Black Friday has led to debate about both greenhouse gas emissions and the importance of shopping for freedom and democracy. Photo: CC0/. Source: Rawpixel.

Current debate

Week 47: Black Friday creates divided opinion among debaters

During the past week, several debaters have raised criticism against Black Friday. Opinions have differed: some criticize consumerism as contributing to both climate change and poor working conditions, while others see it as a class issue. Some also see consumption as something worth celebrating.

Cathrine Kylesten and Anette Alm Gustafsson from Erikshjälpen believe that Black Friday is a dark time for both the planet and people who work under terrible conditions to satisfy consumer society's desire for cheap goods. Despite the fact that more and more people are starting to choose sustainable alternatives, the commercial trade shouts out its discounted prices. The debaters therefore raise the question of when the commercial trade will realize that more and more consumers want to shop sustainably.

- Could anything be more "out there" in 2023 than the call to buy-in that lies ahead? they write in Göteborgs-Posten.

Aftonbladet's lead writer Susanne Kierkegaard takes her cue from Oxfam's latest report, which deals with the richest in Sweden are responsible for the really large emissions. She believes that Black Friday is becoming more of a class issue, while climate tariffs and reduction obligations have a real impact on emissions.

- I doubt that H&M's Stefan Persson sat glued to the computer to make it to Elgigansten's mobile sale first thing this morning, she writes.

The consumption pattern needs to change when it comes to clothing in particular, says Karin M. Ekström, professor of business administration. She refers to the UN climate panel IPCC, which highlights the climate impact of consumption and believes that it is human activities that cause the major climate impact we see today. However, she believes that designers, producers, influencers and marketers need to take greater responsibility than consumers.

- Business models that see clothes as fast-moving consumer goods or are based on constant sales are not sustainable, she writes.

Other debaters believe that Black Friday may be worth celebrating given the historically positive influence of shopping on society. Svenska Dagbladet's lead writer Mattias Svensson believes that consumption has enriched people's quality of life throughout time.

- In short, consumption has a proud and significant history. It deserves its day, he writes.

Debate on Black Friday

What is "unfresh" is not buying used, but the urge to buy new 

Cathrine Kylesten, sustainability manager, Erikshjälpen Second Hand and Anette Alm Gustafsson, executive director, Erikshjälpen Second Hand, Göteborgs-Posten

You are suffocating me with your hatred of Black Friday

Susanne Kierkegaard, editorial writer, Aftonbladet

Clothing purchases must be reduced - but we need help

Karin M. Ekström, professor of business administration, Aftonbladet

Black Friday deserves to be celebrated

Mattias Svensson, editorial writer, Svenska Dagbladet

Is there something in the text that is not correct? Contact us at

Share this: