“I tried to plug in it
I tried to turn it on
When I got it home
It was a piece of crap
I went back to the store
They gave me four more
The guy told me at the door
It’s a piece of crap”
– Neil Young, “Piece of Crap”
They Don’t Make Things Like They Used To
Online shopping, celebrity culture, knockoffs and the desire to meet our psychological needs with frivolous stuff have created a fashion and houseware manufacturing industry that is concerned only with immediate gratification and the bottom line. Global free trade has created a vicious cycle of cost-cutting measures––the manufacture of products is outsourced to the cheapest workforce, then the construction materials are sourced from the cheapest supplier, and when costs rise the cycle repeats.
The result has been that we have more poorly made goods at cheaper prices than ever before, and as our addiction and dependence upon disposable junk products has grown, so have our mountainous landfills.
There is an alternative: Buy less, buy better, value it more. Author and sociologist Juliet Schor, in the documentary Minimalism, says:
“In some ways, we’re not material enough. We are too materialistic in the everyday sense of the word, and we are not at all materialistic enough in the true sense of the word. We need to be true materialists, like really care about the materiality of goods.”
They say, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” They, of course, are wrong. Quality products are still made today.
The materialists’ goal is to find respectable products to review. We appreciate fashion and design that is well made––not necessarily expensive––and hopefully durable. From budget to best, from corporate to independent, we will look at a wide range of styles and brands that may complement and improve your lifestyle.
We will focus on products that do what they are supposed to, that won’t end up in a landfill before an appropriate lifespan has passed. The materialists’ aims to post 100 products that are respectable this year.
Blogs always review products when they are first released, but what happens after? The materialists will look at old products as well as new products with promise because we care.