This day was born as a counterpart of Black Friday and is called by activists around the world who unite against the excessive consumerism that is part of today’s society.
During Black Friday and the Christmas season, we are bombarded with advertisements of all kinds, shapes and colors, seeking to awaken in us the need to buy. That’s the reason why in different cities around the world, a symbolic strike against consumption is proposed.
The initiative, as its name suggests, proposes not shopping for a whole day. The main objective is to draw attention to the environmental impact of this kind of lifestyle and to the fact that happiness is not built on buying things, but on experiences and relationships with other people.
Adbusters publishes a magazine, which was, first in its printed edition and then on the web, one of the main tools for the promotion of this event. “Now that the Christmas season is near -explains in one of its pages- remember that buying something will never make you happy. You may get your hopes up for a few hours, maybe even a day or two, but in the end (especially in the real end) what you really have are your connections, your friends, your family, your human experiences.”
The origins of the Buy Nothing Day
In North America, the United Kingdom, Finland and Switzerland, the Buy Nothing Day takes place the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving, at the same time as Black Friday; in other places, it takes place the following day, which is the last Saturday in November. The Buy Nothing Day was founded in Vancouver by the artist Ted Dave and subsequently it was promoted by Canada-based Adbusters.
The first Buy Nothing Day took place in September 1992 in Canada «as a day for society to look at the problem of overconsumption». In 1997, it was moved to the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving. Also called «Black Friday», it’s one of the ten shopping days more concurrated in the United States. In 2000, almost all of the important TV chains, except CNN, denied advertising time to some Adbusters ads promoting the No Buy Day. Soon enough, campaigns started to appear in the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Netherlands, France, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Participation now includes more than 65 countries.