In order to ensure we are selling true long-lasting items of quality, we must be highly discerning. Our thorough, in-depth research takes us through a product’s design, construction and manufacture, so you can rest assured you’re buying something that will stand the test of time, from someone you can trust. We conduct rigorous research, question the manufacturer and test out samples, before discussing in-house the pros and cons of a product. Only once these steps have been taken do we consider launching a brand to our site.
We are a small team of researchers, whose combined knowledge spans a wide range of product expertise. Our research is always independent - no company can pay to be on BuyMeOnce. We take on products from both established heritage names and innovative new brands championing product longevity.
There are six main considerations we take into account during our research process:
If a product is claiming to last a very long time, it has to be made of quality stuff. We look for materials that are a cut above the rest: strong, functional and resistant to wear and tear. For instance, our bestselling Solidteknics pans are made from wrought iron, which offers the same fantastic cooking experience as cast iron whilst being stronger and lighter.
Expert craftsmanship is essential to turning these quality materials into a great product. Our partners carefully consider all aspects of their product’s construction, excelling in durability when a lesser product would break or fail. Our Blunt umbrellas, for example, have a high-tension reinforced canopy for incredible strength in all weather.
We look for manufacturers who take product longevity seriously. Watertight guarantees and affordable repair services ensure your product can be fixed, replaced or refunded years down the line. Our Darn Tough socks, for instance, are covered by a no-quibble lifetime guarantee. Not all of our products come with guarantees, but because we have deemed them to be best in class, you can get in touch with BuyMeOnce about any product you’re unsatisfied with.
A product can be incredibly well-made, but if you fall out of love with it, it will get thrown away anyway. This is why we look for products that have timeless, classic designs, which won’t become dated and could even improve with age. Blackhorse Lane Ateliers’ raw denim jeans are a great example - this classic garment fades and shapes to your body over time, creating jeans unique to you.
We love products which are made with people and the environment in mind. We require basic ethical manufacturing standards from all our partners, and celebrate those going the extra mile. For example, Elvis and Kresse accessories are made entirely in one factory from ultra-tough recycled British firehose, and 50% of all their profits are donated to charity. We also support organic and Fair Trade products, and love single-use swaps - but we look for durability first and foremost.
We love finding designs which extend a product’s lifespan in innovative ways, beyond durability. Examples include kids’ shoes which can grow with a child, a cot that expands into a bed, or modular headphones that can be repaired or upgraded with ease. We know that products don’t only get thrown away because they break, and we want to approach this issue from all angles.
If you think you know of something that fits the bill, please get in touch! We’re always looking for new long-lasting products, from companies both big and small.
You may notice unavailability for some brands on our site. We will continue to update availabilities as we receive them from our brands.
A lot of brands are running at capacity or with less staff, so we ask that you wait an extra day or two to receive your order.
Small businesses like BuyMeOnce and many of the unique brands we retail are particularly vulnerable to feeling the full force of these events.
Through this we remain open for business as usual.
We’d like to thank you for your continued support as we navigate through the pandemic.
We sincerely wish you all the best during this difficult time.
Stay safe and stay home.
We believe there is one way to banish unnecessary, wasteful consumption - and also to give someone a perfect gift they will love, use and treasure forever! The answer? Gift cards. With the launch of our new Gift for Life Card, we want to champion the idea that the humble gift voucher is the pinnacle of conscious gifting. Here’s why:
Buying things that aren’t wanted is not just awkward - it’s a waste of money, time and resources. By giving the gift of choice, a gift card eliminates the chance of a disappointing present, and empowers your loved one to choose something they actually need.
It’s not just unwanted gifts that might find their way to landfill. If you’re on a budget, choosing cheaply-made gifts does no one any favours. A Gift for Life card can be put towards the purchase of sustainably-made item that could last a lifetime. And no wasteful wrapping paper required!
With the Covid-19 outbreak situation rapidly changing, there's every chance that you won't be deliver a gift in person. The Gift for Life card arrives in your inbox instantly: a timely gift that still expresses that you care about your recipient. No contact required!
Would you rather have one amazing present, or ten rubbish ones? It may be that what your loved one really wants is a dream item, that neither of you can afford alone. With a gift card, you can contribute to the purchase of the ultimate present, whilst working within a budget that works for you.
To truly give the gift of choice, why wouldn’t you just give cash? As we all know, life gets in the way, and it can be difficult to put money aside into making a dedicated 'treat' purchase for ourselves, even when instructed to. A gift card is a conscious present that means your giftee will have to treat themselves to something they love, instead of the weekly shop.
The gift-giving expectations we place upon ourselves are so strong, we can easily forget our money is hard-earned, and shouldn’t be thrown away thoughtlessly! Gift cards ensure that gift purchases are productive, thought-through and wanted. This is a way to respect your money, and the time you spent earning it.
Clothing and accessories consistently top the list of gifts that miss the mark. This is because taste and style are so personal, even if you think you know what someone likes, it’s fairly likely you don’t. Even worse, now they have to wear it every time they see you! Let them choose something they actually love, avoiding any awkward unwrapping moments.
We’ve all been there - that anxiety-fuelled power walk around the high street buying a ‘that’ll do’ gift you know isn’t right just before the shops close. Purchasing a Gift for Life Card is not only stress-free and instantaneous, it allows the recipient to carefully select their own gift, without any rush.
‘Emotional durability’ means an item’s ability to stand the test of time as a loved object. Maybe you’ll buy your dad that wallet with the lifetime warranty on it - but what if he hates the design? You can’t always guarantee a gift will stay in someone’s life forever, but by letting them choose, it’s far more likely to happen!
So, do you think gift cards get a bad rap? If you’re ready to give the gift of choice, check out the Gift for Life Card by BuyMeOnce.]]>
We’re all too familiar with the annual mother’s day stress. What to get her? Just a card? Are flowers too cliche? Finding a gift that shows exactly how much you appreciate your mum is perhaps never possible. A last-minute bottle and bouquet might do, but this year, consider finding something a little more special.
Here’s our edit of lovely long-lasting gifts for mum - things she’ll actually cherish and use for years.
1. Lüks Linen Ekin scarf, £39
Finely loomed from natural cotton, these lovely scarves are all locally grown, spun, dyed and handwoven in Lüks Linen’s family-run ateliers in Turkey. The Ekin is lightweight yet warm, in elegant grey-blue hues. Mums can never have too many scarves…
2. Blunt durable umbrella, £54.99
The Blunt is no ordinary brolly. With an ultra-durable design that has been tested in extreme weather conditions worldwide, get mum a practical gift she can rely on year-round!
3. Chrysmela secure earring backs, £55
If your mum has precious jewellery that she’s afraid to wear more than once a year, gift her these ingenious secure earring backs. Patented precision technology ensures they lock firmly in place, so there’s no need to worry about losing an earring again.
4. Piglet linen pyjamas, £100
Treat mum to these pretty-in-pink pyjamas by Piglet. Did you know that linen gets softer and softer with every use? Not only that, it feels warm and cosy in winter, and fresh and cool in summer!
5. Sttoke reusable cup, £30
These award-winning reusable cups keep your drink hot for hours, and are lined with ceramic inside to ensure no funny tastes! Get your mum to banish single-use plastic from her life for good.
6. Elvis & Kresse recycled fire hose purse, £110
Find mum a gift with a story with this gorgeous Elvis & Kresse purse, made from recycled British fire hose. Handmade in Kent, it’s lined with reclaimed parachute silk, and will last for years and years.
7. Richmond Heritage Copper Kettle, £225
Hand-spun to perfection using the highest-grade copper, these traditional stovetop kettles are stunning feats of craftsmanship. Take your mum’s tea game to the next level!
