Would you buy a sweatshirt that guaranteed you 30 years of wear?  Does such a sweatshirt even exist?  You might be surprised to find that it does.  The 30 Year Sweatshirt offers a repair service for thirty years after purchase, meaning that come the final days of July 2047 you might want to calendar in any final repairs. 

The company is not alone in focusing on traditional, long-lasting well-built goods, rather than disposable, ‘made to break’, throw-away products.   Quality, well-made goods are normally somewhat pricier – but they will last.  Apparently they are also on the rise.

Zack Sears is a design director at Kickstarter who co-founded his own New York-based watch brand Throne.  He recently commented to The Telegraph:

“I think it’s a trend across manufacturing. It’s less about mass scale, you can put a little bit more time and money into niche markets as consumers are becoming more educated.”

Throwaway technology and badly built appliances seem to have increased dramatically over the last 50 years.  After our washing machine recently broke after only three years, we were told that that was a reasonable period for it to have lasted (it was not a cheap brand!).  We have had similiar issues with having multiple kettles replaced.  This mentality is in contrast to my father’s early working years when he has often commented that the toaster repair man was the busiest man in his building.  

It is surprising that so many companies still have a throw-away design mentality, while seemingly voicing increased concern for the environment.  In the end money talks, I guess.  Many even also suggest that “overpopulation” in countries with the lightest environmental footprints is the thing that needs to change.  Perhaps also, addicted to materialism as so many of us are, we actually enjoy making a steady stream of purchases. 

In an effort to both combat materialism and better protect the environment, maybe we could start with making more thought-out, quality purchasing decisions where we can afford to.  It would also be lovely to be able to trust appliances again.  The 30 year sweatshirt, anyone?

Shannon Roberts

Shannon Roberts is co-editor of MercatorNet's blog on population issues, Demography is Destiny. While she has a background as a barrister, writing has been a life-long passion and she has contributed...