14 long-lasting alternatives to repeat purchases
There are certain items in our lives we buy again and again, without giving it much thought.
Perhaps you’re accustomed to replacing your earphones every year, or your sunglasses. Maybe you always find yourself buying socks, because they wear through in a matter of months. It doesn't take long for all these purchases to add up to a significant spend, even if they're cheaper in the short term.
Buying for life saves money, time and waste. Here are some of our fantastic long-lasting alternatives to common throwaway items - all independently researched and tested by us.
Everlasting clothes pegs
When it comes to the stuff that lasts forever, one thing we often look out for is a one-piece seamless design. It means no joints or mechanisms to go wrong.
Pincinox clothes pegs are a great example. They’re springless, made from one strip of top-quality forged stainless steel, and they’re never going to snap. Completely rustproof, resistant to frost and heat, and strong to boot. Keep them outside on the washing line. Forever.
Razors for life
How many razors do you reckon you've used in your lifetime? The razor is an item we've come to see as disposable, when it really needn't be. The blade is the only thing that wears out, yet we have to throw away the whole unit every time.
Though they might look a little intimidating, these Rockwell Razors are far from old-fashioned. Rockwell have completely reengineered the original double-edged razor from the ground up. That means no nicks or cuts - and the closest, most comfortable shave of your life. Their stainless steel 6S model even carries a lifetime guarantee.
You've probably bought quite a few umbrellas in your time from a pharmacy or supermarket in the midst of a downpour. These cheap, flimsy items will get you home, but buckle for good when they encounter their first strong gust of wind.
We’ve found Blunt, who saw an opportunity to make umbrellas differently. With a high-tension canopy and super-strong structure, these have been tested in 70mph winds. They're also designed to be repairable - and we’ll foot the bill for 5 years of repairs. Get prepared with a strong brolly, and never get caught out again.
Heavy-duty pepper grinders
Those flimsy disposable pepper grinders you get from the supermarket aren't just wasteful, they're also terrible to use. Have you ever tried to force one to turn, only for the top to pop off and flood your bolognese? When you invest in a proper pepper grinder, the difference is remarkable.
These beautiful cast iron pepper grinders by Swedish iron masters Skeppshult are satisfyingly solid and weighty. They make short work of peppercorns, with a simple internal crushing mechanism that will never break on you. Next time your pepper runs out, try a buy-for-life swap you'll love to use every day.
Sunnies with a difference
Many of us avoid spending any money on sunglasses for fear of breaking them. But with these sunglasses by social enterprise Waterhaul, you needn't worry. These frames are made entirely from ghost fishing nets recovered from our oceans, which creates an incredibly strong material.
What's more, they're guaranteed for life - so if they break, you simply need to send them back for a repair or replacement (irreparable frames are shredded for recycling). They even come with a free cork case to keep them protected.
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.
Cheap leather belts always have a limited lifespan, eventually getting worn away and breaking around the hole you usually use. Invest in proper full-grain leather, and you'll save on repeat-buying belts of inferior quality.
These beautiful belts made by leather experts Tanner Bates in South Devon are the real deal. Made from thick, tough vintage hides, they're naturally tanned using age-old processes. They even carry a 25 year repair guarantee, exclusive to us.
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. They're the last socks you’ll ever need - really.
Ditch the leaky takeaway box, and choose a lunch receptacle you can trust for a lifetime. This stainless steel lunch box by Smidge is oven and freezer safe, so you can pop your leftovers straight in the oven. It's also completely leakproof, and comes with a handy divider.
Made from top-quality 18/10 stainless steel, this lunchbox is covered by a lifetime guarantee. That's a lot of lunches. Smidge also make a handy stainless steel water bottle - another long-lasting alternative to a single-use item.
Buying T-shirts on the cheap often results in misshapen necklines, bobbly fabrics and see-through materials. When you realise you wear them every day, it becomes obvious that investing in good quality tees just makes a lot of sense.
The White T-Shirt Company specialises in perfecting the basics, all in heavyweight organic cotton. Despite the name, The White T-Shirt Co make all sorts of basics, from vests to pyjamas - and they're all covered by a lifetime guarantee.
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.
If earbuds are more your thing, Glaswegian audio experts RHA make Bluetooth earphones of exceptional quality - and they're covered by a 3 year warranty.
Indestructible frying pans
Don't buy yet another flaky non-stick pan; make the switch to iron pans and 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.
Raw denim jeans
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, they employ tailoring innovation and heritage construction to make seriously sturdy jeans. Each pair will shape and fade with the contours of your body, meaning they only get better as they age.
What's more, Blackhorse Lane will even repair your jeans for free - for life. Simply send your pair in to their workshop in London.
If you have a household of klutzes who can't be trusted with fancy glasses, try something a little different. 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. On the off-chance that they do break, Duralex shatters safely, leaving no dangerous jagged edges. And with designs that range from elegant glass mugs to highball tumblers, they look the part too.