8. Solidteknics wrought iron skillet, £127.90
If your mum loves cooking with cast iron but finds it too heavy, consider treating her to a Solidteknics skillet. Designed in Australia and loved by chefs worldwide, Solidteknics pans are half the weight of cast iron and are covered by a multi-century warranty.
9. Myssifarmi organic wool snood, £63
Make sure your mum stays cosy with this fabulous snood made from 100% organic Finnsheep wool. Hand-knitted in Finland by Myssifarmi’s team of grannies, it comes with a lifetime repair or replace warranty.
10. Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper, £25
If your mum likes her coffee, get her on board the pourover coffee revolution: a simple and easy brewing process yielding fantastic results! This classic ceramic coffee dripper by Hario will become part of her morning routine.
11. Loveramics Pro Tea teapot, £40
If she’s more of a tea lover, check out this beautifully plump teapot by Loveramics. In ultra hard-wearing high-fired porcelain, this gorgeous teapot has an integrated steel infuser for the perfect cuppa. Comes in three sizes and a broad range of bright hues!
12. The Gift for Life card
Still haven’t found that perfect gift? Pick up a Gift for Life card and let her choose her perfect present from our enormous range of high-quality, independently researched products. Any recipient would be spoiled for choice!
I’ve become increasingly aware that I have too many clothes.
Recently, I moved into a small room in a little London flat. Whilst stuffing a mountain of tops into a drawer, I was forced to reassess what garments I had allowed to stay in my life. I’m a notorious hoarder of holey socks, and I justify my raggedy T-shirts as ‘useful winter layers’. I can neglect my monstrous laundry pile for weeks and still have things to wear. It’s a problem.
When I was tasked with testing out three tops by The White T-Shirt Company (known for their high-quality, responsibly-made basics), I saw an opportunity to take action. What better way to challenge myself - and challenge the quality of the garments! - than to wear just these three tops for a whole month?
In order to cover a range of styles to get me through the month, I selected three versatile tops (pictured above) that could be dressed up or down: the Loose Fit ¾ Breton Stripe T-Shirt, the Black Fitted Bodysuit and the White Loose Fit Scoop Neck T-Shirt.
The White T-Shirt Company started out with a simple mission to create the perfect white tee, without compromising on quality, ethics or style. But don’t be misled by the name - today they offer a wide range of basic tops and sleepwear for men and women, all in heavyweight organic cotton.
I was delighted when the tops arrived beautifully wrapped in biodegradable plastic-free packaging. When I opened the elegant cardboard envelope, I found each one perfectly folded inside tissue paper, with a stamped label tied in twine. I would find this attention to detail carried over to the construction of The White T-Shirt Company’s clothes, too.
When trying on these tops, it was immediately clear that these were not your average T-shirts. The luxurious organic cotton was soft yet substantial, with just the right amount of stretch. I also noted the double-stitched seams - a great indicator of durability and high-quality construction. I found each of them true to size and flatteringly cut.
These sustainable T-shirts are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, which means they meet strict quality, social and environmental standards at every point of their creation. Comparing them to cheap, thin T-shirts I’d bought before, the quality was like night and day.
During the month, I was expecting to be restricted in what I wore, but these tees went with absolutely everything. I found that picking what to wear each day had been simplified, but it also made me a little more creative with my choices. For instance, the stripey ¾ tee paired perfectly well with my work trousers on its own, but was a lovely layering piece underneath blouses and dresses.
The range of styles lended themselves well to being dressed up or down. The bodysuit looked great with loose bottoms like culottes, or it could create a sleek look with a fitted skirt, whilst still looking smart with its high neckline. For going out, I wore it with tailored shorts and tights.
The endless versatility of these tops made me look at the rest of my wardrobe differently. I considered which of my clothes were ones I wore often, that paired easily with other things. Which items made me feel good? Why had I kept things I hadn’t worn in over a year? Which items did I reach for all the time, and why? I was starting to get into a capsule wardrobe mentality.
I should mention that this challenge took place in the dead of winter, and I could get away with wearing each top for two or three days or more, usually with a thin vest underneath. In summer, I’d probably struggle with six tops, let alone three, but everyone will have their own needs depending on their activity levels and personal differences.
After a particularly active day, I’d sometimes have to wash a top after just one wear, so it was rarely as simple as doing all my laundry on the weekends. Combined with accounting for drying time and having something to wear over laundry day, I tended to do two washes per week. This was often inconvenient and - when I didn’t have enough to run a full load - not environmentally friendly. But it felt good to finally get on top of my laundry mountain.
At the end of the month, I had washed each of the White T-Shirt Company tops between three and four times, and they looked good as new. The necklines in particular, which I find with other tops can get misshapen and stretched quickly, remained pristine.
During the month, I soon realised I have items I wear, and I have items I love wearing.
I’ll probably never be the sort of person who has a tiny rules-based capsule wardrobe, but over the course of the challenge I was inspired to give away a big chunk of my clothes. I saw the value in having fewer pieces, and choosing the ones that make you feel good. I was thinking more creatively with my clothes and wearing them more often, giving me a more fulfilling relationship with the items I chose to keep.
Having just three basic tops for the month was certainly a logistical challenge, and ultimately it was quite impractical. For me, I think seven basic tops would be a better number to aim for (not including other tops like shirts) but of course everyone will have an amount that works for them.
What negated the inconvenience of the challenge was the fact that I fell completely in love with The White T-Shirt Company’s tops. They were honestly the most comfortable items I have ever owned. These were garments I felt great in, and knowing they were made from GOTS-certified organic cotton made me love putting them on even more.
When I thought about the cheap T-shirts I had bought and discarded in the past, it became clear to me what a no-brainer it is to invest in quality basics. These are the things you wear every day, that are closest to your skin - why wouldn’t you pay a little more for a longer-lasting item that is a pleasure to wear? Not only that, but when we buy clothing, the power is in our hands to choose companies that put people and planet first.
All this brings to mind a BuyMeOnce mantra: let’s buy less, choose well and love things that last!
Check out the full collection by The White T-Shirt Company.
Find out more about The White T-Shirt Company and their ethos.
If there’s a couple of consistent qualities to be found across BuyMeOnce team members, it’s that a) we care deeply about our personal environmental impact, and b) we’re HUGE coffee nerds. So, it should be safe to assume we all religiously carry eco-friendly reusable cups for our morning brew. However, whilst we do avoid disposables and we do all own reusable coffee cups (many of us actually have several), they’re shamefully gathering dust in the back of cupboards. The reason? We just can’t stand the funny taste - any hint of plastic, silicone or metal affecting the flavour of the coffee spoils our experience. Our current solution is to carry around actual ceramic mugs. Not ideal.
That is, until the Sttoke cup caught our attention. Designed in Melbourne and rising in popularity worldwide, this nifty little cup was the Gold Winner in the Good Design Awards product design category in 2018. It looks a little different to the myriad of other products already flooding the market, in that there’s a lot less going on. With a distinct lack of big grippy bits and a totally flat lid, it’s elegant, minimalistic and perfectly designed to fit in the hand. But what really sets it apart is what’s inside. Coating the interior of this stainless steel cup is a layer of shatter proof Greblon® ceramic, which is durable, easy to clean and, crucially, completely flavourless!
By combining the inert qualities of ceramic with durable and light high-grade stainless steel, the Sttoke is able to combine portability with a fantastic drinking experience. Available in a range of colours and 8oz or 12oz size (a regular or large cup of coffee) the cup’s stainless steel body has a double wall of vacuum insulation, ensuring a hot drink for 3 hours, and cold drinks for 6 hours. This heat retention combined with the Sttoke’s neutral flavour ensures ‘the perfect sip of coffee, from the first to last’.
