Why have we decided to launch Bright Friday? Surely this is a foolhardy campaign at a time when households are out to snag a pre-Christmas Black Friday bargain and when the economy gets a much needed jolt in the arm?

For many it will be another perplexing example of killjoy environmentalism but we suspect there might be some deeper trends coming into play.

What people think about Black Friday

Our latest polling has revealed two thirds of people don’t enjoy taking part in Black Friday and half feel uncomfortable with the concept. The pressure to take part is highest for the under-35s with four in ten feeling pressured to join in and half saying Black Friday encourages them to buy things they don’t need. 45% have spent money they couldn’t afford because there was a sale on and 70% have bought sale items they’ve never used.

The pressure to buy your way to a better life has never been stronger and is a contributing factor to UK household debts hitting £1.5 trillion for the first time - the equivalent of 83% of the country’s annual income. UK adults now owe an average of £3,737 in loans and credit cards [The Money Charity]. If inflation increases these debts will become increasingly burdensome.

Given this background, we felt it is valid to question the culture behind Black Friday which, since its introduction to the UK by Amazon in 2010, has snowballed with spending in 2015 exceeding £1 billion. This looks set to increase further in 2016 as the occasion morphs into a five day online shopping frenzy from Thursday through to Cyber Monday.

Is there an alternative?

The question is how best to do this. Our polling discovered that more than half of us worry about the environmental impact of buying things we don’t need but we don’t feel that this justifies campaigns with blunt messages such as ‘Buy Nothing Day.’ For many people Black Friday provides a fabulous opportunity to buy something they desperately need at a price they can afford. What right does anybody have to question this decision?

Instead we are encouraging people to explore other ways to spend their Black Friday to avoid the pressure to buy things they might not want or need. The initial focus for the campaign will be a series of events in Brighton where we will help people rekindle their love for clothes they already have through creating new outfits without buying new, by restyling or refashioning wardrobe gems and borrowing or swapping with friends. Other activities will seek to encourage people to try something new, meet with friends or simply go for a walk or cycle ride.

As with everything we do, we hope that Brighton’s #BrightFriday activities will be the first of a series of community campaigns that will snowball throughout the country in subsequent years creating an antidote to Black Friday’s consumerist message.

We support these community campaigns we feel it is necessary to turn the spotlight on some of the cultural drivers that are behind Black Friday. Our offices have been knee-deep in fashion magazines looking at how they cleverly target young women with constant messages of how you can buy your way to personal happiness. Our alternative fashion magazine ‘Faux’ seeks to playfully highlight the veneer thin credibility of this message encouraging readers to take a different perspective. This will also be the core theme of a comedy night being held in Brighton.

Bright Friday uses many of the campaign elements that Hubbub has tested successfully on other topics - we will discover whether they can effectively question one of the world’s biggest consumer campaigns.

What do you think? Is Black Friday an opportunity to bag a bargain, or is it consumerism gone mad?