When one was younger with the money, I was keen to buy things. Now at the age of 36, without realising it, I have actually owned some of my things for more than 10 years:
· Deuter 40 L pack for 16 years
· Camelbak day pack for 14 years
· Quechua base layer with fallen zip and loose threads for 12 years
· Of course, army leather boots for 16 years
· Even the pathetic berms I bought with HuaYang from Bugis should be more than 10 years old.
I have grown old to witness things “living” for more than a decade.
How does this scare me?
Many of the things I buy back then were revolved more around price, rather than quality. It was more about what I can afford. Now, if these average quality brands can last so Long, why do I need to buy Patagonia? Only for the social and environmental reasons?
That being said, it is not that these items remained in pristine condition: I had to resew my berms and bag pack, cut off “extra” tightening bands on the bag pack, burn loose threads on the decathlon base layer.
If my expectation is to be like the poor Indonesians who cannot afford new clothes, I assume that I can actually go on using these items for a Long time. It will be about managing my expectations for things to remain pristine.
Sadly, most of the things I have chosen to give away may just be tops/ t shirts that look slightly less pristine.
However, As the Diamond Cutter or the Japanese book on minimalism states:
We do not only own our objects physically but that we need to spend the time to shop, clean them or even to maintain them.
I am spending precious life and time on things...on the research on what to buy, on surfing for the cheapest deals.
Now, experiencing how Long things can last, I need to learn how to buy things with even more caution.
It is in a sense just lying to your self to simply give things away: the quality of pre loved clothing reaching Senegal (https://youtu.be/elU32XNj8PM) maybe so low that they choose to burn it in a landfill. We think that we may be donating to Salvation Army but they may find it useless to resell and throw it away too.
· Have less desire to buy so that we do not even need to do any research - cause time is the most precious resource.
· Don’t buy because it is cheaper with discount and because I have the desire. I just can’t wear finish so many berms! There must be a function that is not played by any other item I already have that I need to buy this new item.
· My daypack can still be my summit pack, just a tighter fight for space inside the big bag pack. There may not be a need to buy Patagonia summit pack