I read about a new site recently – Buy Me Once. It curates gear that’s high quality and you only have to buy once, in your life. Stellar stuff. Not-so-funnily, I’m writing this sitting in a London Wholefoods. The place is festooned with “eco” messaging. And yet everything comes on disposable plates, with disposable forks and cups. In the past 50 years, we’ve come to seriously regard disposable as cool. It’s honestly insane.
But there are murmurings of a push-back. In France the government is fighting disposable business practice in the appliances industry, part of a larger movement against planned obsolescence across the European Union. And a bunch of fashion brands are stepping up in clever ways.
This is part of my own #Simplicious manifesto. Sure, you have to buy things. But don’t buy disposable stuff. And buy it mindfully. Stuff that lasts is generally premium, which – added bonus – makes you think deeply about whether you really need it. Because, end of day, I advocate going without, wherever possible.
Anyway I reached out to Tara and then arranged to meet with her…we were both going to be in London at the same time, miraculously. It was all a beautiful thing. Then we decided to compile a list of our favourite Buy Once stuff.
Tara: A LE CREUSET POT
This is the brand that started it all and inspired me to begin BuyMeOnce. Le Creuset is an heirloom cooking pot that oozes quality and longevity. It comes with a lifetime guarantee and I can just see myself passing it down to my imaginary grandchildren. I want everything in my life to give me this feeling.
Me: Scanlan and Theodore wool and silk
I shop for fashion rarely, about once every six months. For 15 years I’ve invested in pieces by this Australian brand. They’re a premium product, but I have red silk pants that have lasted seven years (I even hand wash them) and a woolen top (with black tassels) that I’ve worn every winter for the past 12 years. Plus a pair of black wool pants in a stirrup style that I bought when poo-catcher stirrup pants were in fashion last time around.
Tara: Darn Tough SOCKS
I spent much of last year hunting for long-lasting products and when I found socks with a lifetime guarantee, I knew that BuyMeOnce was possible. Using the highest quality wool and seamless technology, Darn Tough socks are so well made that if you ever have an issue with them you can send them back for a replacement.
Me: Jardan couches
You might have been reading this blog for a while and know it took me 2-3 years to find the most sustainable couch on the planet. Or at least in Australia. The details are all here.
Tara: Tritan Crystal WINE GLASSES
I’ve had many wine glass casualties in my time so when I found out about Schott Zwiesel Ivento wine glasses I got very excited. They are made with patented Tritan Crystal which makes them more clumsy-people resistant than your average glass. Because of this, it’s a brand that hotels love!
Me: Robert Gordon plates
I can only say that my only plate set has held my food sturdily for 22 years, without chipping or cracking. I got them for my 21st birthday from the parentals. The company is still running and we support them now at the I Quit Sugar office.
Tara: Davek UMBRELLAS
In London it’s so common to find a sad, battered umbrella tossed on the pavement in disgust after letting its owner down. Many umbrellas are cheap and only made to last a couple of downpours. Last year I invested in a Davek umbrella, which comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. It feels solid, looks beautiful and, because I love it (and it’s a handy size), I never forget it either!
Me: Slow cookers and crockpots
Here’s a true story: Slow cooker brands don’t advertise. My team at I Quit Sugar have looked into this and asked why. It’s because they’re not a disposable item. So there’s no point enticing people to upgrade/buy another. I guarantee if you ask anyone if they have a slow cooker they’ll tell you they’ve had it for 20 years or some such.
Tara: The Space PEN
Imagine you could just get rid of every nasty plastic biro and freebie pen that lurks in odd corners of your house and just have one, elegant, Fisher Infinium Space Pen that holds enough ink to last a lifetime. This isn’t science fiction!
Also look out for:
Nudie Jeans: now offer free repairs on their jeans.
Patagonia also has a repair scheme on their products.
Jigsaw’s ‘For life not landfill’ campaign: styled customers’ ‘old favourites’ with their new collection.
Go check out Tara’s site for more…it’s growing. What about you? What items do you swear have a lifetime guarantee?