There are certain items in our lives that we buy again and again without giving it much thought. We often aren’t afforded many options besides purchasing a quick, cheap replacement. They are so embedded in our routines that when they break, we don’t go to the drawing board to research a better product, but instead settle on a convenient solution.
It will often take a step back to realise how much we're spending on these items. Something that’s cheaper in the short term is rarely more economical than getting a better quality product that will last much longer.
Perhaps you’re accustomed to replacing your earphones every year, or your toaster. Or maybe you find yourself always buying socks because they wear through in a matter of months.
Buying for life saves money, time and waste. Here are 10 fantastic long-lasting alternatives to common throwaway items, all independently researched and tested by us.
There’s a reason why the umbrella has clawed its way to the top of this list. An old advertising adage is that we buy the most umbrellas on the rainiest day of the year. One wind tunnel is usually enough to turn a cheap pharmacy umbrella inside out.
We’d like to see more people making umbrella purchases on sunny days - so you can be prepared with a really good brolly, without getting caught out. We’ve found Blunt, who are doing umbrellas a little differently. With a high-tension canopy and super-strong structure, these have been tested in 70mph winds. They’re even repairable - and we’ll foot the bill for 5 years of repairs.
We've all bought a cheap toaster in our day. The failure points are familiar: the lever won’t stay down, one side won’t toast, the eject button stops working. You may be familiar with British heritage brand Dualit - but did you know that their award-winning Classic toasters are built to be repaired again and again?
Not only that, they’re still made in Dualit’s original West Sussex factory. Originally designed for the catering industry, Dualit toasters are well-known for lasting decades. That, and making perfect toast every time.
Do your jeans always bust in the same places? Try a pair made of stronger stuff and invest in Blackhorse Lane Ateliers raw denim. Made in London from only the best heavyweight denims, these jeans shape and fade with the contours of your body. Blackhorse Lane will even repair your jeans for free - for life!
Darn Tough socks are made with merino wool and, incredibly, are guaranteed for life. If your sock develops a hole, you simply need to send them back to your nearest Darn Tough warehouse, and they'll send you another pair for free. They’re not just the toughest socks out there - they’re also the comfiest and best. Merino wool has temperature regulating and moisture wicking properties, and is even antimicrobial. The last socks you’ll ever need - really!
Investing in good basics makes a lot of sense when you realise you wear them every day. The White T-Shirt Company specialises in perfecting the basics, all in heavyweight organic cotton. No misshapen necklines or bobbly fabric here - every White T-Shirt Company garment is guaranteed for life.
It’s a horrible feeling when your headphones break - always at the plug end of the wire! These high-spec headphones by AIAIAI have a modular build, meaning if one element breaks, you can simply replace one part instead of discarding the whole unit. This also means you can easily upgrade your headphones’ speakers, or even change to Bluetooth. We developed a super-tough version with AIAIAI which comes with an exclusive 4 year warranty.
Don't buy yet another flaky non-stick pan; upgrade to a Solidteknics iron skillet instead! Complete with an incredible multi-century warranty, these pans are made from one seamless piece of wrought iron. They cook and season just like traditional heavy cast iron skillets, but at half the weight. Their signature satin surface is designed to hold seasoning, and their vented handles stay cool. This is cookware to hand down from generation to generation.
Our range of French Duralex tumblers are made from ultra-durable tempered glass, in instantly-recognisable classic styles. They're shock resistant, thermal shock resistant and virtually unbreakable. But if they do break, Duralex shatters safely, leaving no dangerous jagged edges.
Even mid-range leather belts will eventually get worn away and break at the hole you usually use. Instead of leather, Elvis & Kresse make belts from reclaimed British fire hose. Tough, bold and sustainable, these belts even come with a lifetime repair promise. And what’s more, 50% of Elvis & Kresse’s profits are donated to charities such as The Fire Fighters Charity.
Tired of your children's shoes falling apart after just a few weeks? These comfy, supportive and durable shoes by Term are made from supple full grain leather. Designed to help young feet grow healthily, Term’s fashionable designs will also appeal to kids of all ages. These are shoes that children will outgrow, not wear out.