https://buymeonce.com/pages/blog-feed Buy Me Once - Articles & Tips 2021-09-22T16:55:31-0400 Buy Me Once https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-09-22T16:55:31-0400 2021-09-22T16:55:31-0400 What have long-lasting products got to do with the circular economy? Jana Pleyto


What would it take to transform our throwaway economy into one where waste is eliminated, resources are circulated, and nature is regenerated? Not too long ago, the circular economy was a fairly niche concept that you’d only hear spoken about in sustainability circles. But as awareness of the climate crisis has grown, it’s becoming increasingly common to see businesses using terms like ‘circular’ or ‘closed-loop’. This might bring to mind material reuse, perhaps endless recycling systems to keep making new products. That’s not wholly inaccurate, but the wider concept of the circular economy is much bigger. And although it may not be immediately obvious how, product durability plays a very important role.  Circularity at all levels To explain how having a ‘buy-for-life’ approach fits into the circular economy, let’s first take a look at what it exactly means. Most businesses today use a linear economy model, which takes a natural resource and turns it into a product that will ultimately become waste. In other words, a ‘take, make, waste’ approach. The circular economy, on the other hand, isn’t a one-way stream to landfill. Instead, products are reused, repaired, refurbished and recycled, in order to keep all resources in use for as long as possible....]]>

What would it take to transform our throwaway economy into one where waste is eliminated, resources are circulated, and nature is regenerated?

Not too long ago, the circular economy was a fairly niche concept that you’d only hear spoken about in sustainability circles. But as awareness of the climate crisis has grown, it’s becoming increasingly common to see businesses using terms like ‘circular’ or ‘closed-loop’.

This might bring to mind material reuse, perhaps endless recycling systems to keep making new products. That’s not wholly inaccurate, but the wider concept of the circular economy is much bigger. And although it may not be immediately obvious how, product durability plays a very important role. 

Landfill site

Circularity at all levels

To explain how having a ‘buy-for-life’ approach fits into the circular economy, let’s first take a look at what it exactly means. Most businesses today use a linear economy model, which takes a natural resource and turns it into a product that will ultimately become waste. In other words, a ‘take, make, waste’ approach.

The circular economy, on the other hand, isn’t a one-way stream to landfill. Instead, products are reused, repaired, refurbished and recycled, in order to keep all resources in use for as long as possible. By keeping products and their parts in a closed loop, circular businesses want to eliminate waste and keep the extraction of new materials to a minimum. In turn, this reduces pollution and carbon emissions.

It’s not just about capturing and recycling waste. The fundamental principle of the circular economy is to make the best, most productive use of all resources. That means keeping products going for longer, before they get broken down into their component parts - and then making the best use of those too.

Take your smartphone, for instance. Instead of leaving it in a drawer when it develops a fault, a circular economy approach would be:

  • Firstly, to repair the phone and keep it for longer
  • Failing that, refurbish the phone before reselling or donating it
  • If that’s not possible, the component parts could be taken apart and used in making similar phones
  • As a last resort, divide up the individual materials and recycle them.

Read: Your phone is going to die. Is there another way?


Electricals recycling

Extending product life cycles

When you think of the circular economy as making the maximum productive use of all materials, designing for durability is a no-brainer. If that phone lasted two or three times longer, with repairs made easy, then far less energy would be expended on making new phones and recycling old ones.

When designing products for a circular economy, there are a few elements to consider. Pure durability is important - products last longer when made from hardwearing materials, and when common failure points are made stronger. But very few products truly last forever, and manufacturers should design for the end of a product’s life too.

Teracube phone

The Teracube 2e comes with a 4 year care warranty, and is designed to be easily repaired.

The key to this is allowing products to be easily taken apart. For instance, instead of glueing or soldering in a smartphone’s components (as many are today), they could be screwed or clipped together instead. This makes repairs simple, and also allows different parts to be more easily reused or recycled.

In a circular economy, repair should always be the easy, economical option versus buying new. Circular businesses should provide spare parts at fair prices, and provide freely-available repair information too.

Unfortunately, not many products these days are built to last, and a lot of are built to fail. Repairs are often difficult and expensive. Sometimes, the shady tactic of planned obsolescence is at play, which is when things are actually designed to break after a certain amount of time. More often, product quality simply gets degraded in the interests of cost-cutting, stretching profit margins at the expense of longevity.

Read: What is planned obsolescence, and what can you do about it?

Wind turbines

But is circularity profitable?

So if circularity so often goes ignored in favor of generating profits, does this mean that a circular economy is not lucrative? Although setting up these systems requires an initial outlay, the circular economy in fact presents huge opportunities - particularly as we look into the not-too-distant future.

In the same way that green energy is now looking like a more secure long-term investment than fossil fuels, we’re starting to realize that our other natural resources are finite. Mining waste streams for raw materials has great potential. It's estimated that in the US alone, $60 million worth of gold and silver is thrown away every year in the form of discarded mobile phones. 

What’s more, it should be more efficient to reuse product parts instead of constantly making things from scratch. If manufacturers collected 50% of used phones in Europe alone for recycling or refurbishment, they could save $1 billion in materials and energy consumption. That’s not even including profits from resale. If phones were actually designed to be disassembled and repaired, this could be even greater.

Read: Why are long-lived electricals so rare?

 

Brave Soles

Brave Soles is a true circular brand. Their sandals and bags are made from upcycled leather sourced from furniture cutoffs and overstock leather or recycled inner tube material from tires.

Durability: just one part of the solution

So where does Buy Me Once fit into all of this? Making products that last a really long time is an important part of circular economy solutions, but it’s just one part of the puzzle. Without repair, reuse and recycling, durable products only extend the linear model.

But when people talk about the circular economy, the part about extending product life cycles is often overlooked. Instead of dealing with the waste we generate through imperfect means (such as recycling), we should be focusing more on not wasting anything at all. That means keeping our products in use for longer.

We approach longevity from multiple angles. As well as finding stuff that’s tough, we also search for brands that offer their own repair services, or who take back products that have reached the end of their lives. By offering long-lived items, our conscious shoppers buy less - and throw away less too.

Read: The Buy Me Once research process

The circular economy & BMO

You are here.

Whilst it’s clear that significant change must come about through government legislation and green policies, changing consumer mindsets is important too. In the past 15 years, clothing production has doubled, whilst usage has dropped by 40%. Unless we can kick our addiction to constant newness, and instead value what we own already, a truly sustainable future will be out of our reach.

Above all, what can’t continue is a ‘business as usual’ approach. Despite the increasing urgency of climate change, bold new policies have been few and far between. Moving towards a circular future won’t be easy. But if governments, businesses and consumers are willing to change, we can start to build an economy that better serves us and the world we live in.

Read next: What does slow fashion look like?

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-09-17T06:40:36-0400 2021-09-17T06:40:36-0400 What does slow fashion look like? Jana Pleyto


‘Buy once’ clothing isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like it to be.  We find garments that are made to last: with quality materials, robust construction and even carrying repair guarantees. But the fashion industry operates on dissatisfaction. When it comes to clothes shopping, even with a buy-for-life mindset, it can be difficult to separate what you want from what you need.  With trend cycles getting shorter and cheap garments widely available, clothes are becoming disposable items. Fast fashion is pushing our overconsumption habit to the extreme, and the human and environmental costs are no longer a secret.  About 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the fashion industry. Retailers such as H&M and Burberry have been caught burning tonnes of unsold product, and factory workers are subjected to exploitation and unsafe working conditions worldwide - even here in the United States.  For the industry to change, we need to do more than make T-shirts from plastic bottles. We need to tackle overconsumption at its core, and place more value on the items we already own.  The philosophy of buying once is about having more meaningful relationships with our possessions. That’s why we’re advocates for slow fashion.    The White T-Shirt Company is dedicated to making high-quality basics...]]>
‘Buy once’ clothing isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like it to be. 