To put this claim to the test, we got our hands on a Sttoke cup and used it for a month. Long story short, we were seriously impressed (you can read our in-depth and honest product review here). We found the cup excelled at retaining the pure taste of a drink - our main gripe with other cups - and stayed hot for hours. Not only that, but it was lightweight and portable, and felt really comfortable to hold. In fact, the whole team was converted! On the negative side, we found the Sttoke required a little more TLC than average, as it was easily scratched by scourers or by being kept loose in a bag. But as big believers in looking after our stuff, we concluded that treating it with care was a small price to pay for performance.
Surface wear and tear aside, we’ve found the Sttoke cup to be structurally incredibly hard-wearing, surviving several drops and other abuse. Sttoke cups are also covered by a 2 year warranty - a fantastic extra assurance. There are certainly some more rugged cups out there, but what good is an indestructible cup if it’s never actually used? By replacing disposable cups, a reusable one does good only once it becomes a habit. It can take up to 100 uses for a reusable cup to offset its own carbon footprint of manufacture! If you’re going to be incentivised to carry your cup around, use it and wash it again and again, it has to provide a great experience. Despite the fact that there’s a huge range of cool reusable cups on the market, this is the first we’ve found providing a clean taste true to the brew. And, it has to be said, it looks great on the job.
The whole idea of having a reusable coffee cup is that you only need to buy it once.
However, it seems like so many people own several, whilst never using them - because they’re just not that great. Leaky, bulky or with a funny taste, shoddy coffee cups end up worse for the environment if they’re thrown away or simply aren’t used enough. Compared to disposable cups, it can take 20 to 100 uses for a reusable one to offset its higher carbon cost of manufacture!
As you might imagine, here at BuyMeOnce we’re very fussy about our reusable cups. For us, both durability and functionality are paramount. If you’re going to be incentivised to remember your cup, keep it washed and carry it around, it has to offer a great experience.
Introducing Sttoke. One of our Australian team members brought our attention to this product, which is making a name for itself as the coffee drinker’s choice for unspoiled flavour. Designed in Melbourne and rising in popularity worldwide, this sleek little number was the Gold Winner in the 2018 Good Design Awards product design category. It promises no silicone aftertaste, a drink that stays hot for hours and a beautiful, balanced design in a range of colourful styles. It even comes with a 2 year warranty! But at £30, is it worth the price? We decided to put it through its paces and find out.
As first impressions go, the Sttoke outperforms any reusable cup we’ve seen before - it’s minimalistic, yet unique in appearance. The cup has a slender profile, with no handle, no silicone sleeve, no enormous chunky lid. Whilst the Sttoke comes in an 8oz and 12oz size (a regular or large coffee), we opted for the 8oz, as it fits in most coffee machines and we liked the serving size.
What supposedly sets this product apart from any other cup on the market is the shatter proof Greblon® ceramic coating of the cup’s interior, which is durable, easy to clean and flavourless. The cup itself is made of high-grade stainless steel, double-layered like a thermos, with an attractive anodised surface finish and a discreet rubbery base to help prevent knocks. The flat spill-proof lid is made of a rigid, transparent BPA free plastic, and has a sliding top over the mouth opening. A rubber seal keeps the lid snug inside the cup.
Due to the double-layered walls of the cup, the STTOKE offers a high level of insulation - it promises a hot drink for 3 hours, and a cold one for 6 hours. We were pleasantly surprised to find this was accurate, so long as the drinking hole remained closed using the slider. No matter what temperature the liquid was inside, the outside of the STTOKE remained comfortable to hold. Burned mouths were a frequent occurrence whilst we adjusted to using the cup and accounting for its efficiency!
When using reusable cups in the past, some BuyMeOnce team members have complained of an unpleasant silicone, plastic or metallic taste affecting the flavour of their morning brew. Despite having a plastic lid, the Sttoke seems to bypass this completely with its ceramic interior, and even after 30 days’ use keeps the pure taste of the beverage inside. Our frequent coffee drinkers have particularly noticed this - as flavour purists, they had been taking ceramic mugs to cafes! It’s no wonder the Sttoke is becoming well-known as the coffee connoisseur’s choice.
Thanks to its rubber seal, the Sttoke’s lid is very snug. We’ve found it to be trustworthy when walking or driving, and have had no issue tucking it, full of hot liquid, under an arm to carry a bunch of other stuff. However, when the Sttoke promises to be ‘spill-proof’, we’ve found this only means it won’t pop open catastrophically. If it is knocked over on a table whilst full, a few drips do come out, and Stoke’s website does state this.
Despite having no handle or grip points, the Sttoke is designed to fit really nicely in the hand, feeling secure to hold. The lid is tight but easy to pry off safely, due to the slight extra lip on one side.
Drinking from the Sttoke did take some getting used to, as the mouth hole is set pretty deep below the rim - about 1cm. With a fairly large hole and a slight channel guiding liquid out, this opening replicates drinking from a mug, without the sloshing risk. When you tip back the cup, a little pool of liquid is created in this channel, which you can slurp from carefully as you would any fresh cup of coffee.
This clever design allows you to drink hotter liquid more safely and naturally, as temperature can be gauged with your lips. It may also be helping the flavour too, by minimising your mouth’s contact with plastic. With other lids we’ve tried, including disposable ones, you have to suck boiling liquid from a small hole, or tip it into your mouth hoping for the best.
When it comes to BuyMeOnce testing, it doesn’t matter how lovely a product is - if it doesn’t last, it’s not going to make the cut. The Sttoke cup is covered by a 2 year warranty against manufacturing defects, which is a good indication that it’s a well-made item. But during the month, we wanted to really put it through the wars. Our Sttoke suffered all kinds of abuse, surviving several drops whilst both full and empty. Not only did it not break, the lid stayed firmly on every time and only dripped a tiny amount of liquid. The stainless steel/ceramic material is clearly not just a pretty face.
When reading other reviews of the Sttoke, a persistent gripe was that the outside surface gets easily scratched. Ours suffered a little throughout the month, but despite rough treatment the scratches on our metallic pink cup were neither extensive nor immediately visible. A matte coating might suffer more, however. Our conclusion? If you’re concerned about cosmetic damage, look after your cup and pop it in a cloth bag before stuffing inside your rucksack. And below surface level, the Sttoke really is one tough cookie.
We found the Sttoke cup to be very easy to clean - once we read on their website exactly how to do so properly! The sliding mechanism in the lid (an ideal place for grime to collect), can actually be popped out using a teaspoon handle, and all parts washed thoroughly. We at first didn’t realise that the Sttoke should be cleaned with a soft sponge only - the lid has subsequently gotten pretty scratched up from scourer use. This has not affected the functionality of the cup, but feeds into our general conclusion that this cup should be treated with care, in accordance with the manufacturer’s advice.
In a market saturated with countless reusable cups and travel mugs, the Sttoke manages to offer something better, and something different. Between all our team members we’ve tried so many cool cups made from organic bamboo, recycled materials and cork! But as soon as we get a hint of a bad taste, they’re relegated to the back of the cupboard. The Sttoke offers not just neutral flavour, but also a balanced ergonomic design, a sleek, minimalistic appearance and impressive durability. Crucially, these design features add up to real, consistent everyday use, and thus an actual positive difference being made upon the world. We believe strongly in refusing single-use items, and are now even more incentivised to do so.
The Sttoke has converted us all: coffee snobs, office tea guzzlers and reusable cup newbies alike. The whole design has clearly been carefully considered, resulting in a beautiful product that offers a fantastic experience. It may require a little looking after, but for a clean taste and lasting heat, we think this product is worth it. The 2 year warranty is an extra assurance that Sttoke have faith in their design, and we’re certain that, with some care, your sturdy Sttoke cup could last for many, many years.
