Have you ever heard the expression, “Buy cheap, buy twice?”
It means that it’s better to spend more on a long lasting product than buy a cheaper product twice in the same time span.
This mentality is usually financially motivated — buying better quality products now saves money in the future. This is often true, but now we’re seeing the ecological benefits of choosing quality goods that last longer.
America’s Throwaway Culture
What do most people do when something breaks?
Generations before us would fix items several times over before replacing, but today we live in a wasteful throwaway culture. Our smartphones, computers and even our clothes get tossed in the trash at the first sign of trouble.
Even if you don’t have handy repair skills, you can still avoid the cycle of throwaway culture. Here are just a few long-lasting products to spend a little more on.
Men’s Dress Shoes
A timeless go-to, men’s dress shoes (and all daily shoes, for that matter) are the perfect clothing item that will last years if it’s a quality product. Allen Edmonds shoes may seem obscene at $400 per pair, but tell that to the guy who has had his pair for 10-20 years and several re-soles. The leather and stitching on a $400 pair of shoes will hold up longer than the $100 counterpart every time.
In the first few years after the first-generation iPhone in 2007, it was common to see people updating smartphones every year. But a lot has changed in tech longevity and, even though the features are advancing quickly, people are really hanging onto their phones much longer. Phones with better mobile processors capable of next-gen wireless speeds will last years past “the next big thing” to hit the market. For example, the speed and efficiency of mobile processors like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series will ensure that your smartphone doesn’t break down or become obsolete. In short, if you’re buying a flagship phone, you don’t need to replace it in a year.
Watches are one of the latest fashion accessories to get the “millennial marketing” treatment — goods sold online, with clever marketing, that lower cost and “cut out the middle man.” These can sometimes be great. Companies like MVMT Watches make an otherwise expensive item more affordable, but how long do watches like these last? The real watches are the ones handed down from our fathers and grandfathers, and ones that we’ll hand down to our children and grandchildren. When an accessory has the potential to last generations, it’s not something to skimp on.
While a good watch can gain value over time, the opposite is true for computers. The laptop in the living room is almost on par with a new car in terms of depreciation over time, so what should we look for in a machine built to last?
First — know what happens to your computer when it actually breaks. Some places will just replace an entire unit rather than fixing a specific component, and this leads to lots of waste over time.
Second — know the needs of your machine long term to make the best decision.
Are you a student who just needs web browsing an email? Any computer will do just fine. Are you a videographer who needs a good editing machine? Now isn’t the time to save money on a second-tier device that could need replacing in just a year or two.
Though it may be a hard decision to make at first, spending more now on higher quality products will pay off in more ways than one in the future.
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.