We find garments that are made to last: with quality materials, robust construction and even carrying repair guarantees. But the fashion industry operates on dissatisfaction. When it comes to clothes shopping, even with a buy-for-life mindset, it can be difficult to separate what you want from what you need. 

With trend cycles getting shorter and cheap garments widely available, clothes are becoming disposable items. Fast fashion is pushing our overconsumption habit to the extreme, and the human and environmental costs are no longer a secret. 

About 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the fashion industry. Retailers such as H&M and Burberry have been caught burning tonnes of unsold product, and factory workers are subjected to exploitation and unsafe working conditions worldwide - even here in the United States

For the industry to change, we need to do more than make T-shirts from plastic bottles. We need to tackle overconsumption at its core, and place more value on the items we already own. 

The philosophy of buying once is about having more meaningful relationships with our possessions. That’s why we’re advocates for slow fashion.

 

 The White T-Shirt Company is dedicated to making high-quality basics from organic cotton, with ethical, transparent supply chains. All their clothes come with a lifetime guarantee.

What does slow fashion mean?

Slow fashion, put simply, is the opposite of fast fashion. This means only buying what we need, buying better-quality garments that will last longer, and choosing brands that respect both people and the planet.

Slow fashion isn’t a set of rules, but is an awareness of the resources required to make clothing - and the application of that awareness. It means giving clothes value, because we understand the human and environmental cost of making them.

Slow fashion encourages consumers to:

  1. Consider whether you really need something before you buy it
  2. ‘Shop your wardrobe’ by styling your existing pieces in a new way, instead of buying more
  3. Repair your garments instead of discarding them
  4. Buy less, buy better - purchase fewer, higher-quality pieces that will serve you for longer
  5. Look for second-hand options before buying new
  6. When buying new, take the time to research the companies you buy from - are their products made sustainably, by people paid a living wage? 

At its core, slow fashion is about making more considered choices. That means first cutting the amount of purchases we make before we seek out sustainable brands.

 

Slow fashion jeans brand Blackhorse Lane Ateliers

Blackhorse Lane Ateliers are London’s only craft jeans maker. They use the best raw denim to make jeans that will get better and better with age, covered by a lifetime repair guarantee.

Qualities of a slow fashion brand

Clothing brands who operate by a slow fashion ethos were once a rarity. But with an increase in consumers demanding higher sustainability and ethical standards, there is a growing demand for labels who operate with transparency.

A slow fashion brand might have many or all of the following characteristics:

  • Made to last, from high-quality, sustainable materials
  • Instead of following trends, designs have a timeless appeal
  • A local approach to sourcing materials, producing clothing and selling products
  • Small collections released two or three times per year, or a permanent seasonless collection
  • Helps customers keep their clothes for longer by offering repair services
  • Products might be made to order, to reduce unnecessary production

 

Rozenbroek
 Rozenbroek garments are all made to order in their solar-powered factory. They operate with a zero waste approach, using sustainable materials and offering impressive repair guarantees.

Seeing through greenwashing

Finding slow fashion brands isn’t always easy. As consumers become increasingly aware of the climate crisis, fast fashion giants have realized that sustainability is a highly effective marketing strategy. But to keep prices competitive and new collections coming weekly, this is rarely accompanied by any real departure from wasteful, harmful business practices.

The past decade has seen more and more fashion retailers use misleading language to facilitate ‘guilt-free’ purchases. A 2021 report examining fashion giants’ sustainability messaging found that 60% of claims could be classified as ‘unsubstantiated’ or ‘misleading’.

Murky supply chains and a lack of accountability mean that these claims can go unchecked. What’s more, terms such as ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘ethical’ actually have no legal significance. 

Identifying greenwashing can be exceedingly difficult, even for the well-informed. But a rule of thumb is to find out whether a brand is promoting sustainability as an add-on, rather than fundamental to its business model.

Seek out figures and stats, instead of vague words - is the brand making a quantifiable difference? Look out also for various certifications like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), OEKO-TEXCradle to Cradle Certified and the Fair Trade Textiles Standard. These seek to set an approved standard for responsible supply chains.

 

Lemuel MC

 Lemuel MC garments are all handmade to order from durable, sustainable waste linen deadstock. Each piece comes with a lifetime repairs guarantee.

Changing habits

Fundamentally, the slow fashion movement has arisen in response to a deeply problematic change in our clothing consumption. Changing mindsets doesn’t happen overnight, but consumers need to know the true cost of fast fashion.

All clothes are handmade - they’re not produced by machines. Even the cheapest garments were made by a person somewhere in the world. A slow fashion mindset acknowledges the craftsmanship of garment making, and asks us not to treat clothes as disposable. 

With a ‘buy less, buy better’ approach, we can start to fix our shopping habits. That’s what buy-for-life clothing truly means to us.

Looking for slow fashion brands? We thoroughly research all our clothing brands' supply chains. Check out our men’s and women’s clothing sections.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-08-31T14:48:25-0400 2021-08-31T14:48:25-0400 The Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner: power, endurance, flexibility. Jana Pleyto


It wasn’t so long ago that a vacuum cleaner was an absolute buy-for-life staple of the modern household.  Growing up, I recall many a teenage lie-in being interrupted by my parents’ beast of a vacuum, purchased in 1994. It made a noise like a plane taking off, and hauling its weight up and down the stairs was treacherous business. But for all its shortcomings, it possessed serious suction power. A few years ago, my parents decided they’d had enough of lugging ol’ faithful around the house. Swayed by the convenience of cordless, they splashed out on a sleek little number that was encumbered by neither a plug nor the equivalent heft of a two-year-old child. The verdict? Disappointing. The cordless vacuum had feeble suction, tiny bin capacity and a battery life that started out bad and worsened over time. Luckily they kept their old vacuum cleaner, and after 27 years’ service (and one motor change), it’s still going strong to this day.  This experience prompts the question - why has the vacuum cleaner market moved so far away from reliability? And when it comes to combining this with convenience, can we have our cake and eat it too? The problem with modern...]]>

It wasn’t so long ago that a vacuum cleaner was an absolute buy-for-life staple of the modern household. 

Growing up, I recall many a teenage lie-in being interrupted by my parents’ beast of a vacuum, purchased in 1994. It made a noise like a plane taking off, and hauling its weight up and down the stairs was treacherous business. But for all its shortcomings, it possessed serious suction power.

A few years ago, my parents decided they’d had enough of lugging ol’ faithful around the house. Swayed by the convenience of cordless, they splashed out on a sleek little number that was encumbered by neither a plug nor the equivalent heft of a two-year-old child.

The verdict? Disappointing. The cordless vacuum had feeble suction, tiny bin capacity and a battery life that started out bad and worsened over time. Luckily they kept their old vacuum cleaner, and after 27 years’ service (and one motor change), it’s still going strong to this day. 

This experience prompts the question - why has the vacuum cleaner market moved so far away from reliability? And when it comes to combining this with convenience, can we have our cake and eat it too?

The problem with modern vacuum cleaners

In the last decade or so, somewhere around the invention of the cordless stick vac, vacuum cleaners became sexy. They’ve been elevated from stuffy household appliance to desirable consumer tech. Similarly to smartphones, new models are released every year, complete with new innovations that seem on the arbitrary side.

