A Website That Only Stocks Products That Last A Lifetime
Tara Button: I found Buy Me Once socks. If socks can have have a lifetime guarantee, why can't anything? There's clothing, cookware, toys for kids, recycled plastic toys that are hardcore durable and sustainable wooden toys too. There are accessories, like umbrellas, and luggage, like Eagle Creek. A massive bugbear for me is plastic "wood" that chips, and there's so much furniture out there these days that's made like that, so we have furniture that won't fall apart after a few years, and if it does get nicked, you can fix it. If it's made out of vinyl, no way. It's a shame. Also, beauty products, like hairbrushes, tweezers and shavers.
How do you decide what to include?
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. Like Patagonia offers free fixing of their clothes. Nobody does that, and half of us don't know how to [sew] anymore. It's wonderful to find these gems of companies; they do exist. It's all about finding things that last and helping things to last — cherishing the things that last. That's the ethos.
Up until now, it's been mainly me reading countless reviews, talking to people, calling companies, comparing and contrasting different products in the same category, to which one is the best. And there was serious research too. When it came to choosing shoes, I talked to cobblers and asked about what shoes are easy to fix and which ones last. I'm a big fan of talking to the experts, since they are going know from experience what lasts.
What's your biggest challenge?
I'm looking a products from companies all around the world, and sometimes it's been tricky to find people who will ship. I also underestimated response from the U.S. It's been huge. Over 60 percent of our traffic is coming from America, so we are determined to give that love back.
The response has just been amazing. I have an email backlog of 600 emails of suggested products from people, and we are plowing through them, checking to see what they are and if they fit our ethos. Some won't work and some will. If readers have ideas, they can send them along to me at: email@example.com. We always want to hear about great products that have lasted and the stories behind them as well; we want to put them up online and share the best.
Will the site feature anything other than products?
One of the sides of the website that is going to become an important part ischallenging manufacturers to do better. If we feel that there's a particular category that needs attention, we are going to create a challenge. [For example] we haven't been able to find a Buy Me Once electric kettle. The guarantees from the companies are really short, and online reviews say they all break really soon. For me, that's not good enough. In a world where we build satellites and send people to space, we can make a kettle that doesn't break after three years. There used to be kettles that lasted longer. If you find a kettle from the 1950s, they often still work. That kind of thing gets my goat.
It's frustrating, and I feel it's immoral to make something that breaks and ends up in a landfill, and it's really short-sighted. If you're not a wealthy family, having to replace these items is not cheap. And the first company who does do that will make a killing. People really do want stuff that's built to last. We have some other work to do on the site first, but the challenges are going to be important.
We also have content: Like how to have a kid's birthday party with no waste. You can have a fun, colorful, great birthday party but without three trash bags full at the en