As soon as we heard about the modular AIAIAI TMA-2 headphones, we knew we had to give them a try. With impressive specs and a clean, modern design, they promise to deliver on both sound and style. But our interest was particularly piqued by the buy-for-life potential: the TMA-2s use a modular system, which means all parts of the headphones clip together (speaker units, ear cups, headband and cable), with loads of options for each. So if, for instance, your cable breaks, it’s easy to replace - or you can even go wireless with a Bluetooth-enabled headband. Instead of spending hundreds on new headphones every few years, your TMA-2s can be repaired and upgraded indefinitely.
We got in touch with AIAIAI, and created a custom configuration of the most durable parts they offer: the BuyMeOnce TMA-2 headphones were born! AIAIAI provide as standard a fantastic 3-year warranty against defects in material or workmanship. But for the BuyMeOnce preset, AIAIAI offered us an exclusive, market-leading 4-year warranty - unheard of for most electronics. Our unique combo of parts is as follows:
We never sell something we haven’t tested, and just to be sure we used our headphones for a whole month - both out and about and in the office. Here's our in-depth AIAIAI TMA-2 headphones review, for the BuyMeOnce preset.
We were excited to find that the AIAIAI TMA-2s arrived as a box of individually-packaged component parts. The idea of building your own headphones might seem daunting, but these were incredibly easy to assemble. Simply clip the speakers and ear cups together, slide them onto the headband and plug in the cables. By introducing users to the modular design at the first stage, this hopefully encourages them to repair or upgrade parts in the future. We were a little disappointed by the amount of plastic pouches we had to tear through and bin, but we understand that consumers expect a certain level of packaging for high-spec electronics.
Clean, modern and in an all matte-black finish, you won’t be finding flashy logos on these minimalist headphones. They manage to combine a contemporary aesthetic with a classic, somewhat retro feel, with their curly speaker wires and cushioned ear pads. They seem to suit anybody, and we’re certain the timelessness of the design will hold up. Needless to say, we fell in love instantly.
The TMA-2s have a very robust feel, yet are lightweight and comfortable. The headband we chose feels really strong, whilst being flexible - it’s made of high-grade nylon and padded with silicone (grippable and easy to clean!). After seeing AIAIAI’s demonstration, we bent and twisted the headband around, and it just flexed right back into shape. The TMA-2s even shrugged off a couple of accidental drops! The matte black finish seems to be resistant to scratches, though after extensive use did start to rub away slightly on some edges. The triad cable feels exceptionally thick and strong, with the 3.5mm jack thoroughly reinforced. We love the clever cable lock, which stops it from being yanked out.
We were totally blown away by the TMA-2 listening experience. As promised, these are serious audiophile headphones. Engineered with a titanium-coated driver to reduce distortion, they provided incredibly crisp, clear hi-fi sound even at high volumes. For our BuyMeOnce version, we selected speaker units which deliver on bass in particular, without compromising treble or mids. All music genres sounded rich and balanced, with bass coming through clear and punchy. Combined with excellent noise isolation from the soft ear cups, the TMA-2s fully immersed us every time we plugged in, whether we were in a busy office or rattling tube.
Because the TMA-2s have so many options to pick from, such as extra-large squishy cups or a foam-padded headband, we were concerned we might be compromising on comfort with our rugged BuyMeOnce version. We needn’t have worried! These headphones feel lightweight, with soft memory foam on-ear cups and not too much tension in the adjustable headband. This is clearly a well-considered design, because we all found we could comfortably listen for hours without taking them off.
BuyMeOnce is very cautious when it comes to electronics. Technology advances so quickly, and the culture of disposability is so rife, that it takes a really exceptional product for us to put our name behind it. With the TMA-2s, AIAIAI are breaking the mould. Not only are they designed to be repaired and upgraded, they are well-made enough that you won’t have to consider this for a long time. And when it comes to sound quality, we’ve found them to be exceptional. We firmly believe that modular systems are the future of sustainable electronics, and AIAIAI are pulling it off in style.
The fact that these headphones come with a 3-year warranty clearly demonstrates AIAIAI’s faith in their product. And, with a market-leading 4-year warranty, the BuyMeOnce TMA-2s promise to go the extra mile when it comes to long-lasting durability. We’re proud to stock the full range of TMA-2 presets, so you can find the pair at a price and specification that works for you, whilst resting assured you won’t ever have to throw them away!
Check out the BuyMeOnce TMA-2s, with an exclusive 4-year warranty.
Or, shop the whole AIAIAI range!
Read more about why we love this fantastic brand disrupting our throwaway electronics industry.]]>
There is no doubt that the world of electronics suffers from a culture of disposability. In the UK alone, we’re throwing away half a million tonnes of e-waste every year. Whilst incredible technological advances are happening constantly, making a long-lasting product unfortunately never seems to be a top priority. And this is not just the fault of manufacturers; consumers, too, have an increasing appetite for new gadgets, feeding a cycle of planned obsolescence.
For us to put the BuyMeOnce name behind an electronic product, it really has to stand out from the crowd. At a time when product lifespans are unacceptably short, BuyMeOnce demands tougher electronics with guaranteed longevity, great performance and a timeless aesthetic. When it comes to something like headphones, this task is particularly complex. Not only do they have multiple components to go wrong, audio technology is constantly being improved upon. How can headphones possibly be bought once?
Enter AIAIAI. Boasting a world-renowned network of designers, audio technicians and DJs, this Danish audio design company puts quality first. We first came across their renowned TMA-2 headphones when researching modular design. Modular products use interchangeable parts, and are an innovative solution to electronic waste. Have you ever ditched a phone because one element broke and it cost too much to fix? Modularity makes repairs and upgrades easier, so you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The AIAIAI TMA-2 headphones are fully modular, comprised entirely of changeable parts - speaker units, ear cups, headband and cable - and have a wide variety of options for each. Audio jack broken? Fancy a Bluetooth-enabled headband? Instead of getting a whole new set of headphones, AIAIAI allow you to buy individual parts, easily assembled at home, helping to save you money and reduce needless waste.
We love that when it comes to product longevity, AIAIAI go the extra mile. As well as using this modular system, the TMA-2s have been designed with a robust build, which feels well-made, yet lightweight and comfortable. The modern, minimalist design is timeless, with no gaudy branding you’ll get sick of. And on top of all that, AIAIAI offer a three-year warranty as standard, with free repairs - an exceptional guarantee for a pair of headphones.
Of course, we know that for someone to hold onto a product for a long time, it also has to perform incredibly well. And when it comes to a hi-fi listening experience, the TMA-2s deliver on all fronts. No matter which specs you choose, you’re guaranteed rich bass and incredibly crisp, open clarity, even at high volumes. Combined with excellent sound isolation and supreme comfort, AIAIAI’s headphones are clearly made for and by real audiophiles.
As if that all wasn’t enough, we got in touch with AIAIAI and collaborated to develop a BuyMeOnce preset, combining their toughest parts into an ultra-durable everyday headphone. And what’s more, our BuyMeOnce headphones are covered by an exclusive market-leading four-year warranty! We believe this the closest you can get to buy-for-life headphones. We tested them for a month and fell in love (full review coming soon)!
We firmly believe the future of sustainable electronics lies in tackling our throwaway culture. By turning away from the siren’s call of shiny newness, and demanding durable, repairable and upgradeable products, we can start to slow down our juggernaut pace of technology consumption. AIAIAI are disrupting the status quo, offering not just excellent performance, but a more eco friendly product you can take with you through life, for life.
Intrigued? Check out the full range of TMA-2 presets available on BuyMeOnce here! Or head straight to the most durable headphones we’ve got here.
But just because good news doesn’t get as many views, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. You don’t have to look far to find the emerging fruits of positive change in the world, or the individual bright sparks championing their communities and the environment. Here are just a few reasons to help you step into 2020 with hope and motivation!