This has gone hand in hand with shorter product life cycles. Cordless stick vacuums are only made to live for about three years before the battery gives out, and when that does happen, a shiny new model awaits. In spite of this, cordless is more popular than ever.

It’s a familiar story when it comes to modern electronics. Longevity is sacrificed for an enhanced user experience, so that more frequent upgrades become normalized. This so happens to be a very profitable business model, incentivizing a faster pace of consumption.

Nevertheless, when you compare the ease-of-use of a cordless stick vacuum with a monstrous vintage model, it’s no surprise that the buy-for-life vacuum cleaner seems to be a thing of the past - even if it was a more powerful machine. But if companies actually wanted to design the last cordless vac you’d ever need to buy, they would.

Usually, it takes a nimble startup to make these things happen.

 Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner

Introducing Lupe

Lupe was founded by two engineers who wanted to do exactly that. 

Lucas Horne and Pablo Montero were disillusioned by the excessive culture of consumer tech. Unnecessary upgrades were used to generate profits, leading to ‘innovation for innovation’s sake’. Instead, they wanted to design resilient appliances to stand the test of time, whilst offering exceptional performance.

After five years of crowdfunding and development for their boundary-pushing vacuum cleaner, the Lupe Pure Cordless was born. Boasting some outstanding specs, it takes all the problem points of cordless vacuums and makes them right.

On first impressions, the Lupe vacuum cleaner is quite a funny-looking appliance, resembling a miniature version of a traditional upright model (with a futuristic leaning). But underneath an unassuming exterior is the strongest, most efficient suction of any cordless vacuum cleaner out there. It has a full hour of battery life, three power modes and an innovative 3-in-1 design that takes it from an upright cleaner to a handheld unit.

What’s more, the Lupe is made up of modular parts that can be easily taken apart and replaced. This means it’s not only simple to service, but parts like the battery and motor can be upgraded when technology moves on. It’s a true vacuum cleaner for life.

Efficient suction

If you’re familiar with cordless vacuums, you’ll know an hour of battery life combined with really powerful suction is a big deal. Drawing power from a battery instead of the mains limits the amount of raw oomph a vacuum can give, so it has to use energy very efficiently.

In order to maximize suction power, the Lupe has been designed with a patented suction intensifier system. It basically creates a highly effective seal around the head, whilst a counter-rotating brush and spongy roller whisk up all sorts of gunk from any surface.

Let's take a closer look:

Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner

 

  1. High power brush bar, perfect for deep-cleaning hair and embedded dirt
  2. Patented central inlet and counter rotating design enables optimum pick-up from all surface types, while maintaining high suction
  3. Patented composite roller with soft inner core conforms to all surfaces and debris
  4. Airtight tough outer skin prevents unnecessary leaks, and increases suction

This highly innovative system means less power spent, for more efficient suction. But how does it stack up against the competition? Take a look at the figures.

 

 

Dust allergy sufferers will note that the Lupe uses a HEPA filter, which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filter. This represents a very, very high standard of fine dust filtration - the Lupe can capture up to 99.99% of super-fine particles, as small as 0.3 microns. The whole filtration system is washable too, and should never need replacing.

Technical specs and jargon aside, the proof really is in the pudding with a product like this. Since the Lupe’s general release last year, reviews have poured in from around the world to voice astonishment at the amount of dirt it managed to suck out of clean-looking carpets. Our own tests confirmed - this thing is powerful.

The best of both worlds

Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner handheld mode

You may notice that the Lupe looks more like a (albeit small) traditional upright vacuum cleaner than a handheld stick vacuum. In fact, it’s a 3-in-1 design that can switch between upright, hose and handheld mode. Handheld mode keeps the bulk of the vacuum in a carry unit, allowing you to access awkward places with a lightweight 2 meter reach.

These different configurations keep the convenience of cordless vacuuming, but with the weight low to the ground. Those familiar with top-heavy stick vacs will appreciate the lessened arm strain during big cleans. Lupe chose not to compromise on battery or bin size, instead opting for a slightly heftier design that you can clean with for longer. 

A modular design

Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner disassembled

 

Outstanding cleaning aside, this is the part we’re particularly excited about. The Lupe is made of modular parts that are designed to be disassembled, so that you can diagnose any issues and fix them with ease. Instead of disposing of your entire vacuum cleaner when one part goes, such as the battery, you can simply replace the exact component that has failed.

What’s more, Lupe support long-term ownership by offering an open, affordable supply of all spare parts to purchase. Improved parts will be made available as they get developed, so that you can upgrade too. By keeping every single element of the Lupe Pure Cordless easily replaceable, this company are setting you up with a vacuum for life. 

Taking responsibility 

Lupe are one of those rare companies who believe that good design goes hand-in-hand with lessening environmental impact. The most important element of that is designing products for long-term ownership. But they go a step further - for each Pure Cordless Vacuum they sell, Lupe will offset the carbon footprint for the product’s entire life cycle. In 2023, they aim to become carbon negative.

We appreciate that Lupe take care to consider the human impact of their product’s production too. The factory they use, Ryder, is a Swiss-owned factory in Shenzhen, China. As well as boasting Swiss precision, Ryder prioritize fair wages, employee development, community welfare and environmental responsibility.

Our verdict

Lupe Pure Cordless vacuum cleaner hose mode

One of our favorite things about the Lupe Pure Cordless is that it demonstrates how forward-thinking design and a great user experience can go hand-in-hand with a buy-for-life mentality. I love that my parents have a vacuum that’s older than me. But plucky startups like Lupe let you make a conscious choice that doesn’t compromise on convenience.

The Lupe philosophy revolves around engineering a cleaner world. They’re of the opinion that we don’t need unnecessary stuff in our lives. This is why Lupe have innovated ‘what we should, not what we could’. They’ve done away with gimmicky add-ons, LCD screens and extra attachments you’ll never use - so you’re just left with a brilliant cordless vacuum you’ll love to keep for life.

 

Lupe is launching on Buy Me Once this week - keep your eyes peeled for our US release.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-08-03T16:13:27-0400 2021-08-03T16:13:27-0400 Spotlight on: Solidteknics BuyMeOnce USA


The brilliance of Solidteknics will not have escaped most BuyMeOncers. We’ve told you about their professional chef quality, their ability to last your family several centuries (our favorite fun fact) and of course their perfected, considered design. What more could there possibly be to say about these meticulously engineered metal pans? A fair bit, it would seem! For those among you who have yet to discover this awesome Aussie brand, allow us to introduce you. Solidteknics is the brainchild of MJ Henry, founder, inventor and mechanical engineer dedicated to creating heirloom-quality pans and forging long-standing family cooking traditions along the way. The result is exquisite – pieces that blend form, function and durability. The dream. The Quenched-Seasoned US-ION range is crafted from pure American wrought iron. These pans remain strikingly light, around half the weight of their cast-iron counterparts. Yet just like cast iron, it distributes heat extremely evenly and retains it well.   The usual side-effect of these qualities is a scorching hot pan handle. Not so with a Solidteknics pan. This issue is countered using pure design; vented necks effectively shed heat, extra-long handles further delay warmth, and indented grips make for a secure, natural hold.   WHY WE LOVE SOLIDTEKNICS If...]]>

The brilliance of Solidteknics will not have escaped most BuyMeOncers. We’ve told you about their professional chef quality, their ability to last your family several centuries (our favorite fun fact) and of course their perfected, considered design. What more could there possibly be to say about these meticulously engineered metal pans? A fair bit, it would seem!

