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Tiny Bites 11: The ‘Buy Quality’ Debate

November 30, 2017
Ep.11 \ The 'Buy Quality' Debate

Happy Tiny Bites Day!

In this week’s episode, I’m sharing a comment from a reader on the topic of mundane gratitude AND sticking my foot in my mouth to argue that ‘quality’ is not the only thing we should be looking for when we buy ‘stuff’.

Click play below to listen to this week’s episode.

What defines quality for you? Is it more than just a price tag? How do you judge quality before you purchase an item? Let me know in the comments!

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Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • […] a recent mini podcast, my friend Britt lamented about a pair of beloved boots whose quality went downhill, while the […]

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment December 5, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Britt, I’m really touched! Thank you!! Your kind words about me and my blog have really made my day 🙂 I really appreciate your friendship and support, as always.

    I also think the ‘buy quality’ debate is a really interesting one. You make a very good point that when we think we are purchasing a ‘quality’ item, we are often actually buying into an idea of quality associated with the brand that has been fabricated with clever advertising. That particular brand of boots is a great example. Such a shame. I can think of a number of other Australian brands that I used to be proud to support because they manufactured their clothing and manchester here, but they have all gone off-shore now. Of course, the prices haven’t fallen! In this situation, I figure if someone is going to buy the item anyway, they may as well save money and buy the cheaper, non-branded item, since they are not supporting local manufacturing and fair wages by paying more but instead just contributing to a higher profit margin for the company.

    Your mention of elitism in this discussion also brings to mind that being sustainable by buying expensive items that are designed to last (by the few remaining brands that actually produce these kind of items, that is!) is not really something that is accessible to the general population. Often these kinds of items (eg. organic, fair-trade clothing) tick the boxes we would all like to tick, but seem to only be affordable to the wealthy. I have tried to find a loophole to this dilemma by buying secondhand items and in general just buying the bare minimum of everything to get by. This prevents new items from being produced (in theory!!) but if the secondhand item is not good quality in the first place, it still makes its way to landfill faster than its good-quality counterpart. I would love to be a bigger supporter of sustainable, good-quality, local and ethically-produced clothing, personal care items etc. It’s a real shame and I’m not sure what the solution to this problem is!

    • Britt December 6, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Quality is something that is really interesting to talk about. Because, beyond face value and the labels that we put on things (like organic or fair trade), I really don’t know how we tell what is or is not a quality item. I agree with you that shopping second-hand is a way to get around this. Some of my favourite items of clothing are second-hand. My preference when doing that sort of thing is looking for USA or Canadian made. At least then I have a better chance of not contributing to terrible working conditions. But you’re right – I don’t think there is an easy answer or solution to the problem.

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.