United Kingdom (London)
Everyone is guilty of buying stuff that they secretly know won’t last and will end up in a landfill, in order to save cash – whether it’s fake sneakers covered in plastic or dirt-cheap spatulas that melt after a month. It seems madness that it never existed before, but now there is a website that only stocks products that lasts a lifetime. Buy Me Once is asking us to rethink our lazy, inefficient purchasing patterns – for the good of the planet, and our wallets, too.
Founder Tara Button was working in advertising in London. Inspired by one of her client’s products that has a lifetime guarantee, she wondered why there aren’t more things like the Le Creuset ceramic cookware. With the tagline ‘Love things that last’, her webshop stocks all sorts of itemsfrom all around the world – clothes, furniture, shoes, kitchenware, toys, tools, beauty products – and everything is well-crafted to last or comes with a lifetime guarantee.
In the USA, 13.1 million tonnes of clothes and fabric are thrown away each year. “It’s hard to imagine how much that is,” Button tells us, but then helps. “Imagine a traffic jam of American Greyhound buses, bumper to bumper all the way from New York to LA and back again and that gives you a sense of how much that is.”
No waste here. If Dr. Martens boots and shoes wear out, the company will repair or replace them, and if Tweezerman tweezers become dull they are resharpened for free. “The most exciting finds were probably when I found socks with a lifetime guarantee, Eagle Creeks “no matter what” guarantee where they will fix your bag even if a rhino trampled it, finding some of the world toughest wineglasses and Vermont Teddy Bears who repair your bear if it has an upset.”
The site is currently available to shoppers in the US and UK, but Button is working on getting every item available from each country and loves hunting down gems: “I’m looking for the best in show in terms of longevity and the companies that are really trying and trying to cut down on this throwaway culture,” she explains. “Patagonia offers free fixing of their clothes. Nobody does that, and half of us don’t know how to sew anymore.”
Buy Me Once will also be campaigning to get the law changed, so that every product and appliance has to clearly say on the packaging how long they expect the product to last and the manufacturer will have to take responsibility for the product during that time. Button wants to challenge manufacturers to do better. “In a world where we build satellites and send people to space, we can make a kettle that doesn’t break after three years,” she says. “Look at Tom Cridland who made the 30-year jumper last year and has had to quadruple the amount of jumpers he’s making.”
Tara Button, Founder