This decade has seen a big increase in the public awareness of planned obsolescence. France in particular has been leading the cause, passing a law in 2015 making it illegal to purposefully design products with a limited lifespan - and they took Apple to court! In 2017, the EU accepted a resolution to tackle the issue, to make products more repairable, have longer warranties and to state their minimal life expectancy as a rule. This is a really exciting time for BuyMeOnce, and tells us that people have had enough of the increasing disposability of the stuff in their lives!
Renewable energy has seen incredible growth this decade, with records in the UK shattering year after year. Sunny weather in May this year caused solar power to reach all-time highs, and offshore wind hit a renewable energy record this month when it provided more than 40% of our power. Renewable energy projects receive double the amount of investment compared to fossil fuel, and what’s more, 12 out of a total 18 coal-fired power stations closed in the UK this decade.
There’s no doubt about it - growing numbers of people have stopped looking towards material goods for happiness, and are spending on experiences instead. Today, 65% of adults say they would rather spend money on experiences than possessions, rising to 72% of millennials. Not only is this a departure from wasteful consumerism, this can also encourage money to stay within communities as people invest in local restaurants, theatres and other real-world activities.
Since David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II aired in 2017, single-use plastics have been catapulted into the public consciousness. 53% of consumers report using less single-use plastics out of environmental concern, and hundreds of companies big and small have signed up to public pledges to cut their use. This is a fantastic example of public outcry making a real difference, showing what a force for change we are capable of being!
The second hand clothing market is booming, with people choosing pre-loved to save money, find higher-quality items and help the planet. Studies show the stigma around second hand goods is diminishing, and a high proportion of people are even comfortable giving and receiving used items as gifts. Our growing love of vintage clothing, as well as other goods like refurbished electronics, is a great sign that we’re moving towards more conscious consumerism.
As we’re battered by news detailing the climate crisis we’re facing, we can find hope in the innovators taking matters into their own hands. Just one exciting example of green technology making a real difference is the development of tree-planting drone tech. By hugely speeding up the process of reforestation, ambitious planting targets could be within our reach. Trees are cheap, natural carbon-capture machines, and planting billions of them may well be the most effective way to combat climate change. It goes to show that technology doesn’t have to be at odds with nature, and that human creativity and innovation may be the key to our survival.
At times a controversial topic, worldwide rewilding projects - where biodiversity is encouraged back into habitats where it has been lost - have been hugely successful in recent years. Though more well-known for the reintroduction of lost species such as bison, wolves and beavers, rewilding focuses more broadly on restoring the balance of nature so that ecosystems can thrive by themselves. The UK has seen a plethora of rewilding projects both big and small achieving great success, demonstrating clearly that given half a chance, nature can bounce back!
Social enterprises - businesses which put people and planet before profit - are on the rise in this country, with over 100,000 now operating in the UK, and 42% of them less than five years old. These innovative, ambitious groups are tackling issues such as homelessness and structural inequality, by creating jobs for those most marginalised. New research shows social enterprises are even outperforming traditional businesses on turnover growth!
So, we hope we’ve inspired you to keep your chin up and see the good still flourishing in the world. Make 2020 your year to do more for your community and the planet. The world is full of positive people with a passion for change - after all, sinking into despair never made a difference!
And of course, whilst it’s important never to give up, we realise that we all need to take a rest once in a while. The BuyMeOnce team have been off thoroughly recharging and getting inspired over the holidays - have a look at what books we’ve been reading here. You can also see which were some of our most viewed articles of 2019 here.
If you’re anything like me, you may struggle to make the time to read when online distractions are so abundant. So together, the team have pledged to take a bit of offline respite this season with some new year reads. Here’s what we’ve got our noses in right now:
Memoir is generally a genre that fascinates me, but I specifically found myself drawn to this book after hearing the author speak so eloquently and candidly about her work both as a war correspondent and as the US Ambassador to the UN in the Obama administration.
I’m also inspired by Power’s ability to combine a career of this magnitude with the demands of a growing family; as a mother of two little ones, I’m intrigued to learn how she balanced life and what sacrifices were made.
Admittedly not the most Christmassy of reads, but given the issues of our time, I feel that trying to make sense of, and understand, how those in positions of influence navigate the political landscape is so important.
For someone passionate about the environment it's been a bumpy year, which is why I'm so excited about this book hitting bookstores. This satisfyingly chunky book shows you "how to change your impact without radically changing your life”. I'm also honoured that the author, Jen, came to me to ask for my expert solutions around impulse buying, which you can find on page 16!
Jen offers practical solutions and points you to organisations that can help you. And that's the key thing, we can't do this on our own! We need businesses to make it easier for us to do the right thing.
This truth really focusses my mind for 2020. How can I make BuyMeOnce more useful so more people will want to take part in long-term buying? Spreading the truth that this is the best thing we can do for the environment is my personal mission, and the reason that BuyMeOnce exists. If I'm ever tired at work, I can take strength from the power of this mission, the importance that it succeeds, and what it will mean for us all if we do not.
Self reflection this time of the year is very important to me.
I believe in the power of positive manifestations and this book, a classic in its heyday, is a how-to book on how to use mental imagery and affirmation to produce positive changes into my life. I love occasionally dabbling into motivational books written by Tony Robbins, Esther and Jerry Hicks or Deepak Chopra for inspiration and motivation, especially when faced with a New Year ahead and a desire to be better in all the things I do.
The late Shaki Gawain’s writing style has been heralded as simple and easy to follow, which is perfect for that week, when I’ll no doubt be distracted by friends who have stayed back in the city and want to catch up. Her book will be savored at home, on the subway, whilst waiting for friends, in the mornings after meditation and at night before I turn over to sleep.
I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now, and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to get into some meaty non-fiction. Bjørn Lomborg is a Danish statistician putting forward the idea that the disaster-and-doom language of the media has resulted in a collective hysteria over the climate change issue. Taking a practical and humanist view, he suggests that tackling issues such as HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and the provision of clean water are cheaper, more achievable and would save more lives.
At a time when 'climate anxiety' is peaking, and I often feel resigned to the world’s demise, this is a very attractive notion. However, Lomborg has been accused of cherry-picking facts, belittling environmentalists and swinging too far the other way, to suggest there isn't much to worry about. I'll keep my critical hat on during the journey.
This year over the Christmas period I’ll be picking up Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” As a literature graduate it’s always been my natural tendency to devour fiction, so in 2020 I’m making a conscious effort to expand my non-fiction horizons - however, I also want something warm, inspiring and easy to read over Christmas. It’s hard to deny things in the world are, right now, erring on the bleak and scary side.
When it was first published it was impossible to make a journey in London without seeing “Becoming” hovering in front of two or three people’s faces (not to even mention instagram), so I’m hopeful that it’s going to be a page turner. Mostly, however, I want to read this book because I’m conscious that next year is going to require some serious energy and motivation. This first year of the new decade is going to be a crucial one, not just for me and for BuyMeOnce but for the planet as well. Hopefully this lauded memoir written by a strong, powerful, warm and humble woman will be just what’s needed to reassure me that our small individual actions can really matter. No pressure, Michelle, but I’m counting on you.
The thrill of starting anything new is hard to escape, and for me books are the ultimate problem. I start books by the dozen, make good progress, and then get excited by a newer, more freshly recommended book. This Christmas I want to tie up all remaining loose threads.
Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing is the driving force behind that personal quest. I managed to get 100 pages in, enthralled by its effortless blend of history and fiction. And then I put it down.
It’s a book about China old and new, of desperation and hope. Like many great novels, it’s also at its heart a book about books. The most vivid passages take place as our young narrator is read a story by their student house-guest - a post-Tiananmen refugee in Canada.
