First, there was the 100 Thing Challenge to pare down your personal possessions to the namesake number. Then, there was Project 333 to limit your wardrobe to 33 items every three months.
The idea is to haul the problem of overconsumption into public consciousness and ultimately move society into decimating the colossal amount of waste it generates. And the latest salvo in this environmental war is Buy Me Once, a website that stocks only things guaranteed to last a lifetime.
The eco-warrior behind the initiative is a former British advertising executive who was astounded that not more of companies such as Le Creuset exists. The company is a maker of cast-iron cookware so indestructible that it offers to rectify, forever, any defect on its products.
Tara Button’s website stocks, at the moment, just over 200 items curated into categories as varied as clothes and accessories to tools and furniture. More products are being added regularly, thanks to crowdsourcing by her UK and US audience. Through this, she has even found socks and underwear that fi t her strict criteria.
Of course, the concept isn’t completely new; until the industrial age, one didn’t chuck things when they went kaput; one mended them. The entire luxury trade was premised upon crafting beautiful objects that don’t break in the first place.
For Button, an inconvenient question remains. To some extent, businesses can only survive, let alone grow, through repeat purchases. If her customers click on Checkout only once ever, whither the sustainability of her enterprise? (A request for comment went unanswered.)