For those among you who have yet to discover this awesome Aussie brand, allow us to introduce you.

Solidteknics is the brainchild of MJ Henry, founder, inventor and mechanical engineer dedicated to creating heirloom-quality pans and forging long-standing family cooking traditions along the way. The result is exquisite – pieces that blend form, function and durability. The dream.

The Quenched-Seasoned US-ION range is crafted from pure American wrought iron. These pans remain strikingly light, around half the weight of their cast-iron counterparts. Yet just like cast iron, it distributes heat extremely evenly and retains it well.

 

The usual side-effect of these qualities is a scorching hot pan handle. Not so with a Solidteknics pan. This issue is countered using pure design; vented necks effectively shed heat, extra-long handles further delay warmth, and indented grips make for a secure, natural hold.

 

WHY WE LOVE SOLIDTEKNICS

If the fact that these pans are bona-fide heirloom contenders wasn’t enough, here are some more:

Their product is all natural – no synthetic materials are used at all. Not only is this better for our planet, but it’s also better for us humans too. Plus, such is the efficiency of natural non-stick, less oil is needed when cooking with a Solidteknics pan – great news for those of us who maintain a fairly consistent struggle with our waistlines.

 

You can cook with these bad boys pretty much wherever you want; any stove top source (including induction), oven, BBQ or open fire will do. Put these pans to the test – they can take it!

They tell us how to take care of the product. If you follow Solidteknics’ easy and detailed seasoning guidelines and their care instructions, these pans can and will go the distance. If your great, great, great grandchildren aren’t cooking up a Solidteknics storm in a couple of hundred years, it won’t be because of the pans.

Don’t just take our word for it though, chefs and cookery fans the world over share our enthusiasm. 

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-08-03T15:52:49-0400 2021-08-03T15:52:49-0400 Capture flame-grilled flavor with the Solidteknics Barbecue Pan Jana Pleyto


It’s not easy to harness the power of smoke and flames in cooking. Whereas a stovetop delivers consistent heat that you can control with the turn of a dial, searing your food over an open fire can be a gamble. It feels positively primitive, not to mention very exciting.  Cooking with fire delivers flavor you simply can’t get from a stove. Consider flame-grilled lamb skewers, charred peppers, smoky aubergines and barbecued steaks. Cooking virtually anything over hot coals is a surefire way to take its flavor to the next level.   Does it get any better than flame-seared steak? This magic is what inspired the latest innovation from Australian cookware engineers Solidteknics, makers of the toughest and best-performing pans we’ve ever seen (and equally loved by our customers). Whilst you may be familiar with their classic frying pans, the Solidteknics Barbecue Pan (otherwise known as a flaming skillet) features CNC-milled perforations in its base to let smoke and flames penetrate food. It’s the ultimate tool for capturing smoky flavor.   Made in the USA from wrought iron - seasons and cooks like cast iron, but at half the weight.   Whereas regular pans can warp when placed over a fierce open heat source (such as a woodchip...]]>

It’s not easy to harness the power of smoke and flames in cooking. Whereas a stovetop delivers consistent heat that you can control with the turn of a dial, searing your food over an open fire can be a gamble. It feels positively primitive, not to mention very exciting. 


Cooking with fire delivers flavor you simply can’t get from a stove. Consider flame-grilled lamb skewers, charred peppers, smoky aubergines and barbecued steaks. Cooking virtually anything over hot coals is a surefire way to take its flavor to the next level.

 

Does it get any better than flame-seared steak?


This magic is what inspired the latest innovation from Australian cookware engineers Solidteknics, makers of the toughest and best-performing pans we’ve ever seen (and equally loved by our customers). Whilst you may be familiar with their classic frying pans, the Solidteknics Barbecue Pan (otherwise known as a flaming skillet) features CNC-milled perforations in its base to let smoke and flames penetrate food. It’s the ultimate tool for capturing smoky flavor.

 

Made in the USA from wrought iron - seasons and cooks like cast iron, but at half the weight.

 

Whereas regular pans can warp when placed over a fierce open heat source (such as a woodchip or coal fire) this is where the barbecue pan is in its element. Made from robust 3mm wrought iron, it makes the perfect searing surface. You can throw it straight onto the coals, or for optimum heat, hold the pan a couple of inches above the fire. Just make sure to get it nice and hot before adding food, and rest assured the ingenious vented handle will stay cool.

 

Solidteknics' well known vented handles, which allows them to stay cool.

 

Whilst this pan may appear to be a specialist’s tool, it’s actually surprisingly versatile. Even if you don’t find yourself cooking on an open fire too often, it makes a perfect addition to any regular barbecue - simply place it on top and allow it to heat up. Because the holes in the bottom of the pan are smaller than the gaps in a normal wire rack, you can safely cook small food items such as prawns, mushrooms and asparagus without worrying about losing them to the coals below. 

 

Tougher than your average pan! The wrought iron can be placed directly onto hot coals or into flames.

Delicate items such as fish can also be cooked much more easily - and fish is undoubtedly one of the most underrated barbecue foods out there. Whilst we all love a sausage and a burger, every once in a while why not treat yourself to a next-level barbecue with steak, lamb or a side of salmon? This is where that delicious smoky aroma really makes a difference.


Furthermore, the barbecue pan works great over a regular gas stove - ideal for charring peppers and aubergines in the kitchen. Babaganoush anyone?

 

Solidteknics Barbecue Aubergines

Think beyond meat - smoke and fire impart amazing flavor onto vegetables too.

Like all Solidteknics pans, the barbecue pan is a lifetime investment (and then some) coming complete with a multi-century warranty. Each one is engraved with the month and year of its manufacture, so that future generations using it can see when it was made. Make the most of summers present and future, and harness the magic of open fire cooking!

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-08-03T13:45:41-0400 2021-08-03T13:45:41-0400 Six reasons why our customers love Solidteknics Jana Pleyto


Each of our fantastic Solidteknics seamless iron pans is the epitome of a Buy Me Once product. Every aspect of the design, materials and construction has been carefully considered, combining performance and strength to make it one of the best frying pans on the market. Lots of our wonderful customers have taken the time to leave reviews of these pans. We thought we'd share some of the things they've told us about why they love this durable product:  1. Half the weight of regular cast iron pans Instead of heavy cast iron, Solidteknics' pans are made of stronger wrought iron, offering the same functionality but with much less material. These thinner and lighter pans are far more user-friendly, changing the classic skillet. But don’t be fooled, these pans are still heavy duty.    2. Multi-century warranty We’re no strangers to lifetime guarantees, but Solidteknics go the extra mile - these pans are covered by an incredible multi-century warranty. We've never seen anything like it, which makes it a great indicator of a company that has ultimate confidence in their product. In fact, every pan is engraved with its date of manufacture as a record for future generations who will keep on using it! 3. Seamless design Made...]]>

Each of our fantastic Solidteknics seamless iron pans is the epitome of a Buy Me Once product. Every aspect of the design, materials and construction has been carefully considered, combining performance and strength to make it one of the best frying pans on the market.

Lots of our wonderful customers have taken the time to leave reviews of these pans. We thought we'd share some of the things they've told us about why they love this durable product: 

1. Half the weight of regular cast iron pans

Instead of heavy cast iron, Solidteknics' pans are made of stronger wrought iron, offering the same functionality but with much less material. These thinner and lighter pans are far more user-friendly, changing the classic skillet. But don’t be fooled, these pans are still heavy duty. 