The spellbinding novel she’s reading is unfinished - it stops halfway through a sentence. They would have ached to know how that story ended. I owe it to those characters to finish theirs.]]>
Interestingly, a lot of people revisited around the same time as the Guardian broke a piece about the declining quality standards in Dr Martens. In the early days of BuyMeOnce we were strong advocates of Dr Martens as a British-made product for life, but this is when we shifted that position.
Written a while ago, but still as popular as ever. We set out on a search to find the most durable jeans in the world. We were looking for them to last a lifetime rather than a year, jeans with a low cost-per-use, and to give a feeling of ownership and individuality.
This one is pretty self explanatory. A roundup of the features to think about when shopping for your next pair, and brands to keep front of mind. Keep an eye out for an updated version of this article in early 2020.
On a visit to the US this year, Tara was fortunate enough to meet Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus - founders of The Minimalists podcast. Despite being on the decluttering journey for a number of years Tara felt as though there were a lot of overlap in their approaches to minimalism as a tool to be used in everyday life.
This is a great place to start if you’ve only just recently discovered us. Lily runs through three of the most asked questions we get about what we do, why we do it and what makes a BuyMeOnce product, unpacking some of our jargon.
This feels like a good time to revisit this one. We wrote it at the start of the year, with exercise and new year resolutions in mind. It’s about thinking about how you might invest in high quality gym gear that is going to last, there is more to consider than pure durability. A drawer full of beautiful, expensive but unworn fitness gear is just as bad a guilt-trip as the unused gym membership eroding your bank balance each month. In both cases the key to success is trying to figure out what will work best for you before you splash any cash.
Startup life is full of learning curves and curveballs, bringing fun, frustration and fizzing excitement.
This year began on a high! After a great first Christmas on our new website, we felt ready to join the big-girl companies and approach professional investors for funding.
There was a lot to learn, and pitching BuyMeOnce in front of 50 environmental investors perhaps still counts as one of my most exhilarating and terrifying moments ever. It paid off though, with the Green Angel Syndicate coming in to fund our enterprise.
As a company with a mission to help us as consumers, it made sense to open ownership to customer champions. We offered our community a chance to own a part of BuyMeOnce and help it prosper, with a crowdfunding raise on Crowdcube.
Summertime was crunch time, with the raise closing and the launch of the BuyMeOnce awards. The night was a wonderful success, and it was brilliant to be able to bring together some of the most extraordinary brands in the world in one space, recognising the amazing work they do. We planted a tree, to symbolise their long-term commitment to the planet.
With summer on the turn, we were able to claim victory on the funding front, smashing through our target of £300k on Crowdcube and finally achieving £600k of investment.
Autumn threw us a couple of curveballs in the form of an unforeseen office move. As luck would have it, a new office with Sustainable Workspaces opened up just in time to prevent disaster!
The second curveball was the departure of our lovely long-term marketing champion Amanda. Having worked miracles doing the job of 25 people as our marketing manager, she has left to pursue her passion for all things cake! We will miss her and all the yummy recipes she brought in every Monday. If you’re interested in sugar-free baking check out her flourishing blog Naturally Sweet Kitchen.
As the clocks went back and we all started to wonder where the sun had gone, we were joined by two fantastic new members of staff. Ben is our new super Marketing Manager, who brings Aussie charisma and suitcases packed full of experience. And Jasmine, our new Researcher who jumped right in to using her expert design eye to find you guys the best products on the planet.
And finally, as Christmas approached we put on a show with three pop-up shops in London. Thank you so much to everyone who came down!
2019 may have been tumultuous in many ways, but there are reasons to be cheerful. Never before has climate change gathered so much momentum - this is the year that the message reached a tipping point with the general population. We will continue to help those who want to make a change in how they consume by recognising that people need things in their lives - the difference is that we encourage people to buy once and buy well.
As always - help us spread the word about buying for life.
Photo: @marrbel pebblefestive 2019]]>
The Economy. Buying locally-made supports the national economy; think of it as recycling your hard-earned cash back into your own community, where it can then support other local businesses and governments in turn.
Jobs. If demand for a certain product grows past the current capacity, the only solution for companies is to hire more people to help supply it, creating more local jobs!
Human rights. With local manufacturers, it’s far easier to be sure that you’re supporting a company that is well-versed in the laws and codes promoting safe, ethical working conditions.
The Environment. Buying within your own country not only helps reduce oil and gas emissions but greatly reduces excess packaging such as cartons, containers and plastics that are often used during long transportation.
If you’re thinking of purchasing some locally-made gifts this year, we’ve curated a little list of British-made built-to-last buys just for you!
This classic shirt dress is clean, minimalistic and made out of 100% organic cotton. Ethically manufactured in Yorkshire at the brand’s own factory which uses solar energy, it comes with a lifetime guarantee and is a wonderful addition to any winter capsule wardrobe.
There are many reasons to swoon over British sustainable clothing brand Rozenroek. With stunning designs, organic materials and sustainable business practices this is British tailoring at its best.
The Natural Canvas range by Denby makes a gorgeous gift for a new home, with rich neutral tones and timeless shapes that will suit any other serveware they own. This gorgeous set contains four dinner plates, four side plates and four cereal bowls, perfect for the new nester. Slide this set under their tree and hope they invite you over for dinner as a thank you!
Denby has been hand-crafting stoneware in Derbyshire, UK since 1809. They use naturally durable Derbyshire clay for all their stoneware — a locally-sourced, high quality clay. Denby’s secret glaze recipe keeps all their dishes strong against the daily wear and tear of the kitchen by preventing chipping and enhancing durability. We love that Denby offers a 10-year guarantee and a collector’s promise on all their stoneware ranges. The guarantee protects their crockery from faulty workmanship/materials, and the collector’s promise will give them 12-months’ notice if production of the range is likely to stop.
A great design for the classic gentleman, this cable bracelet is unique and indestructible. It’s suitable for all weather conditions and won’t rust, and can be worn with any outfit thanks to its sleek, matte black finish. A perfect lifetime Christmas gift!
Handcrafted in Portland Works, the birthplace of steel manufacturing, Bailey of Sheffield create unique jewellery pieces using stainless steel, one of the toughest materials on the planet. Guaranteed to last several lifetimes, all Bailey of Sheffield products can be fully recycled again and again. With impeccable craftsmanship and designs evoking Britain’s industrial heritage, we love this truly British heirloom jewellery brand.
The Richmond Heritage No. 1 is the original Richmond copper kettle. Hand-spun to perfection using the highest-grade copper, this classic beauty will be the jewel of their kitchen. The iconic whistle song and high gloss finish complete a royal accessory fit for any gas or electric stovetop. This would make an incredible gift for anyone who likes to take the time to make tea right.
Richmond Kettle Company have proudly produced British copper tea kettles for over 100 years. It’s easy to say that this is one of the most beautiful pieces of kitchenware you will ever own. But what makes a Richmond kettle a cut above its competitors? Richmond only use the highest grade of pure copper and each kettle is hand-spun to order using traditional Edwardian hand-tinning techniques. The delicate handcraftsmanship takes weeks to perform and each kettle is considered a piece of art – no two whistling kettles are alike. This timeless piece of British engineering will serve you your whole life if you care for it.
Have someone on your list that loves watching cooking shows and following recipes? Risdon and Risdon’s lifetime guaranteed aprons are a family-owned British brand based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. All of their aprons are made to last, with fabrics and straps carefully chosen not just for their durability but also for user comfort.
This cotton apron in classic navy is made out of durable cotton canvas that’s completely washable. Straps are made from full grain vegetable tanned leather, which is the highest quality leather and also the most comfortable for its wearer. Whether the lucky recipient is an aspiring chef, an everyday home cook or a master crafter, a Risdon & Risdon apron is always welcome under the Christmas tree!
