An interesting dichotomy that I face with running my business is this: I sell products...and yet, I am opposed to consumerism. To be honest, it's a pretty weird situation that I find myself in. And it's something that's in the back of my mind, especially as we get closer to the silly season.
For the past few weeks, Shopify (our website platform) has been counting down the days until Black Friday. For those of you unfamiliar with Black Friday, it's on the 23rd of November, the day after Thanksgiving, and it's the biggest shopping day of the year, when stores slash their prices and encourage people to buy! buy! buy! It started off as an American thing, but, like many American things, it is beginning to spread around the rest of the world, and it's catching on in New Zealand.
So, Shopify wants to offer me strategies for how to maximise sales on Black Friday...but I'm not really interested.
Yes, consumption is necessary - we have basic needs that need to be filled (sure, we could all go off and build huts in the bush and forage for berries and kawakawa, but, we've had a taste of modern culture now and, while I definitely think that we can reap huge benefits from reconnecting with nature, I don't see folks giving up their city apartments and lattes any time soon!). However, we do have to come to terms with the reality that we live on a planet of finite resources and growing levels of pollution and we need to face the fact that our consumption is actually out of control.
Unfortunately, this is what Black Friday looks like for many people.