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Don't get fooled this holiday season...

It's that crazy time of the year again... so crazy, in fact, that we have adopted two made-up shopping days and they're just around the corner.

In the last few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gained momentum and are now said to be "bigger than Boxing Day" for many shoppers. So you can expect all manner of sales and promotions hitting your inbox, facebook feed, and mailbox starting anytime now (if not already!) This is when many shoppers start to feel the urgency of FOMO (fear of missing out) kicking in which can lead to some hasty and regrettable impulse purchases. Here at Issue, we are all about slow fashion, conscious consumption, and keeping things simple. So we wanted to help arm you with a few tips for making good decisions this season. 

1. MAKE A LIST

Decide what you're looking for and do your best to stick to it. Especially when it comes to gifts! If you go out without an idea of what you're looking for you'll be more susceptible to suggestions and impulse purchases. 

2. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY DISCOUNTS

Discounts make us buy things we don't need or want simply because they're a deal. But consider, if you never wear it, or it never gets used, then did you really save money? Isn't it better to get one really amazing gift for someone compared to lots of thoughtless things? Consider what you would prefer to receive and don't let the discount lure you. The exception is, if the discount is on the item you planned to buy anyway then that's just a bonus!

3. KNOW THE TRICKS

Did you know many retailers choose to markdown and push old season products at this time of the year? They see it as an opportunity to get rid of the unwanted product as the discount + timing can prove so compelling people don't think the same way they would at other times of the year. There are many tricks; big red dots, large percentages off and "flash-sales" that put a timer on your decision. Know the tricks and avoid them. 

4. PAUSE

There's no need to rush. If you start your list now and start looking early, there will be lots of time to consider your purchases and make great decisions. Plus, you'll likely save money and your loved ones will appreciate the additional thoughtfulness put into their gifts. 

5. GET CREATIVE

It's not just gifts that get us at this time. It's everything. The wrapping, the ribbons, the food, the decorations, outfits, it's all of this combined that really adds up. One way to minimise waste is to get creative. Some families will choose to do "Secret Santa" -- meaning instead of all getting little gifts for each other, everyone gets one big gift from one other person (this works great for the adults!) You could try recycled wrapping, or maybe try a plastic-free Christmas, there are all sorts of ways to integrate this thinking into the holiday. If you start thinking about it now you'll be able to come up with some great ideas for a waste-free Christmas that work for you and your family, without ruining all the fun. 

Hopefully, you can find one or two ways to avoid overspending and waste while still enjoying the festivities and fun!