Solidteknics
 

2. Multi-century warranty

We’re no strangers to lifetime guarantees, but Solidteknics go the extra mile - these pans are covered by an incredible multi-century warranty. We've never seen anything like it, which makes it a great indicator of a company that has ultimate confidence in their product. In fact, every pan is engraved with its date of manufacture as a record for future generations who will keep on using it!

3. Seamless design

Made from one seamless piece of low-carbon wrought iron, these pans are incredibly strong and have no rivets to come loose or collect grime. The long, ergonomic handle stays cool due to the venting holes, minimizing the risk of burned hands.

 

4. A healthy, renewable non-stick 

Even with careful use, synthetic non-stick coatings like Teflon eventually degrade, resulting in questionable substances being ingested and a pan that’s destined for the bin. Seasoning iron is a simple process which involves baking on layers of oil, which polymerizes them into a shiny black coating. It’s a non-toxic and renewable non-stick you build yourself!

5. Easy to clean 

Once well-seasoned, an iron pan is actually very low-maintenance and won't take much elbow grease to clean. This is because the quality of the natural non-stick seasoning is such that the toughest and grimiest stains will come off quickly. This is of course assuming you clean it shortly after you've finished cooking. 

 

6. Chosen by chefs around the world

As soon as Solidteknics appeared on the market, top chefs quickly realized that this Australian company had revolutionized cookware. Their pans are more durable and perform better than riveted steel pans, whilst being lighter and stronger than cast iron. They're sold all around the world, but Buy Me Once is the exclusive seller in the UK. In fact, one of our customers verified the sturdiness of the pan through her husband, who happens to be a blacksmith! Amazing. 

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-07-15T06:24:27-0400 2021-07-15T06:24:27-0400 Crushing it with iron Jana Pleyto


  Have you ever struggled to twist a feeble plastic pepper grinder? Or made a lumpy spice paste in a cheap blender, scraping down the sides every other blitz? You may be suffering from a common modern day kitchen frustration. It’s called ‘lack of crushing stuff with heavy objects’. Swedish cast iron masters Skeppshult are familiar with this ailment, and want to bring back into our lives items that are solid, hefty and functional. Skeppshult are the last remaining foundry in Scandinavia producing cast iron cookware, having been in operation since 1906. They’re best known for making the kinds of statement pots and pans you’ll hand down to future generations, and their whole range is covered by a 25 year guarantee. But as well as beautiful dutch ovens and heavy woks, Skeppshult craft utensils which use the heft of cast iron to their advantage. Their range of spice grinders are both elegant and a doddle to use, satisfying that urge to pulverise ingredients by hand. Here are our favourites. Our best-ever pepper grinder If you’ve ever bought one of those disposable plastic pepper grinders that can’t even be refilled, you’ll be familiar with the chunky, uneven grind. One particularly stubborn peppercorn can render it almost...]]>
 

Have you ever struggled to twist a feeble plastic pepper grinder? Or made a lumpy spice paste in a cheap blender, scraping down the sides every other blitz? You may be suffering from a common modern day kitchen frustration. It’s called ‘lack of crushing stuff with heavy objects’.

Swedish cast iron masters Skeppshult are familiar with this ailment, and want to bring back into our lives items that are solid, hefty and functional. Skeppshult are the last remaining foundry in Scandinavia producing cast iron cookware, having been in operation since 1906. They’re best known for making the kinds of statement pots and pans you’ll hand down to future generations, and their whole range is covered by a 25 year guarantee.

But as well as beautiful dutch ovens and heavy woks, Skeppshult craft utensils which use the heft of cast iron to their advantage. Their range of spice grinders are both elegant and a doddle to use, satisfying that urge to pulverise ingredients by hand.

Here are our favourites.


Our best-ever pepper grinder

If you’ve ever bought one of those disposable plastic pepper grinders that can’t even be refilled, you’ll be familiar with the chunky, uneven grind. One particularly stubborn peppercorn can render it almost impossible to twist, before the top pops off and floods your bolognese. Rubbish.

 

Skeppshult Cast Iron Pepper Grinder with Walnut Lid

Investing in a nice pepper grinder is more of a game-changer than you might think. Satisfying to use, much less wasteful and you use it pretty much every day. Skeppshult’s cast iron pepper grinder is our absolute favourite, and a bestseller with our customers too. 

In an elegant, minimal design complete with a walnut wood top, you’ll be captured by the satisfying weight of this pepper grinder when you hold it. Employing an ingeniously simple mechanism inside, the inherent crushing power of the cast iron makes it exceedingly easy to use. Like all Skeppshult products, it’s been made to last, with extra reassurance coming from the 25 year cast iron guarantee.

 

Skeppshult Cast Iron & Beech Salt and Pepper Grinders


If you prefer grinding coarse salt and like to have a matching pair, Skeppshult also make these beautiful salt and pepper grinders, in a more traditional cast iron and beech wood design. They employ a ceramic grinding mechanism which is just as effective.

Skeppshult salt and pepper shakers

Or if pre-ground pepper is your preference, check out this pair of cast iron salt and pepper shakers. All perfect gifts for cooks, newlyweds or new homeowners.


A seriously solid mortar and pestle


You’d be forgiven for thinking a mortar and pestle, being essentially a bowl and smashing stick, is hard to get wrong. But there’s a few factors that go into making one work really well. The pestle (the stick) has to be sufficiently heavy so that it breaks things effectively, with a decent surface area to mash with. It has to be strong, to withstand the force of pounding. And both elements want to have a slightly textured surface to assist with grinding ingredients into a paste.

Wood and ceramic usually don’t cut it weight-wise, and aren’t very durable. A big, traditional granite one works brilliantly, but weighs an absolute ton. Ticking all the boxes comes Skeppshult’s cast iron version - weighty yet compact, elegant yet durable. It makes swift work of both wet and dry spices, with its broad, textured pestle.

 

Skeppshult Cast Iron Cubic Mortar & Pestle

 

This cubic shape combines function with modern design. Its striking geometric aesthetic brings a little Scandinavian elegance to your regular spice smashing.


Something for the specialist

Skeppshult’s ingenious spice mills aren’t your everyday kitchen item. If you or someone you know is the sort of person who toasts dry spices in a pan and then pulverises them to make truly incredible curries, this item is a revelation.

 

Skeppshult Cast Iron Walnut Spice Mill, Large

 

Inside this unassuming little object is an arrangement of pyramid-shaped grinding surfaces, made of seasoned cast iron. Simply pop your cumin seeds, star anise, peppercorns or coriander seeds inside and lightly push and twist to completely crush them up. The weight of the cast iron makes applying pressure easy, so whilst the spice mill is reassuringly heavy, it’s very easy to use.

You can even use this grinder to store any unused herbs and spices - the inner section is partly hollow and has a natural walnut wood stopper (with a silicone seal) to keep things fresh. Check out these spice mills in both a small or large version.

So, if you’d like to work out some frustration on an unsuspecting peppercorn through the medium of cast iron, hopefully we’ve given you some options. Take a look at the full Skeppshult range here.