We love Billygoats and Raincoats and their upcycling mission of repurposing old tents that have been left behind at festivals. Based in Wales, their small range of colourful raincoats for kids are fun and lightweight, making them perfect for any kind of rambling.
This Brecon Recycled Coat is waterproof and windproof, with funky red panels and two deep front pockets for snacks and finds. Each coat is lined in bright yellow, with a chunky YKK zipper in either red or blue. Designed and made in the UK, no two coats are the same, making it a unique gift for any kid who loves the great outdoors!
Let this ingenious machine whisk the receiver away to coffee art heaven. The Rok Presso is a London-designed manual operation; it requires zero electricity nor wasteful capsules, pods or filters, making it one of the eco-friendliest makers on the market. The machine itself is made of a robust, high-strength metal alloy that is guaranteed for ten years. Kit includes everything they need to make the best espresso: the innovative maker, a storage tin to keep beans fresh, a milk frother for the best lattes and skinny capps, a portafilter and splitter for easy extraction and a perfectly fitted tamp and spoon. Their Monday morning coffee will never be the same.
Looking for more inspiration? Shop our Conscious Christmas store here.
Still not sure? A Gift for Life Card is a thoughtful idea.]]>
Did you know it’s been estimated that in the UK we will spend close to £1 billion on unwanted gifts this Christmas? Buying things that aren’t wanted is not just awkward - it’s an offensive waste of money, time and stuff. By giving the gift of choice, a gift card eliminates the chance of a disappointing present, and empowers your loved one to choose something they actually need.
It’s not just unwanted gifts that might find their way to landfill. If you’re on a budget, choosing cheaply-made options for Christmas does no one any favours, as planned obsolescence means many items won’t last until January. A Gift for Life card can be put towards the purchase of sustainably-made, eco friendly item that could last a lifetime. And no wasteful wrapping paper required!
We’ve all been there - that anxiety-fuelled power walk around the high street in late December, buying a ‘that’ll do’ gift you know isn’t right just before the shops close. Purchasing a Gift for Life Card is not only stress-free and instantaneous, it allows the recipient to carefully select their own gift, without any rush.
Would you rather have one amazing present, or ten rubbish ones? It may be that what your loved one really wants for Christmas is a dream item, that neither of you can afford alone. With a gift card, you can contribute to the purchase of the ultimate present, whilst working within a budget that works for you.
To truly give the gift of choice, why wouldn’t you just give cash? As we all know, life gets in the way, and it can be difficult to put money aside into making a dedicated ‘treat’ purchase for ourselves, even when instructed to. A gift card is a conscious Christmas present that means your giftee will pick out something they love, instead of the weekly shop.
The festive gift-giving expectations we place upon ourselves are so strong, we easily forget our money is hard-earned, and shouldn’t be thrown away thoughtlessly! Gift cards ensure that gift purchases are productive, thought-through and wanted. This is a way to respect your money, and the time you spent earning it.
Clothing and accessories consistently top the list of gifts that miss the mark. This is because taste and style are so personal, even if you think you know what someone likes, it’s fairly likely you don’t. Even worse, now they have to wear it every time they see you! Let them choose something they actually love, avoiding any awkward unwrapping moments.
Is Steve that guy from accounting? Or the HR manager who made the email blunder that one time? What colour socks does he like? Secret Santa purchases are often difficult, but they don’t have to result in thoughtless, random gifts. Instead, let your colleague or friend pick a quality item they truly love with a Gift for Life Card!
‘Emotional durability’ means an item’s ability to stand the test of time as a loved object. Maybe you’ll buy your dad that wallet with the lifetime warranty on it - but what if he hates the design? You can’t always guarantee a gift will stay in someone’s life forever, but by letting them choose, it’s far more likely to happen!
So, do you think gift cards get a bad rep? If you’re ready to pare down your Christmas and give the gift of choice, check out the new Gift for Life Card by BuyMeOnce. Or are you wedded to the idea of buying physical gifts? If you want to find sustainable gifts of quality, take a look at our Conscious Christmas page, where you can find gift guides by values such as Zero Waste or Made in the UK.
From all of us at BuyMeOnce, we’d like to wish you a happy and conscious Christmas.]]>
For that sustainable fashionista, this Chevron sweater by Ally B is hand knitted by a knitting hub awarded B Corporation status using 100% super fine merino wool. An AmaElla Cotton Pyjama Set or this classic linen pair by Piglet are made out of high quality breathable materials, perfect for lounging around. We would love to be the lucky recipient of this warm riding coat by Lowie, but we’d be equally happy if we received a lambswool Lowie beanie as well!
The man in your life will get a lot of wear from this argyle sweater by Edmund Hillary, made from 100% Peruvian wool and backed by an exclusive lifetime guarantee.
Team it up with a classic organic cotton tee from White T-Shirt Company or a pair of made to order relaxed jeans from Blackhorse Lane Ateliers.
Men’s grooming products that have our vote include the Rockwell safety razor range, which all come with a lifetime guarantee.
Why not couple it with an upcycled Elvis and Kresse travel bag, made out of sturdy, decommissioned fire hoses saved from the landfill?
Feel good gifting a pair of stylish bamboo sunglasses by WearPanda, with each purchase going back to charities helping the earth and assisting those in need by giving a life-changing eye exam and a pair of prescription glasses.
Both Barrels’ amazing bags and wallets will delight just about anyone, made out of luxurious and ultra durable cloths, many with military origins.
This gorgeous Luks Linen scarf and Cano Huaraches both have traceable supply chains as well, beautifully handmade by local artisans in Turkey and Mexico respectively.
Blunt umbrellas are designed to withstand the most extreme conditions with a 38-point quality control check.
Speaking of tough products, a pair of Darn Tough socks are insanely durable, not to mention the most comfortable pair of socks Team BuyMeOnce have tried.
For quality, high end bags, this stellar purse by Elvis and Kresse is made out of hand woven leather offcuts and sturdy, decommissioned fire hose saved from the landfill, and Maxwell Scott’s stylish briefcase will last decades of use.
Santa will definitely approve of this cable stainless steel bracelet, a ready-made heirloom by Baileys of Sheffield.
Want a practical present that will appeal to little ones? This Billygoat raincoat is made out of old tents destined for the landfill, while a pair of Muddy Puddles trousers give ultimate wet weather protection without compromising breathability.
We love this cute plush toy from Pebble Toys, which is Guaranteed Fair Trade and certified by the World Fair Trade Organization.
We wish we had Wishbone ride-on toys growing up, and this modular bike made out of post-consumer recycled materials is also recyclable at the end of its life.
Dick Pierce and Friends’ bellyboards are handmade in their workshop in Cornwall using high quality, sustainably sourced birch plywood, perfect for kids and even adults!
Searching for presents to pass on to future generations? Look no further than this Shaker Stool from Family W. It’s so versatile that it can be used as a stool or step, and comes with a 100 year warranty.
Solidteknics’ amazing multi century guaranteed skillet, this gorgeous Hario copper coffee dripper, and this lifetime guaranteed Virginia Boys’ Kitchen bread board will no doubt provide countless memories around the dining table.
Made from moisture-wicking, breathable linen, this Finlayson’s Jesus Duvet set comes with an astounding 50 year warranty and the lucky recipient will be thanking you for years to come for all the good sleep they’ll be getting!
Okay let's talk about it.
BuyMeOnce is all for taking advantage of sales to purchase things we really need, but Black Friday Weekend is a different beast altogether. Since it began in the early 1950’s, the weekend has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and become synonymous with a temporary insanity.
This might be the extreme end of the scale, but at its core Black Friday is still all about exploiting consumers by encouraging people to switch off their rational shopping filters. It’s this impulsive attitude we’re fighting back against.
