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The day after Thanksgiving isn't just Black Friday. It's also 'Buy Nothing Day'

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Posted at 12:28 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-26 15:28:16-05

Friday may be one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but one group is rallying against the trend.

Nov. 26 marked Buy Nothing Day in the U.S. by those protesting against consumerism. It's a movement that exists all year long.

In fact, there's a website and an app where users offer up all types of items for free, with no trading or bartering involved.

The app's co-founders say that as prices rise due to inflation, they've seen an increase in users.

"We went global with the app about three weeks ago," said Tunji Williams, a co-founder of the Buy Nothing app. "There's a 31-year high inflation at this point, and right around that time, we started seeing 20% week over week growth."

Some of the everyday items people tend to pick out on the app include furniture and baby clothes. Williams says people are happy to help.

"Things as simple as an ottoman or practical living room furniture can mean the difference between filling up your gas tank or not," Williams said. "I think finding a valuable find on the Buy Nothing app is a big deal for folks."

Researchers who have studied buy-nothing groups say people are motivated to join for several reasons. They're motivated mainly by morale and being able to help others. Some are also looking for ways to cut down on waste by giving items a second life.

While the movement is gaining traction, experts say it's unlikely people will altogether ditch traditional stores.

"What's offered on those groups is not a consistent type of offer. So you can't really rely on those groups to provide for your household, for instance," said Gaëlle Bargain-Darrigues, a Ph.D. Student at Boston College.

Leaders of the Buy Nothing group say they expect more users to join as inflation continues to rise.