Are Summer Sales Worth Shopping?

Hello hello, long time no blog, friends! I’ve been busy bebopping around the U.S. visiting friends (more on that soon, I promise) and trying to prep for my move to Macon. However, I’ve also had a little time to upgrade the site! Nothing major, aside from the change in name. I’m now at Hey Bails rather than Bailey Studies Psych. Makes sense, since I don’t actually study psychology anymore.

Anyways! If you haven’t noticed, this week is filled with some crazy summer sales. From Nordstrom to Amazon to Target, each place has different deals and a different impact on its workers and the planet. I’m not planning on doing a deep dive into allllllllll the sales going on, but a few of the major ones have some interesting repercussions!

First up, Amazon:

While the two day Prime spectacular begins today, many Amazon workers are boycotting the event. Makes sense, given that the company exploits many of its workers and fights unions. Others are against Amazon because of how it ships its goods. While it’s nice to get free two day shipping as a Prime member, the way Amazon does it uses excessive fossil fuels and contributes to global trash problems with the amount of packaging used (which could be decreased in favor of being more environmentally friendly).

Some small things to consider before you buy:

If you can run to the store down the street and purchase the good, you should probably opt for that. Grocery shopping online is convenient, but do you really need the extra plastic and mountains of boxes that come with shipping yourself toilet paper or cereal? Probably not. Cut down on your own carbon footprint by opting to shop in person for things that are readily available close to home.

Is there a local shop you can buy that item from? If so, consider choosing to purchase from them rather than from a big retailer. Amazon has been known to have lots of cheap knockoff goods, but many are overseas retailers taking pictures from local boutique websites and selling a crap product in its place. A good example of this is Red Dress from Athens GA having to fight Amazon to take down over twenty images claiming to sell Red Dress items on its site (which Red Dress never authorized). Go follow Diana Harbor on Instagram to learn more about that!

Amazon also fights tax laws that could go to supporting local economies, so if your local economy matters to you, try to stay away from Prime day. That being said, if there’s a product on Amazon that you’ve been vying for, don’t beat yourself up over purchasing it this one time. Amazon does have “Smile” benefits where a percentage of your proceeds go to a charity of your choice, and while their jobs aren’t great they do employ a large amount of people in the U.S. whose jobs could have easily gone overseas. While the good doesn’t always outweigh the bad, one purchase won’t tip the scales in either direction. It’s the lifestyle choices that are far more important in the long run.

Up next: Nordstrom

Nordstrom’s anniversary sale is huge this time of year. All of the fall and winter staples you’ve been waiting for are now drastically reduced in price. Not only are clothes are accessories on sale, but so are beauty products and home goods. The Nordstrom sale is great if you’re looking to purchase an item that’s usually ridiculously expensive (hello Tory Burch riding boots) or if you’re looking for high quality pieces.

The only really bad thing I’ve read about Nordstroms is about their contribution to global waste, which is similar among almost all big name stores. Around 20% of global waste is caused by the fashion industry, and that’s not counting pollution. It’s also not counting shipping. (If you want to read more about how the fashion industry contributes to pollution and waste, read this article from Edge.) A better way to grab a designer piece for half the cost is to shop consignment. ThredUp is a great option for online shopping (plus you can sort through things at lightening speed to see if they have what you’re looking for), and the same goes for Ebay. I prefer Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor. Not only are you getting great deals, you’re also saving things from landfills.

If you’re looking for new stuff, have an aversion to gently used clothing (which I can understand if you’re into watching those Monsters Inside Me shows my mom watches all the time), want current fashion trends in your closet, or have a very specific piece you’re looking for that you can’t find anywhere else, Nordstrom is a better option than Amazon in my humble opinion.

One retailer actively combatting Amazon Prime Day is Target. They’ve announced some big deals for today and tomorrow to help persuade people to shop somewhere other than their big online competitor. And while you need a Prime membership to save on Amazon (seems counterintuitive to pay for discounts…doesn’t it?), Target is marketing its savings as a membership-free free for all.

Personally, I support Target for its add diversity, inclusivity, and willingness to pay attention to social trends and support what people want. While some claim that the store has become too political and have decided to boycott, I think that the brand is choosing to widen their advertising audience for the better. Not only that, Target puts its money where its mouth is by donating to public safety grants, to support the LGTBQ+ community, and more.

Keep in mind that shopping from any large corporation has its downfalls. In some cases, shopping nation wide sales means choosing the lesser of multiple evils. If you have the chance, support local stores. If you don’t, do some research about how the brand uses their money and supports (or doesn’t) their workers.

That’s all for this Monday. Check back next week for something on the lighter side.

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