 

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-06-18T11:39:07-0400 2021-06-18T11:39:07-0400 The art of buying once, and why it’s important Jana Pleyto


  “They don’t make ‘em like they used to”. This old adage has been in use for decades now, but today it rings truer than ever.  You may have noticed that the stuff you buy just doesn’t seem to last very long nowadays, whether it be a washing machine, an umbrella or a pair of boots. When you think about it, it ought to be strange to look for robustness in old vintage models. Shouldn’t the products in our lives be getting better, not worse? As society and technology advances, why is product quality going backwards?   The epidemic of badly-made stuff Firstly, you aren’t imagining it - we’re throwing stuff out faster than ever. The number of appliances that must be replaced because of breakage has doubled since 2004. Boilers are a particularly bad example: in 1980, they used to last for 23 years, but by 2020, that was reduced to just 12 years. That fact is, stuff these days is built to break. Occasionally it’s on purpose, through the shady practice of planned obsolescence. That’s when products are purposefully designed to fail, so that you have to keep buying them over and over. More often though, our badly-made stuff is simply a...]]>
 

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to”. This old adage has been in use for decades now, but today it rings truer than ever. 

You may have noticed that the stuff you buy just doesn’t seem to last very long nowadays, whether it be a washing machine, an umbrella or a pair of boots. When you think about it, it ought to be strange to look for robustness in old vintage models. Shouldn’t the products in our lives be getting better, not worse? As society and technology advances, why is product quality going backwards?

 

We're in an epidemic of badly-made stuff.

The epidemic of badly-made stuff

Firstly, you aren’t imagining it - we’re throwing stuff out faster than ever. The number of appliances that must be replaced because of breakage has doubled since 2004. Boilers are a particularly bad example: in 1980, they used to last for 23 years, but by 2020, that was reduced to just 12 years.

That fact is, stuff these days is built to break. Occasionally it’s on purpose, through the shady practice of planned obsolescence. That’s when products are purposefully designed to fail, so that you have to keep buying them over and over. More often though, our badly-made stuff is simply a product of cost-cutting. The majority of manufacturers out there are prioritising cheap prices and big profits, at the expense of quality materials and labour-intensive craftsmanship.

We’re drowning in throwaway products. Making things that are expected to break is not only exploitative of consumers, it’s an appalling waste of natural resources too. Our culture of consumption has escalated unchecked, and it has left us out of pocket, dissatisfied with the things we own - and in the midst of a climate crisis.

 

Buy once, buy well.

The benefits of buying once

Manipulative marketing and rock-bottom prices have caused consumers to lose touch with the concept of long-term value. We want people to rediscover this way of thinking. Buying once allows you to break the cycle of throwaway stuff, with reliable products offering outstanding value over the course of a lifetime.

Take a T-shirt as an example. You can buy a T-shirt for £5 at Primark, but after one or two washes it’s likely to look bobbly and misshapen. For £35, you can instead choose a high-quality T-shirt that comes with a lifetime guarantee. You might initially think a sevenfold investment is steep, but when you consider that your long-lasting tee could last ten times longer or more, it’s a no-brainer.

Of course, the benefits of buying once go far beyond saving money - the environmental and social implications are huge. Stuff that lasts stays out of landfill, and makes full use of the resources it needed to be made. If the average T-shirt lasted just nine months longer, it would result in a 20-30% saving in CO2 emissions, water and pollution. What’s more, investing in long-lasting items means your hard-earned money goes towards makers who are doing things properly, instead of companies pushing the bottom line.

Buying once turns a purchase into a lifelong possession. Instead of surrounding yourself with things that aren’t quite right or it’ll-do-for-now purchases, shopping with longevity in mind allows you to have a more fulfilling relationship with the things you own. It also encourages you to take the time to care for, maintain and repair your things.

In a world telling you to shop your way to happiness, buying once is an act of rebellion.

 

We conduct our own independent research to find the best products.

The role of Buy Me Once

It’s all well and good telling people to buy things that last forever - but it’s actually very difficult to find them. With many reputable brands tanking in quality, it’s impossible to know whose claims to trust. That’s where Buy Me Once comes in. We’re an independent research outfit laser-focused on longevity. Our team has a huge breadth of product knowledge, from cookware to electronics to clothes, and we know what makes the difference between good and great.

There are six things we look out for when we seek buy-for-life products:

  • Materials - is it made of tougher stuff?
  • Construction - are typical weak points reinforced? Is it designed for repair?
  • Aftercare - does it have a good warranty? 
  • Timelessness - will the design ever look dated?
  • Responsibly made - has it been made with people and the environment in mind?
  • Innovation - are there smart new ways to make this item last longer?

We’re not simply pointing people towards the products we like. We offer our customers exclusive warranties and extra aftercare. We develop meaningful relationships with makers we trust, and support those doing things properly by showcasing their unique stories. We’re even working to develop new products, specifically designed to last forever.

The idea for Buy Me Once was triggered by a simple cast iron pot that our founder received as a gift. It was solid, beautifully-made, and covered by a lifetime guarantee. She asked herself: why isn’t everything I own like this?

Alongside her full-time job, Tara worked nights building the first Buy Me Once website, dedicated to the power of the idea. Since we launched in 2016, we’ve had some fantastic media coverage, Tara has written a book, and she even found the time to have a baby. Today, Buy Me Once has close to 700 long-lasting products of quality on our site, and we’re still growing.

Our ultimate goal? We want to empower consumers to make a change - to break the cycle of buying things for the short term, and start thinking and shopping for the long term instead. Together, we can make that change happen.

If you haven’t already, join us on our journey and sign up to our mailing list. We'll even send you a welcome discount. 


Extra resources:

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-06-09T13:42:50-0400 2021-06-09T13:42:50-0400 Why we love the ROK manual espresso maker Jana Pleyto


It's no surprise that Americans love a good cup of joe. In fact, the average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups per day and rely on their favorite brew for energy, comfort and routine.   Caffeine lightweights may laugh, but for many of us, a cup of coffee is a treasured part of our morning routines. And whilst a decent Americano is certainly achievable at home through pretty simple means, there remains an elusive creature that is harder to perfect: the espresso shot. If you don’t want to shell out for a bulky, loud and complex espresso machine that could break after two or three years, your at-home espresso options are both limited and kind of sub-par. That's precisely why we got so excited about the ROK EspressoGC.   It's a thing of beauty, truly.   Coffee wizards ROK have been around since 2002, and with their first fully manual espresso maker they revolutionized what’s possible without the use of electricity. Now on their second, tougher model, this innovative machine has developed something of a cult following. Why? Because it’s unique, it’s fun to use, and above all - it makes outstanding cups of espresso. We love the EspressoGC because it’s highly...]]>

It's no surprise that Americans love a good cup of joe. In fact, the average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups per day and rely on their favorite brew for energy, comfort and routine.

 

Caffeine lightweights may laugh, but for many of us, a cup of coffee is a treasured part of our morning routines. And whilst a decent Americano is certainly achievable at home through pretty simple means, there remains an elusive creature that is harder to perfect: the espresso shot.

If you don’t want to shell out for a bulky, loud and complex espresso machine that could break after two or three years, your at-home espresso options are both limited and kind of sub-par.

That's precisely why we got so excited about the ROK EspressoGC.

 

ROK Manual Espresso Maker

It's a thing of beauty, truly.

 

Coffee wizards ROK have been around since 2002, and with their first fully manual espresso maker they revolutionized what’s possible without the use of electricity. Now on their second, tougher model, this innovative machine has developed something of a cult following. Why? Because it’s unique, it’s fun to use, and above all - it makes outstanding cups of espresso.

We love the EspressoGC because it’s highly robust - it’s made from an ultra-strong metal alloy which is guaranteed for 10 years - and manual products tend to be much more long-lasting than their electrical counterparts. But it has other benefits too: it’s compact for one, with a small countertop footprint, and comes with a useful set of accessories including a storage tin, tamp and measuring spoon.

