The Spend Less, Give More Phenomena

The crazy long weekend otherwise known as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Stampede Sunday is officially in the past. But a surprising number of shoppers also "passed" by it completely. According to studies, the American public is becoming quite a bit more evolved when it comes to giving. Attribute it to the economy, the spread of "green" or internalizing the giving spirit, but what is powerful is the actual shift that is being made from spending a great deal of money on generic material possessions toward spending modest amounts of money on meaningful and sustainable gifts— a great day for Etsians, handmade All Stars, organic entrepreneurs, and locavores alike!

So just where will gifts be coming from this year and into the future? According to studies done by BBMG:

America's conscious consumers are spending less but giving more this holiday season, focusing on local, homemade, organic, and donations to good causes as top gift choices that prize unique, memorable experiences over more stuff.

They have identified five key areas conscious consumers will be spending their money and minds this year:

1. Ethical Companies and Non-profits: Shoppers are starting to identify companies with their actions regarding sourcing, manufacturing, community involvement, and their ethics. Many plan to either shop with these companies or to give to these non-profit organizations to add meaning to their gifts.
2. Etsy-mania: Perhaps the Story of Stuff's viral nature has really gotten to the hearts of many consumers. More and more are looking for local, handmade goods that are unique and help support micro-economies.
3. Memory-making Opportunities: As for the big gift givers, many are switching from the latest gadget to trips, tickets to shows, and other memory-oriented experiences in place of material possessions.
4. Locavores Delight: The market for eco-friendly gifts continues to rise at a steady rate despite the economic downturn, and with it local, fair-trade, and organic goods (in that order).
5. Upcycled and Gorgeous: the general population's waste-meter and new-phobia are on high alert. Vintage, used, and practical items are high on the lists this year including CSA memberships, and eBay goodies.

So cheers to an eco-friendly holiday season of conscious consuming and thoughtful gift-giving!

(Images: Buy Nothing Day, UK)

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