By Gelareh Darabi

At a moment in human and environmental history when we are so out of balance and severely paying the price, it’s time to re-think empty consumerist crazes like Black Friday.

I’m torn. On one hand it seems tone deaf for retailers to be advertising Black Friday sales in the midst of a global pandemic and economic collapse. On the other, how can you blame them? Retail has taken some of the hardest hits this year. This upcoming holiday window for many, is a chance to stay afloat. These are people. These are jobs. These are livelihoods.

And I get it. Shopping online can be a mindless distraction for so many of us who are sitting at home isolated and unable to see our family or friends. Why not just click and buy to get that hit of dopamine, right? But, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t go back to the way things used to be, and that includes the way we binge consume. It’s not just unsustainable, it’s unfulfilling.

In a year where so many of us have grown our own food, baked our own bread and sewn our own masks, true happiness has come from the most simple acts. What if we brought that same pause and mindfulness to the act of buying.

By taking the time to truly understand the materials, process and story of the things we buy may mean that our shopping carts are a lot less full, but could ultimately lead to a replenishment of natural resources that outlasts any fashion season.

So, if 2020 really is the ultimate reset, what better opportunity to change the narrative on how we spend our dollars. Let’s step away from blindly buying and move towards brands and habits that honour this beautiful blue and green marble that we call home. Let’s buy sustainably, reduce our carbon footprint, mend, trade and most importantly let’s cherish what we already have.

Gelareh Darabi is an environmental journalist (National Geographic, AJ+), documentary filmmaker and Healthy Seas Ambassador.
What many people don’t know about her is that she started her career in journalism as a fashion reporter, but once she had the personal breakthrough that she had a real interest and knack in science and environment storytelling, she kind of buried this part of her biography. It wasn’t until she made a film about Healthy Seas and the rise of sustainable fashion that she started to see the value in her experience covering the fashion industry.
Once she started investigating fast fashion and the environmental destruction brought about by our throw away culture, she really became passionate about this issue. She committed to only wearing sustainable brands on-camera which trickled into her everyday life as she began “greening” her wardrobe, cosmetics and lifestyle. She say’s it’s a work in progress, but something she’s passionate about sharing.

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