Black Friday, on Friday 27th November, retailers everywhere will bombard shoppers with newsletters and special offers to encourage you spend money.
At Permanent Publications, the publisher which owns and runs Permaculture magazine and Green Shopping, we have decided to opt out. Literally. We are off outside into the woods – Hazel Hill Woods in Wiltshire – to learn more about personal and community resilience at an event called Nourishing the Front Line.
This isn't simply a nice opportunity to spend time in a beautiful woodland around a camp fire with good people, we want to encourage you too to opt outside and do something healthy and life affirming, away from the retail frenzy that some companies would love to encourage you to participate in.
Why are we doing this? Because we recognise that endless consumption of resources is part of the problem, not the solution, and we want to model a different kind of commerce, one that sells ethical, enduring and thoughtful products that are relevant all year round, and not just at Christmas.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you, our valued readers and customers, for supporting us for 12 months of the year. Every magazine subscription, every book or product you buy direct from us helps support 100% ethical, independent permaculture publishing, authors and practitioners. Without you, we couldn't carry on.
There is no doubt about it - the world of publishing is changing even more rapidly than the music world.
Books, magazines and products too can be a mass produced commodity and churned out for the roulette table of commerce ... or they can be lovingly crafted. Books can be artisanal products where every word has been hewn with care, and a relationship between author and editor based on encouragement and creative facilitation and co-operation may have stretched back years before the publication date.
In the background too is the company which is actually putting up the money and taking the risk to publish these books. Is it just another big conglomerate with stock market shares that supports the maintenance of the status quo with all the associated social inequality, shipping books printed as far afield as China? Or might this company be part of a larger land-based community or permaculture project commited to supporting other local businesses?
Yes, I am talking about us, Permaculture magazine and our book publishing identity, Permanent Publications, established in 1990. We are small independent publishers, but as well as this we have also invested much time as volunteers at The Sustainability Centre in Hampshire where the company is based and which we help found in 1995. In other words, we are not simply yet another online retailer, magazine or publisher ... we are wholly engaged with the permaculture ethics of Earth care, people care and fairshares and we love the whole spectrum of our work in our community and in the wider permaculture movement.
So if you can, please join us in opting outside on Black Friday and turn your day green.
Please know we are here to serve you. Don't hesitate to email or call us any other day of the year. We will always do our best to answer your enquiries. Thank you for your support.
Green Shopping (http://www.green-shopping.co.uk) is our innovative online retailing service for Permanent Publications and Permaculture magazine. We sell hundreds of cutting edge books, useful tried and tested tools and products for permaculture people at very competitive prices. We even have Gift Vouchers!