No to Black Friday, Yes to #GivingTuesday

Posted on: 29 November 2016

In a space of a long weekend, we’ve given thanks on Thanksgiving, had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now we have Giving Tuesday. Let me remind you, #GivingTuesday (that’s how we’re meant to spell it) is not giving about back the stuff back you don’t want from the previous Friday or Monday, but a new global day for giving back to our community and to wider society.

At Freda, every month is a #GivingTuesday

I am not going to rant about our insatiable desire to just buy, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s a bargain. I was travelling on Black Friday with my teenage daughter on the train to Liverpool. Nearly everyone in our carriage, apart from us, was on their phones chasing bargains — John Lewis reportedly were taking five orders every second online. A young couple next to us spent the entire journey buying, barely ten words were exchanged between them, in a two and a half hour journey, they just showed each other their phone screens. No reading, snoozing, or just staring out of the window and day dreaming.

I am not going to rant about the overspending and the subsequent debt people accumulate during this period. Britons are expected to spend £5.8bn over the four days. Around 13m people are expected to bust their budget, leaving one in seven people still paying off festive debts in June 2017.
I am not going to rant about how large international brands are the main benefactors of this practice. Their retail strategy makes optimum use of the tonnes of customer data, forecasting software and data analysis, not mentioning expensive media advertising — many of these not out of the reach of smaller independent retailers. They offload stuff we wouldn’t even consider buying any other time of the year. If an alien touched down, it will be puzzled on how people spend 11 months living frugally and then spend crazy money on stuff they don’t need.
So many other aspects of this ghastly practice I could rant about, sustainability, responsible consumption etc, but I won’t because I want to actually draw attention to #GivingTuesday when consumers are encouraged to become responsible citizens and start thinking about others; a 24-hour period devoted to charitable giving following the frenzy of shopping.

#GivingTuesday is like a recovery period after binging on senseless consumption

#GivingTuesday is like a recovery period after binging on senseless consumption. This social media-based movement, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, hopes to shift the holiday spirit from getting to giving, encouraging donations of time and resources and promoting change in communities that need it.

At Freda, every month is a #GivingTuesday. We donate a portion of every subscription to our natural organic and eco-friendly sanitary products service to women and girls in need. Through our partnerships with two non-profit organisations, one here in the UK and the other in Tanzania, we help donate pads to women homeless shelters, refuges and refugee centres in the UK, and help supply school girls with sustainable pads in Tanzania.

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