We won't be pushing any sales across the weekend, and instead will be using the day to spread a message of calm, conscious consumerism. We're encouraging other brands like ourselves who want shoppers to buy well and buy mindfully and banded together to become Green Friday Friends.
We’d love for you to join us by spreading the word on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #GreenFridayFriends. You can also take part by thinking carefully before taking advantage of any Black Friday sales – because a bargain sometimes has hidden costs.
By October certain members of my family (everyone has them) have wrapped up all their presents and I’m like – “Christmas is ages away. I have loads of time.
I always mean to give myself time to get really personal presents. But the next time I look up it’s mid December and that’s all gone out the window. I then start to make some half-hearted moved towards present buying in my lunch breaks, buy two presents and feel like I’m half-way there and relax.
Then suddenly it’s Christmas week and I’m totally panicking and can’t believe that I’ve left it to the last minute again, even though I promised myself last year that it was far too stressful.
I’ll literally run through the local shopping centre in desperate hope that inspiration will strike and I’d find myself picking up random objects and asking myself “will this do”? Will I get away with this. Everyone loves a scented candle? Right?
Because I’ve left no time to think or look properly, I end up buying something generic. But because it feel a little bit crap, I end up “topping up” this gift with another present. So my loved one ends up with two generic things. And suddenly I’m spending way more than I meant to out of guilt!
I end up leaving myself open the novelty gift trap because at least if it’s not meaningful, we can laugh about how crap it is. No matter if they’ll never use it. It’s funny, Right?
It gets to Christmas eve and I realise that a cousin I didn’t know would be coming is now going to be popping by and I have nothing to give them! I end up looking at my own possessions, feverishly wondering what I can wrap up.
This has been my reality for years. It means I end up spending more, buying wastefully, buying things that people may not want to keep and the products may be inferior in quality and sustainability because I’m limited by what can be found in the shopping centre or next day delivery.
But this year, it will be different.
Inspired by my book, A Life Less Throwaway, I have my mindful curation plan for gifting. This is to ensure that I buy gifts that will be truly appreciated and used in the long term rather than simply another product in someone’s house.
Here are my 12 rules of Christmas,
1) “On-the first week of November....” write a list of everyone who needs to be recognised this Christmas in some way.
2) Try to get that list down - lots of people coming over over xmas week - suggest a secret santa!
3) What do you get someone who has everything? NOT another thing - with these types of people, plan an experience. If you think you might want to make a present, now is the time to get knitting / designing / carving or filming.
4) Ask your list for the area they might need something new. Craft items, tools for a particular hobby, household goods, or clothing. If they don’t give you an area, choose an area that you feel confident buying in – write down the area you’re planning on going for next to each person. Aim to have an area written down by 2nd week of November.
5) In the 2nd week of November - get nosey to get a sense of their taste in that area. This might involve quick calls to spouses, or inviting yourself over. By the next week you should have 1-2 present ideas for each person. Think particularly about things that they might use or keep well into the long term.
6) List your budget per person - this will help you choose which shops you go to. Shops like BuyMeOnce work well for this because we cover many product categories, but you can still shop for individual values and personalities. By the end of the week you should have something that looks like this:
|Husband||Decor||Personalised movie poster||Yes|
|Mum||Experience||Golf + Tea|
|Granny||Clothing||Make cashmere handwarmers|
7) On 3rd week of Nov, check delivery times from those shops and order anything personalised.
8) Block out shopping time. Put it in the calendar. If the weekends are busy, consider taking a half day off to get it all done at once. Remember to shop by the values that you hold dear, whether its sustainability, ethical production, exquisite quality or local goods.
9) While you’re shopping, pick up some nice local edible gifts to give to people who turn up unexpectedly or you suddenly remember.
10) Don’t forget to pick up wrapping while you shop. We suggest reusable wrapping like Wrag Wrap, pretty fabric, or scarfs. If you must use paper, us recycled and recyclable paper. You can tell if it’s recyclable paper because it’s usually not shiny.
11) By the 2nd week of December you should be all wrapped up. Time to crack out the mince pies and watch Elf again!
12) Always include the gift receipt if you can. £700 million of unwanted gifts are given each year – you don’t want yours to be one of them.
So those are my 12 rules of Christmas Gift Buying and they come from the belief that a gift should be for life, not just for Christmas. We’re here to help people buy mindfully and find lovely, sustainable things that people can love for a lifetime.
Good luck and have and awesome Christmas. You can shop at the BuyMeOnce Conscious Christmas shop here.
There’s no denying it; gifting can at times be scary and incredibly unfun. The anxiety of battling crowds with a list as long as your arm and absolutely no idea what they want or where to start can be overwhelming. Fear not, this year things are going to be different.
The best place to start your thinking is our Christmas Shop, but we’d also recommend keeping an eye out on our social media for lots of other help and hints. We wrote this guide way back in 2017, but we think the method still stands. Here is our guide to help you shop for gifts the BuyMeOnce way.
Shops heavily promote seasonal gadgetry and novelty items aplenty this time of year. Try to resist. These items have a limited lifespan and are by and large pretty generic. Think beyond festive celebrations, and invest in gifts that are beautifully crafted and made to last. These are much more likely to be lovingly appreciated and add meaningful value to everyday life for generations to come.
Don’t wait until Christmas Eve to start your shopping. This is sure-fire shortcut to a spiral of anxiety. Give yourself time, avoid the panic and enjoy what you’re doing. Giving a great gift can be a joyous experience – try not to lose sight of that! Small or large, the best gifts mean something to the recipient. These are the ones that will stand the test of time and will not immediately appear in the local charity shop. As stress levels heighten, the danger of the panic purchase increases. We spend money on things we’re not sure about and haven’t thoughtfully considered, so we have something to gift wrap and offer. This, BuyMeOnce-ers, does not a good gift make. A little calm preparation will help you avoid disastrous panic shopping.
List things that your gift recipients are interested in and jot down ideas ahead of your shopping excursion. Think about what they might need. Have they just moved house? Maybe they’ve recently started school/college/university? Do they have a new job? Even if you don’t have a detailed picture of their day-to-day life, asking yourself these questions will help you build a list of items that could offer great value and happiness. Opt for something that you yourself would be happy to receive. If you are buying something for a child – try to tap into the child you! As I said at the top, what you buy is only part of the challenge, it’s about how you buy for them.
Remember that list – the one as long as your arm? Give yourself a budget and you’ll avoid the anxiety of extreme costs and seasonal gift recipient resentment. To help you with this task, we’ve selected a great range of gifts under £20 on our website, so you can shop happily with the knowledge that you’re being mindful of your budget.
From me and the rest of the BuyMeOnce team, I hope you have a safe and gorgeous Christmas.
Still looking for more ideas of how to approach your gift giving? The wonderful Tara Button has also shared some tips of her own below.]]>
This year we are really excited to be doing three pop-ups across London, where we will be curating some of our favourite Christmas treats. Put a couple in your diary and come down and say hello.
Don’t live in London? Shop our Christmas collection.
Join over 45 ethical brands for festive cheer - with vegan hot choc, a secondhand Christmas jumper rail and zero waste Christmas craft workshops. And free vegan ice cream from Oatly!
Date: Saturday 30th November
Time: 11am - 5:30pm
Where: Flat Iron Square, Southwark St, London SE1 1RU
Price: £5-7.50 + VAT + BF/ Under 12s free
About: About Instagram
The Zero Waste Christmas Market bringing together the best of London's sustainability scene for greener gifting this festive season. With mulled wine, vegan food, festive workshops, entertainment, music and more this is how Christmas should be done. With both planet and people in mind.
Date: Saturday 7 December 2019
Time: 10:30am - 5:30pm
Where: The Boiler Room, 152 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU
Price: £7.59About: Tickets Instagram ]]>