Earlier in the summer we went to the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.
It’s a big deal on our little island. There are equestrian events, petting areas for miniature goats, brass bands, gymnastics performances. A bouncy castle. We even saw a lumberjack competition.
One of the more outstanding things I saw was a piece of farm machinery from the early 1900′s. I believe it was a baler. The thing was huge and loud and a bit smelly.
The remarkable thing about it was that it was still running.
It had changed owners numerous times and was challenging to find parts for I am sure but it still worked.
It could still do the job it was made for and it was over 100 years old.
My new flats aren’t even a year old and they’re already falling apart.
The things we make today are crap. Most of them anyways.
In 2012 our things are cheap and made by machines and held together with glue. No one gives a shit if it lasts.
And why should they? Everything is cheap, such a small slice of our cost of living, that we can easily replace it at Target or Walmart. And when that crappy shoe/gadget/blouse falls apart we toss it in the landfill and buy another.
I thought I was buying quality. I was really just buying a beautifully packaged piece of crap.
My shoes were an investment. Or so I thought.
I have large feet and bony heels. Most flats cut deep trenches in my heels and never become comfortable.
These shoes promised to be different. The were supple leather. Bendable. I read a lot of reviews and there was nothing but raves for them.
I loved and raved about mine too. Initially.
They were comfortable right out of the box. I walked into town and home in them. Five kilometres without an ache, pain or bloody heel. I was sold.
So few things we make today are meant to last.
Designer flats you can fit in your purse and wear all day, every day. That’s what the website says. I call bullshit.
The shoes aged quickly. A thin area appeared near my big toe. The matte leather frayed and lost its luster. The supposedly flexible brown leather of the sole peeled off.
I sent photos in to the company and complained. Strange they said, I can’t believe they look like that after five months of wear. They said it was unusual and they didn’t know why the shoes had fallen apart.
They offered to send me a replacement pair. No refund because I wore them outside.
I’ve accepted the replacement pair but I’m dubious about how long these ones will last.
Still trying to go with quality over quantity here. Still trying to invest a little more so I can reduce my consumption, own fewer things and support businesses that are making quality products.
I’m trying but it’s a battle to find things that will last.
In a world where people want more and more and care less and less about how it was made, who made it and where it’s from and how long it will last, I’m in the minority. I’m weird.
Weird is fine by me. I’ll spend more time sourcing and deliberating over a purchase than most people. I’ll read all the customer reviews and email the company asking them where the product is made and where the materials are from. I’ll do more leg work and due diligence to buy a new pair of jean than some people do when they buy a car.
Because I’m done with having things that don’t last and things that I don’t use in my home.