Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mandy Lew - Blog 3

Be Green Challenge
"Inspirational" Wall Decoration
This past week was Thanksgiving and equally, if not more important to some, the infamous Black Friday. This year many stores boasted about their early opening times. It seems to me as if the opening times of stores are becoming earlier and earlier each year, it won’t surprise me if Black Friday becomes a week-long event in coming years. Although stores opened earlier this year, ABC News reports that online sales have risen 9.5% from last year. The rising popularity of online shopping may convince companies to stop opening their stores earlier and illustrates how consumers have yet another method of purchasing material items. 
It is easy to forget the negatives of mass consumption especially if there are considerable markdowns. Even though some companies are known to be exploitative in their labor practices, this fact is ignored during the season of steep markdowns. These known exploitative companies need to be remembered in order for consumers to demand enforcement of fair labor practices. In this week’s readings on Abercrombie and Fitch’s history of discrimination, I learned about the various occasions and methods employed by the company to marginalize minorities. Prior to reading these articles, I was not aware of the discrimination suit faced by the company but did notice that their advertisements featured mostly white models. Because of this atmosphere I was never interested in this brand and do not remember the last time I entered one of their stores.
Although I didn’t buy anything personally, I did stand in a two hour line with my family. My family members barely go shopping and did not head to stores on Thursday night but even as we arrived at a store close to 1 pm on Friday, there was a line that almost circled the entire store. Although Black Friday is a commercial holiday I was happy to see that the people around us in line were kind and civilized, sharing and complimenting the deals they found and for whom they were for. Many shoppers were grandparents buying presents for their children and grandchildren. I overheard the parents and grandparents’ reasons for standing in this long line to purchase whatever they were there for. Honestly, it was nice to see these people show their affection for their loved ones even though it was through material goods. If only our society placed less value on material goods.

The Associated Press. "Black Friday Sales Fall as Sales Start Earlier." ABC News. N.p., 29 Nov. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
"Abercrombie and Fitch Settles $40 Million Discrimination Suit" News Source. 2004.
Strasburg, Jenny. “Abercrombie & Glitch: Asian Americans Rip Retailer for Stereotypes on T-shirts.” 

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