There are lots of areas where minimalism, sustainability and ethical living overlap (hence this blog), but one of the key ones is most definitely longevity. When an item is durable it helps us keep waste out of landfill, stops us constantly buying new products that require energy to manufacture, and helps us stay minimal as we don’t need to keep buying replacement ‘stuff’. It’s an everyone wins kind of deal.
Longevity seems to have found a brilliant home in the website Buy Me Once, a company I’ve known of for a while, and was so excited to chat to further in recent months. BMO’s mission is to break down throwaway culture and start loving things that last; to ‘radically shift habits from short term buying to long term buying’. They achieve this through challenging manufacturers and campaigning for environmentally conscious durable products, launching their own certification system for longevity, and selling a wide range of products on their website that you can buy for the long haul.
For the items they sell online Buy Me Once has a research system to determine whether they are sustainable enough to sell, their system uses these five questions
- Do the materials and craftsmanship make this product more durable than its competitors?
- Do the reviews of the product confirm its durability?
- Is it made ethically and if possible is it made of sustainable materials?
- Is this product timeless?
- Does the manufacturer offer any aftercare? (eg lifetime warranties)
Essentially, they both do the research work for you and guarantee that your purchases are long term investments, not short term gambles. So easy.
Buy Me Once kindly sent me a gift box with some of their long-lasting treats to see for myself. Let’s see what they sent:
Joy Everley Silver Flamingo Earrings
A family jewellers that work hard to be as fairtrade and sustainable as possible. Each item comes with a lifetime guarantee; they don’t expect any of their pieces to break, but they’ll fix them for you if they do. These flamingo earrings were designed in London, handmade using traditional lost wax casting and hallmarked by the London Assay Office. And aren’t they beautiful? I never think to buy earrings, but these little babies are such a dream, and can easily be a cute accessory or a fun addition to a classier outfit too. Perfectly multifunctional, minimal and fun.
The White T Shirt Company Relaxed Short Sleeve Round Neck T-Shirt
The White T-Shirt Co. launched with the aim of making the perfect t-shirt. Their commitment to ethics led them to shut down operations for three years whilst they waited for an organic yarn supplier that met their high standards. Now that is dedication. They relaunched in 2013 with timeless classic t-shirts made from 100% GOTS organic cotton, manufactured in safe working conditions, with no child labour, good working hours and wage protection monitored throughout their supply chain.
I’ve been wearing this tee on tour (here I am wearing it in our place in Krakow, the lighting was terrible but this place was a dream) and I can confirm that it is maybe one of the softest organic cotton pieces I have. It’s had a few washes now but is still soft, has kept it’s shape and does a great job of being breathable in heat and keeping you warm on cooler days. A brilliant option for those basic tees, and I do love myself a bit of organic cotton!
Davek Solo Umbrella
I think every person in the UK has suffered through at least one umbrella mishap in our often miserable climate. Blowing inside out, snapping, tearing… Umbrellas. are. a. nightmare. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re going through a lot of something and seeing no other option, but Davek umbrellas are designed to be different. With a sturdy Windfibre Frame and a 190 thread count fabric (the most tightly woven available) for the canopy, these umbrellas are designed to be durable enough to last through even the worst weather. Every umbrella comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee, if an umbrella breaks they will happily repair or replace it for free. They also offer a loss protection service, so if you lose your umbrella you can buy a replacement for up to 50% off the retail price. The weather has yet to be too terrible on me in the continent, but this umbrella certainly feels a lot heftier than wafty, unreliable purchases of the past. I have good faith, so we’ll see how the the tests of winter go down.
Luks Linen Peshtemal
Probably the most multi-functional item I’ve added to my wardrobe in a long, long time. You can use this peshtemal as a towel, scarf, wrap, sarong, throw, knotted bag or even a table cloth. All products are made ethically by small family artisans using natural materials. They also have a 20 year free-fixing guarantee on any natural deterioration of their products, and if your item suffers a mishap they have menders to help for a small fee.
I took one peshtemal on tour which I have so far used as a scarf, a throw, a blanket and a towel. It’s probably the most useful item I’ve ever travelled with; I can use it for so many different things, and I wear the scarf to the airport/train station to unfold into a full blanket during travel. I even used it in replacement of a duvet in Warsaw when the temperature got too high. I love it! It’s literally going on every journey with me from now on.
I was also sent a second peshtemal which is a little thicker and heavier, making it my second ever blanket! I will also be testing that out this winter as I spend the months of December to February making myself into a human blanket burrito. Updates to come.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to buy with longevity in mind generally or specifically (for example moving into your first home) there’s no better place to get kitted out than Buy Me Once. There’s something very relieving about getting things from a marketplace whose sole focus is long lasting products; you know thats not an item you’re going to have to worry about replacing any time soon, and so can happily divert that brain space to more important issues at hand. Less mind clutter is always a good thing, so look no further than Buy Me Once for keeping things easy, multifunctional and minimal.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.