THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER
This is a blog about stuff that defies the strategy of planned obsolescence—in other words, a product review of those material things that apparently have not been designed to intentionally fall apart so that you will buy more, better, or newer versions.
By BOBBI BUCHANAN
Flea market clothes, used books, local art. The stuff that I buy defines who I am. And I’m okay with that because I’m a conscious consumer.
Aside from supporting friends and neighbors, my purchases typically are based on usefulness, utility, and durability. In short, I vote with every dollar I spend. I vote to keep the mom-and-pops in business, or I vote for the big-box stores and manufacturers.
I pay more for locally made goods because I know the makers didn’t take shortcuts or produce those goods in sweatshop conditions. I buy local when I can (sometimes simply “Made in the USA” is good enough), and as for the rest of the stuff that I can’t buy locally, I’m always a skeptic about its worth.
Let’s face it. We live in a throwaway society. Look at the average lifespan of a mobile phone, for example. How long will that little wonder of technology last? On average, 18 months, according to Media Bistro.
So last spring, when I went in search of a pair of socks that would last longer than six months, I wasn’t sure such a product existed. On a daily basis, I walk three miles on asphalt and subject my running shoes to a rigorous hour-long workout. I’ve worn out many socks as a consequence, and I’ve darned a good portion of those in accordance with my frugal nature.
But the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was when I wore holes in a brand new pair of socks just two weeks after buying them. I will not disclose the brand here because that’s not the point of this blog. What I want to share here is my success story.
I was wandering through Walmart , a place I normally don’t patronize, looking for high-intensity, extended-life light bulbs when I saw them—athletic socks with a lifetime warranty. I hated buying them at Walmart, but the temptation was too much to resist. A pack of four cost me about $10.
Not only have these little beauties lasted me a full year, but they remain holeless. But here’s the catch—I can’t find the manufacturer’s website. A Google search resulted in an extensive list of places where Peds can be purchased (including Kmart and Sears). But the problem is that there’s a multitude of Peds sock types, and I cannot find any with the lifetime warranty that I promise you was on the packaging of the ankle socks I bought at Walmart.
I wish I had saved the packaging. But even if they don’t last a lifetime, I highly recommend Peds athletic socks. If you can find them anywhere., they are definitely worth the $2.50 per pair.
Have you bought a product that has lasted unusually long for our throwaway society? Share it with our readers. Submit your idea here.