A throwaway society

Posted by scott alexander on

As a young child (I’m generation X), I can remember having the same toaster, the same can opener, same oven, refrigerator, television, Tupperware, etc. for my entire childhood. You never heard anyone say we need a new (fill in the blank) unless something was beyond repair, which other than a car was extremely rare.

Now… is there anything we don’t toss aside for the next new, shiny (fill in the blank)? A large part of that issue is how things are made/manufactured today. We purchase things that are purpose built to need replacement. It’s a genius plan for big business to take something that in the past lasted for an extremely long time and offer something that is born to break and not be repairable, to not offer parts and service past a year or two in some cases.

That said… if you really take a step back and ask why, it’s all our fault. It’s our fault that we accept this behavior from big business and support them by purchasing those same things repeatedly. It’s our fault for not caring for and maintaining those items so they will last longer. This behavior has infiltrated almost every aspect of life. From our relationships, marriages, appliances, cars, etc. It can be found everywhere…. Just a few generations ago this wasn’t a part of our society.

Can we fix all of this? Well… it certainly won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. Where do we start? Like all meaningful changes, it starts with you, your home, and your family. Instead of resenting your partner for their shortcomings, instead of bickering and arguing, instead of battling each other… take the harder path. Have those difficult discussions, make time to maintain your relationship, bring back date nights, plan together for the future, openly recognize your differences and celebrate them rather than fight about them. That also goes for the things you bring into your home. Do you purchase the cheapest item that fills the need? Or instead, do you make a conscience decision to save up, spend more, and purchase something that will be maintainable, made to last with a bit of love and care? Obviously, this applies to some things more than others. But small intentional decisions will compound over time. You’ll realize that while your initial investment is larger, the outcome over time will likely result in not only a savings of money, but you’ll find you enjoy those things you purchased that have become a long-standing member of your family. Objects that you have cared for as they have cared for you.

I started this business for two reasons. The first is my love for fine craft. A place I can put my creative energy into, a place I can constantly learn and improve an idea or an object. The second is my personal detest for the throwaway society we are living in. It's because we throw away everything from utensils to relationships, that I created this business and the reason I create my craft. Craft that is not only meant to stand the test of time with its quality (if its properly maintained), but also its timeless design that will be in style for years and decades to come.

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