The biggest shopping weekend of the year is now upon us and by our reckoning, there are two ways to approach it.
The first is to fully indulge yourself and embrace the advertising, the hype and the excitement of a little bit of retail therapy. These days, the American trend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has fully immersed itself world over and nearly every business finds a way to get involved.
On the other side of the coin, are those that feel jaded by the spread of consumerism and it's entanglement in our every day lives.
They might feel bombarded by advertising and long for a simpler and less intense approach to shopping.
If you fall into this camp, a good way to still make the system work for you is to have a look at items that you were planning on buying in the near future anyway and by grabbing yourself a bargain as consolation for the bombardment of emails advertising Black Friday deals.
Here at Rawgaia we probably fall in the middle of these two viewpoints. However, we feel comfortable engaging with Black Friday and Cyber Monday due to one important fact; all of our products are ethical and vegan friendly.
We'd argue that there is a big difference between buying plastic tat that has cost the earth for it's production and will ultimately end up in the landfill and buying consciously made products that are genuinely useful and kind to the world around us.
Buying environmentally and animal friendly products is more relevant this year than ever before. The proliferation of climate change as a result of human activity has increased year on year with 2016, 2015 and 2014 being the warmest years ever on record (1).
Sea levels are rising at their fastest rate in 2,000 years, artic sea ice continues to melt by around 3-4% every year and more greenhouse gases are in our atmosphere than any time in human history (2).
Now, more than ever, we must use our spending habits to make our voices heard. It is so important to support businesses that use ethical practices to make their products and that consider their environmental impact and do their best to lessen it as much as possible.
Similarly, in a week where our government has voted that animals 'cannot feel pain or emotions' and have rejected the inclusion of animal sentience into the EU Withdrawal Bill, choosing to support animal welfare with our pockets and voices is more important than ever before.
We do not yet know the implications for animals in our country as a result of this vote but we are facing uncertain times indeed. Choosing to support companies that are outspoken and proud of their commitment to animal rights will help get the message across that we are not happy about this result.
So this weekend, whether you love or hate it, when you get your credit card out to bag a bargain or two, please consider the ethics of what you're buying.
Choose to support independent companies that care about the environment and all that lives in it.
The old adage that 'money talks' is sadly true but we can use that for our advantage by choosing to reject products that are damaging to animals and the world and by buying ethical, vegan friendly products this year.
So why not enjoy a guilt-free spot of retail therapy this year? Happy Shopping!