boy with plaid shirt

Plaid Is the New Black

By:
Pamela Bump

As the holiday season gets into full swing, we are forced to deal with the stresses of finding our loved ones something unique, special, and affordable.

This task may seem daunting at first, but there are many ways to make a smart purchase without giving in to the infamous sales of "Black Friday."

In recent years, an alternative movement has taken place called "Plaid Friday." During this event, which takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving -- the same day as Black Friday, participants wear plaid to support small business while shopping locally, rather than visiting large commercial stores.

According to the event's official website, "Plaid Friday was conceived from the idea of weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses." 

Although Plaid Friday was created in Oakland, CA, small businesses now participate nationally each year. Those who wear plaid in participating local shops may even be offered discounts for their fashion choice.

Following Plaid Friday is Cider Monday, the alternative to Cyber Monday, which originated in New England. Similarly, shoppers are encouraged to step away from internet sales and buy local at book shops. During this event, participating businesses will offer each customer apple cider as a thank you for their support.

For a list of some stores participating in Plaid Friday, click here.

Where to Buy Local

Whether you are shopping on Plaid Friday or throughout the year, visit these alternative spots for unique gifts and foods.

Co-op or cooperative is a store created with products and assistance from multiple businesses. For example, those shopping at a food co-op may purchase produce grown at a local farm or products from regional businesses.

Farmers' Markets, which are often seasonal, weekly, or temporary, allow area vendors and farmers to sell food or other products.

Consignment shops are locations where you can purchase old or used items sold lower than the original price. The store owner and the original owner of an item will receive a percentage of your purchase. Thrift shops are similar small businesses which receive and sell donated, often used, items.

Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a method of purchasing local food from farmers. With this strategy, a customer will purchase a subscription, often called a farm share, and will receive a box of whatever is included in the share each week, or another period of time specified by the farm, throughout the farming season.

Before your next shopping trip, take down this important label lingo.

Sources:

"Community Supported Agriculture," localharvest.org, 2015

"Independent Bookshops Offer 'Cider Monday'," npr.org, 2013

"Plaid Friday," plaidfriday.com, 2015

"What is a Co-op?" nfca.coop.org

"What is a Farmers' Market?" USDA, fin.usda.gov, 2015. 

Tags: