Did you catch any bargains or buy something you didn’t think you needed during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? It’s no secret that there are teams of behavioural scientists and designers working behind the scenes to influence purchase intentions, trigger impulse buying and encourage repurchasing.
We’ve written previously about the environmental impact of consumerism and why we need to use our purchase power for good, even though buying things can be fun and rewarding. Research suggests that irrespective of the wasteful nature of ‘retail therapy’, shopping restores a sense of control and reduces sadness. In fact, the anticipation for a product to arrive releases dopamine - the chemical produced by our brain that rewards us for beneficial behaviours and motivates us to repeat them. We encourage people to not seek a ‘quick hit’ of dopamine at the expense of the environment - but instead to buy once, and buy well.
Upon researching the aftermath of Black Friday, we stumbled across some interesting reads so decided it wasn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel, but rather encourage you to have a read yourself. Here’s our takeaway points about the aftermath of Black Friday and excessive consumption:
- It perpetuates a consumption-orientated society with adverse effects on the environment including increased carbon emissions due to fast shipping options
- 60% of deliveries contain either ¼ air or have plastic fillers to bulk up the space - unnecessarily large boxes take up more room, which means more trips and more delivery vehicles on the road
- 80% of items purchased (and any plastic packaging they are wrapped in) will end up in landfill. Long-lasting repairable products need to become the norm
- Only 17.4% of hazardous e-waste is currently recycled, meaning valuable materials are not reused or depolluted, resulting in severe health effects for communities living near waste facilities
Despite these alarming statistics, we were encouraged by some businesses' efforts to donate their ‘Green Friday’ profits to climate-change charities. However, this is a short term solution to the problems mentioned above.
Here at BearMade, we wish to challenge the throw away culture, make products that last and charge honest and affordable prices. We wish to improve people’s access to and understanding of the environment to help facilitate that ‘natural’ dopamine hit.
We recognise we are not the most eco-friendly brand in existence, but we are committed to doing better and we’re thankful to have you by our side for this exciting journey.