an opportunity to access products that we couldn’t otherwise afford, and smart usage of those discounts is legitimate. But we’ve gone far off this trail. 

That is why we are so proud to reveal our #planetnotforsale campaign, in collaboration with a collection of incredible designers and artists. This campaign aims to denounce on one side the excesses of advertisement and consumerism, and celebrates sustainable consumption and non-commercial giving.

Electronic devices and clothing are the most sold items of this crazy period of sale… According to the United Nations, we produce globally 50 million tonnes of electronic waste per year and only 20% are formally recycled. On top of that, we throw away the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes in landfills each second. Overconsumption is damaging our planet, that is an established fact.

In partnership with It’s Freezing in LA, AdaptAmy ChiniaraRozalina Burkova and our very own Scarlett O’Toole for Plan A, we have created 3 series of fake advertisements (subvertisements) to call out those companies creating fake needs and promoting alternative actions. Discover the artworks below and learn how you can get on the right side of the shopping aisle! Our planet is not for sale!

A bit of Black Friday history

Since the 19th Century, the day after Thanksgiving is known as the kick-off of the holiday Christmas holiday season. For the first time in 1905, Canadians started a Thanksgiving parade in the street of Toronto which inspired Macy’s in New York to do the same in 1924. The day after this first parade sales went really great. And that kids, is how Black Friday was born.

But it wasn’t before the 1950s that Black Friday as we know it today came out. People started to call sick at work the Friday following Thanksgiving, not only to have 4 days weekend but also to go shopping. 

Black Friday Record shops

When everybody waited for Black Friday to go get records. (Credit: William P. Gottlieb)

Why do we call it Black Friday? Actually, it was the police that started calling this event “Black Friday” because so many people were going to shopping that the roads were overcrowded, black with cars and traffic jams. To this day, Black Friday is still a dark day for police units. Since 2010, the BF mayhem has caused 12 deaths and 117 injuries in the US. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day in the US since 2005. 

All you can buy, and much more! Black Friday marks the kick-off for the Christmas shopping season.  In 2018, US shoppers spent on average around US$1,000 during this day. Consumers bought mainly electronics, furniture and clothes at discounted prices, encouraging impulsive buying, waste, and overconsumption. Last year, Amazon’s customers purchased more than 1 million toys and 700 000 fashion items in the first nine hours of Black Friday. On the same day on eBay, a watch was sold every 3 seconds!

The consumer fun doesn’t stop there. After Black Friday comes Cyber Monday! The marketing term describing the Monday following Black Friday was created by retailers to push people to continue the Friday madness, but this time, online. Cyber Monday 2018 became the highest U.S. e-commerce sales day in history with 7.9$ billion in revenue in 24 hours. 

The counter-event: Giving Tuesday. To counter this growing sales madness around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, The United Nation Foundation and 92nd Street Y created in 2012 Giving Tuesday. This event is supposed to inspire millions of people across the globe to show up and give back to causes and issues that matter to them. 

Planet not for Sale!

So what do we do? Can we really fight against 90% discounts, 4K TVs and mountains of value T-shirts? Yes we can. This fight is as much in minds as it is on your bank account. Lucky for us, they kind of align. Truth is, you can’t save more than not buying. You too have a right to take up people’s brain time by way of feed. Share those artworks to let the world know that time is behind us.

Black Friday Artworks

 

Cyber Monday Artworks

 

Giving Tuesday Artworks

Where you come in? 

First of all, download, post and share your favourite artwork. We count on you to level up this campaign by using your influence and voice! Of course, do not forget to tag Plan A when you do that so we know who to hug when the dust settles.

Create! Use your little finger to create something nice for the ones you love! 

Reduce! When someone from your family asks you what do you want for Christmas and you need to take time to think about it, maybe it means that you don’t need anything! Why not this time instead of getting a gift, your gift you be to give something? You could ask your family to make a donation to a charity in your name as a Christmas gift! 

Buy second-hand! You shouldn’t be ashamed to offer a second-hand gift, you should be proud. Second-hand gifts help to reduce our global amount of waste, it’s more sustainable and they give the same amount of happiness! Did you know that half of the Americans plan this year to gift their family with second-hand presents?  

We are sure you can be really creative! If it sounds weird to you, we are happy to help, send us a mail, a private message or a messenger bird with your questions! 

Speak up! You also have a voice to raise and your part to do! You wanted to enjoy Black Friday best deals to spoil your family for Christmas. Let’s think differently! Studies proved that materialism reduces your wellbeing and happiness. Since 2014 for example, there are more mobile devices than human on earth, so do you really need to add one more iPhone to your collection this year? 

Last but not least, share happy moments! Gifts can also be immaterial, such a ticket to the museum, a concert or a workshop. Saving earth won’t happen without a massive shift in our lifestyle and YOU have the power to make it happen! As a customer, we have the power to make our favourite brands change. There is no plan B for our planet, AND IT’S NOT FOR SALE!

A BIG THANKS to all the artists involved in this campaign! Visit their page and give a like to support these beautiful planet lover souls. and help artists when you can! You can support It’s Freezing in LA by pre-ordering the 4th issue on their website.