June 27, 2012

Shopping: Things that Last

Buy Things That Last.

It's taken me a long time to come around to it--even though I preach it when I want to buy something expensive but not crucial to my well being. I am now firmly in the put-good-money-on-things-that-last camp. As I am increasingly wary of our throw-away culture with regards to clothes, I am tired of buying appliances and household goods cheaply and then find that they do not last at all.

Example: For three years we've been using a horrible plastic broom, of dubious origin, with frayed bristles that were only good for dust bunnies. We have a lot of dust bunnies, it's true, and I was grateful for it on many occasions. But it was hopeless at any other sort of sweeping. Broken glass escaped it grip; crumbs lingered in a little trail.

Finally I gave up and purchased a nice, sturdy straw broom from Home Depot. Then I tried to use it, and three bristles fell out. It's been steadily loosing bristles since.Plus the broom part is screwed onto the handle, so if you push too hard, it will loosen and the broom will fall off. A complete waste of $15.

I once read in Martha Stewart Living about a man who makes handmade brooms. J. P. Welch began making brooms in the 80's from trees and broom corn grown on his own property. A skilled craftsman, he has made broom that are beautiful, functional, and last and last and last. The Shaker Broom is $45, and the Traditional Broom is $60. All of this seems a little high for a broom. But I payed $15 for a crappy broom that will not last more than a year or two. And I'll need to replace it with another $15 broom, and then another. A $60 broom that lasts for 30 years is starting to sound like a bargain.

And don't even get me started on trash cans.

The point is, if you buy quality items - often times handcrafted - and simply buy what you need, you'll save money in the long run. And you might add a little beauty to your daily routines as well. Here are a few items I think it's worth spending money on. All these things, if taken care of properly, should last a good long time.

Shaker Broom // $45 // Just a Mere Tree Farm

Linen Sheets //  $165 for a queen size flat sheet //  Linen Me

Retro Fan // $67 // Hunter (via)

Trash Can // $40 // Umbra

Linen Towels // $35 // Indigo Traders

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear! After having spent months trying to locate the right trash can - and trying not to spend untold riches on it, as all trash cans are apparently made of gold - I agree wholeheartedly. Etsy is my go-to now for things that I know will need to last.