 

The Rok comes with a full kit ready to be used.

 

It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to other espresso machines making shots of comparable quality. It generates minimal waste - goodbye plastic pods! And because it doesn’t require electricity to work (compared to 1.91 kilowatts of energy per day for other coffee makers), this is a low-tech coffee maker that's kinder to the environment. 

We also can’t overlook outstanding product design credentials - ROK won the ‘Best Product’ award at the London Coffee Festival in 2014. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how the EspressoGC works, this video gives you a quick rundown:

It’s a simple process, but the fact that you’re fully in control of your espresso means that you can experiment with different variables, such as the grind size and infusion time, to perfect your espresso to your own taste. But, you shouldn’t have to figure it ALL out yourself, so here are our top tips for getting great results with this fantastic piece of kit:

  • Always preheat the machine by pulling an ‘empty’ shot of boiled water before you make your coffee.
  • Want beautiful crema on your espresso? The secret lies in freshly-ground beans.
  • Speaking of, invest in a good grinder that creates a fine, even espresso grind with ease. 
  • Perfect your tamp - if you compact the coffee too much, pulling your shot will be too difficult and you could damage the machine.
  • Play around, and be patient! It may take some experimenting before you get the perfect espresso, but half the joy is really getting to know and understand your coffee.

  

On that note, there’s something special about hand pulling shots with the ROK espresso maker that’s kind of intangible. It’s smooth and quiet, unlike the loud buzz of an electrical coffee maker. 

It’s a hands-on, physical process that somehow lends itself to something we already love about coffee: ritual. Having a moment with yourself. And in the absence of our usual routines and haunts, there’s comfort to be found there.

 

Check out the ROK manual espresso maker.

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-05-06T15:07:02-0400 2021-05-06T15:07:02-0400 How to maintain a razor-sharp knife Jana Pleyto


There’s nothing more satisfying than using a freshly sharpened knife, especially if you’ve been putting up with a blunt one for any length of time. And if you’ve decided to get yourself a really high-quality blade, you’re going to want to maintain that edge. After all, what’s the point of investing in a precision instrument, unless it can perform to its fullest capabilities at all times? Different types of knives will blunt at different rates, depending on the material they're made from. Japanese-style knives tend to be made of harder steel that retains an edge for longer, whereas Western-style knives instead use softer steel that's easier to sharpen. Eventually though, all knives become blunt, as microscopic parts of the blade get bent over and chipped with use. In this guide we cover different kinds of sharpening tools, as well as top tips for keeping your knives in great condition for longer - so that your blades can last for life. The different ways to sharpen a knife When sharpening your knife blades, always make sure you sharpen the entire length, from heel to tip. Also crucial is to sharpen the knife at the correct angle. When using a rod or a whetstone, you need...]]>

There’s nothing more satisfying than using a freshly sharpened knife, especially if you’ve been putting up with a blunt one for any length of time.

And if you’ve decided to get yourself a really high-quality blade, you’re going to want to maintain that edge. After all, what’s the point of investing in a precision instrument, unless it can perform to its fullest capabilities at all times?

Different types of knives will blunt at different rates, depending on the material they're made from. Japanese-style knives tend to be made of harder steel that retains an edge for longer, whereas Western-style knives instead use softer steel that's easier to sharpen. Eventually though, all knives become blunt, as microscopic parts of the blade get bent over and chipped with use.

In this guide we cover different kinds of sharpening tools, as well as top tips for keeping your knives in great condition for longer - so that your blades can last for life.

Rosle Kitchen Knives | Buy Me Once

The different ways to sharpen a knife

When sharpening your knife blades, always make sure you sharpen the entire length, from heel to tip. Also crucial is to sharpen the knife at the correct angle.

When using a rod or a whetstone, you need to find the right sharpening angle and keep the knife steady. Pull-through knife sharpeners, which can be manual or electric, have the angle ready-made for you - but you need to make sure it matches your blade.

Honing rod or sharpening steel

When you use a rod (otherwise known as a sharpening steel or honing rod), the knife’s edge is dragged along the textured rod, which straightens out tiny parts of the edge which are bent over. This straightening process is known as honing.

Honing rod or sharpening steel

The honing steel’s surface is also slightly abrasive; how abrasive will vary between different types of rod. This takes away a very small amount of material, sharpening the blade. When using the rod, always pull the knife along it all the way from tip to heel - otherwise, over time, you could create a dip in the knife as the middle part gets ground down.

It's advised that you hone a blade regularly - around once a week for a blade that gets used often. This will mean you'll have to use more abrasive sharpening techniques, such as a whetstone, less often.

Whetstone

If a knife has become too blunt for a rod to sharpen effectively, or if it has become chipped, whetstones are a more effective way of grinding material off the blade for sharpening. A whetstone, or sharpening stone, is a porous, hard block with an abrasive surface, usually with a coarser grit on one side and a finer grit on the other side. 

BuyMeOnce TOG knives sharpening stone whetstone guide

 

Whetstones only need to be used for sharpening every few months. They are incredibly versatile and can sharpen all types of knives, as well as other bladed items like garden tools.

Soak your whetstone before use. It’s important to keep it still, so put a cloth or paper towel underneath it. For sharpening, start with the coarser side; to hone your knife, just use the finer side.

First, find the correct angle that the knife should be sharpened at. Manufacturers will usually provide this information, but if you're unsure aim for a 15 to 20 degree angle.

Draw the blade down the stone in a wide, circular manner, holding the blade at a constant angle until the tip of the knife runs off the other edge. Repeat several times on each side of the blade, depending on the dullness of the blade.

Finish on the finer grit to hone. Again, always sharpen all the way from tip to heel.

Pull-through/electric sharpeners

Pull-through sharpeners can be either manual or electric, and have abrasive wheels that sharpen your knife at a precise angle. Both are a quick and easy way to sharpen a knife. However, you have to be careful about matching the type of blade with the sharpener - not just the angle, but whether your knife is single or double bevelled.

Pull-through knife sharpener

As the name suggests, to use these types of sharpeners you simply need to pull the blade (again, all the way from heel to tip) through the abrasive channels. Usually the sharpener will have two or three channels, labelled from coarse to fine. For manual sharpeners, pull the knife through each channel several times - electric sharpeners should only need one pass.

The stones on pull-through sharpeners will eventually wear out. But for some sharpeners, especially those using a diamond abrasive, this won't happen before many, many years of use - longer than a lifetime. Some sharpeners will allow the stones to be changed out, though these are usually for commercial use.

Can you sharpen serrated knives?

Because the sharp edges of a serrated knife are recessed in each little dip, they don't actually touch the cutting board. This means a quality serrated knife can stay sharp for a very long time - years even. But when the time does come to sharpen it, it's not as simple as sharpening one straight edge.

Rosle Bread Knife | Buy Me Once

To sharpen each individual groove in your serrated knife, you will need a thin, abrasive rod. Some sharpening rods will have a tapered end for this. You can alternatively use sandpaper wrapped around a pencil. On the bevelled side of the knife, find the right angle and drag the rod through each serration 4 or 5 times.

Once this has been done for every groove, flip the knife over and give the flat side of the blade a few strokes on a regular sharpening stone, or a piece of fine-grit sandpaper. This will smooth out the burr that you've raised on the edge of the knife.

Some pull-through sharpeners can sharpen serrated knives - check the guidance on the individual product.

How should you clean knives?

