Where did Black Friday come from?

Where did Black Friday come from? - Prickly Thistle

For anyone that knows us you know how we feel about the present 'Black Friday' frenzy that now lasts days or even weeks.  The last time we checked Friday was just one 24 hour day..... but hey enough about that.

So, where did it the term Black Friday come from?

Not many people know, and us included until we researched it, is that the first recorded use of the term “Black Friday” was applied not to post Thanksgiving shopping but to financial crisis, the irony of today....  But the first Black Friday specifically related to the crash of the U.S. gold market on September 24,1869.  Wow right, that is over 150 years ago!

Our research found that two notoriously ruthless Wall Street financiers, Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, worked together to buy up as much as they could of the nation’s gold, hoping to drive the price sky-high and sell it for astonishing profits. But on that Friday in September, the conspiracy finally unravelled, sending the stock market into free-fall and bankrupting everyone from Wall Street barons to farmers.  We do ask how could something that was associated with something so unjust stick around?  Could it be that even more ruthless people saw this a scheme to make more 'profit' using a bit of trickery.  How many of us have seen over inflated prices scored out to show huge savings, but in reality the product was a lower price a few months prior.... now we know why!

Black Friday sadly has become a kind of retail tradition all over the world, with many people rushing to the shops or buying frantically online.  We just like to ask do they ‘need’ these items?  Or is the temptation of securing a 'bargain' more important fuelling our hunter gatherer roots perhaps.


However things are changing and we have seen so many rebels sit back and switch off to this type of consumer marketing which is amazing!

If consumer tricks were not bad enough, during our research we also discovered that the British Black Friday home deliveries in 2020 created 429,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.  This is the equivalent of 435 return flights from London to New York.  Another "add on" is the sheer volume of oil and plastics that are part of practically every purchase and its packaging.  We also discovered that nearly 80% of the purchases from Black Friday sales also end up in landfill sites, incinerated or are recycled incorrectly.  So maybe the new meaning of Black Friday should that its called Black Friday because of all of the oil....

The 4 handy tips that we always remember whenever we are looking to buy anything are;

  1. Shop with transparent ethical retailers. By doing this, you will be increasing the demand for sustainable products, and it will encourage more retailers to rethink their eco-friendly offerings.  The devil is always in the details, so if they have next to nothing on their website or in store about all things ethical, let that be a red flag....
  2. Purchase only items that are sustainably sourced and produced rather than products made from virgin plastics and fossil fuels. 
  3. Research what you want to buy before making a purchase. In doing this, you are more likely to make a considered purchase decision, which will likely mean the product you are buying is something you genuinely care about.
  4. Ditch single-use products. By choosing reusable products and packaging, you will help reduce plastic pollution and all the nasties that come with that...

To enable you to  all 4 of these tips then please do consider looking at our Climate Stripes Collection HERE this is a very special project for us and we hope for the planet.  Could we make the planet cool with wool?

What will She say in 200 years?....

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