NICOLLE HODGES | December 21, 2016


Go on without me. I know it may seem foolish to sit this one out, for who in their sane mind would pass on up to 80% off? Now that I think about it, maybe I do need a new bag.

No! I will not give in.

But, the sales – you say; the scrum of human intimacy, the frisson of a potential steal, the flutter of your heart when you find the last shirt in your size. It seems almost criminal to pass it up. Buy one get one free! FREE. And even though you don’t need another Aldo accessory, you didn’t come here for nothing. You came here ready to buy something, anything.

It’s all for the taking and yet, still, I plan to skip the pandemonium.

I can see it now, groups of shoppers patiently waiting outside (unlike the Americans on Black Friday - ha!). Finally, a tired sales associate will saunter towards the doors – can he walk any slower?  – and that's when you feel the first nudge; a nervous twitch before the anxious surge. Your pupils dilate as he casually unlocks the double doors, thus opening the holy gates to retail rapture and unleashing the human tsunami. Suddenly, you’re drowning in garments you barely like and will likely never wear. But it feels so, good.

The sales, the hunting, the intense newness of it all.

But shopping has changed, don’t deny me that. And here's the funny thing: some things are absurdly cheap.

On Boxing Day, consumers receive 31 per cent off the regular price on average. With retailers like Forever 21 – a beacon of fast fashion - getting in on the blowouts, I can see the appeal of overlooking their cheaply made garments in favour of astronomically low prices.

But there are invisible costs.

I would like to increasing philosophy among consumers is (slowly but surely) moving towards quality, rather than quantity.

Just a few years ago, Forever 21 faced a class action lawsuit for allegedly denying employees breaks for meals and forcing them to work unpaid hours. I would like to think because of instances like this, an increasing philosophy among consumers is (slowly but surely) moving towards quality, rather than quantity. Then again, maybe Forever 21 is just losing their grip on market needs.

On Boxing Day, I am reminded of the strong lure of The Almighty Sale and the temptation to forget the progress we’ve made. Yes, in the grand scheme of things you might care about conscious consumption, but today…today the bag is 80% off!

When I’m being offered such scrumptious treats, my instinct is to buy, buy, buy, even if I’m not craving more clothes. The only cure seems to be distancing myself from the madness.

Once I think about what Boxing Day means on a larger scale, I feel certain that I won’t be shopping at major outlets. Of course, beyond the money I’ll save, there’s some value in stepping back from the drastically slashed prices and asking the very question that plagues us this time of year: Why do you want to buy?

I don't know. You don't know either.