To keep your blade in the best possible shape, wash and dry knives by hand straight after use with a non-scratch washing up sponge or a cloth. Never leave them to soak, especially if they have wooden handles. Putting knives in a dishwasher is not advised - dishwashers stress the handles of knives, encourage corrosion and rattle them against other metal utensils, dulling the blades.

How should you store knives?

The ideal method of storing knives is either on a magnetic knife rack or in a knife block - these protect the blades from damage, and display the knives well. It’s not ideal to keep knives rattling around in drawers, as they can become scratched and blunt, but if a drawer is your only option then keep them protected with cloths or in their original boxes. If you’re transporting knives, a knife roll will keep them safe and secure.

GT Woodshop oak knife rack

Whatever you choose, just make sure the blades aren’t being roughly moved around, and always store your knives dry. Drying your knives straight after washing will prevent tarnishing of any sort, and if you have a wooden knife block, it will stop mould growing on the inside.


Professional sharpening

Sharpening knives is a fun, empowering and useful skill to learn, and we encourage you to give it a try. However, if you’d rather leave it to the professionals - or perhaps your knife has suffered a particularly nasty chip - you can drop your knife off with a sharpening service. Simply look up local knife sharpening services in your area.

 

We hope this guide has helped you feel more confident with maintaining a knife. Regardless of whether you’ve got a budget kitchen knife or a high-end blade, a little care will go a long way in keeping it performing at its best and lasting longer. 

Check out our collection of buy-for-life knives here.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-04-30T10:31:05-0400 2021-04-30T10:31:05-0400 The different types of kitchen knives: a guide Jana Pleyto


Are you ready to invest in a quality kitchen knife, but not sure which one to go for? Or perhaps you’re already the owner of a full set of blades, but there’s a few mysterious ones you just never use? Most home cooks will only need a small selection of knives to perform everyday tasks. It can be all too easy to buy specialist tools that end up sitting in the back of a drawer. But with the right knowledge, expanding your knife collection will give you extra confidence approaching prep work of any variety. When you have the right knife for the job, it makes food prep easier, faster and safer. In this guide, we’ll demystify the different knife types you’re likely to encounter, so that you know exactly what to include in your set. Chef’s knife The chef’s knife is the most versatile blade in any cook’s arsenal. Perfect for all sorts of everyday slicing and dicing, the curved blade of the chef’s knife lets it rock back and forth for fast, accurate cutting. A chef’s knife like this one from Rosle tapers to a fine, sharp tip, allowing it to act with precision. But at the same...]]>
Are you ready to invest in a quality kitchen knife, but not sure which one to go for? Or perhaps you’re already the owner of a full set of blades, but there’s a few mysterious ones you just never use?

Most home cooks will only need a small selection of knives to perform everyday tasks. It can be all too easy to buy specialist tools that end up sitting in the back of a drawer. But with the right knowledge, expanding your knife collection will give you extra confidence approaching prep work of any variety.

When you have the right knife for the job, it makes food prep easier, faster and safer. In this guide, we’ll demystify the different knife types you’re likely to encounter, so that you know exactly what to include in your set.

Chef’s knifeRosle chef's knife

The chef’s knife is the most versatile blade in any cook’s arsenal. Perfect for all sorts of everyday slicing and dicing, the curved blade of the chef’s knife lets it rock back and forth for fast, accurate cutting.

A chef’s knife like this one from Rosle tapers to a fine, sharp tip, allowing it to act with precision. But at the same time, the broad heel area also means it can withstand heavier-duty chopping work on tougher vegetables. 

Chef’s knife blades are typically between 8 and 10 inches, although they can be as short as 6 inches and as long as 14 inches. The more comfortable you are with the size and weight of the knife, the faster you’ll be able to work.

Beginner cooks may find the size of a chef's knife intimidating, preferring to use a utility or paring knife for most jobs instead. However, because the rocking motion of using a chef’s knife requires less arm movement, it’s actually easier to use for many jobs.

Utility knifeMaster Shin's Anvil

Shaped like a small, slim chef’s knife, the utility knife is a handy go-to for prep work that requires a little more precision. Usually around 6 inches long and with a sharp, tapered tip, the utility knife is perfect for finely chopping shallots, slicing fruit and cutting small, tender proteins.

Essentially, if your chef’s knife is a little too big for the job, reach for your nimble utility knife. Because it sits between a chef’s knife and a paring knife, it’s a highly versatile blade - and for many home cooks, it’s the one they use most.

 

Paring knifeRosle paring knife

Paring knives come in a variety of shapes, with straight, curved or claw-shaped blades. Ideal for small precision cutting, as well as peeling fruits and vegetables, the paring knife’s blade is small and lightweight at around 3.5 inches long.

Whilst a regular-shaped paring knife acts like an even smaller utility knife, a claw-shaped blade (known as a bird’s beak paring knife) fulfills a slightly different role. The pointed tip can poke down into foods, making it perfect for coring strawberries, cutting around avocado pits or removing eyes from potatoes and pineapples.

Santoku knife

Rosle rockwood santoku knife

Santoku knives - shortened from santoku bocho, meaning ‘three uses’ - are Japanese-style chef’s knives that are becoming increasingly popular in the Western world. They’re on the smaller side, with a blade between 5 and 8 inches long.

The main features of a santoku knife that differentiate it from a Western-style chef’s knife are the lack of tapered tip, and a thinner blade. Whilst the shape of a chef’s knife allows for a ‘rocking’ movement, the santoku instead cuts in one decisive downward motion.

Combined with the thinner blade, this makes the santoku better for achieving fine, precise slices. Santoku knives sometimes have a granton edge: small divots on the blade to prevent food from sticking.

Bread knifeRosle bread knife

Bread knives are defined by their long, even shape and serrated blade, like a saw. Because each sharp ‘tooth’ on the blade applies cutting pressure from different angles, they allow the knife to slice through soft foods without squashing them.

Cuts from a bread knife are rougher than with a non-serrated blade, but they can saw through all sorts of breads, as well as pastries and cakes, without damaging the overall shape.

Bread knives can be tricky to sharpen, but by nature will require sharpening much less often than regular blades. A good quality bread knife will stay sharp for years. 

Serrated knife/tomato knifeRosle serrated knife

It’s not just bread knives that are serrated - a small serrated utility knife is a useful blade to have in your arsenal too. As well as being ideal for cutting smaller breads such as rolls or bagels, the serrated knife can be used to effectively saw through tough foods, like cured meat.

These types of knives are also sometimes called tomato knives (especially those with a blunt rounded tip). This is because, as with bread, they’re perfect for cutting anything with a delicate skin and soft interior without crushing it.

Carving knife

Rosle carving knife

Carving knives can be identified by their long length and thin blade. They’re not designed for chopping anything too tough, and are instead intended to execute long cuts, slicing foods in one smooth motion.

When slicing cooked meats such as roast beef or ham (or even when cutting a cake), the carving knife’s length means you’re doing less sawing back and forth. Combined with the thin blade, it makes easy work of cutting neat, thin, even slices.

Boning knife

Boning knife

A boning knife is a skinny, very sharp blade that tapers towards a fine, pointed tip. It’s not for cutting through bones, but around them. The sharp tip is ideal for trimming meat from bones and cartilage, without ruining the surrounding flesh.

A filleting knife looks a lot like a boning knife, but is thinner and more flexible, to accommodate the more delicate flesh of fish. Specifically, it can be used to horizontally cut around the backbone of whole fish, to create perfect fillets.

These knives aren’t your everyday tools, but if you’re interested in processing meat, fish or game yourself, a precision instrument like a boning knife will make the job easier.

Cleaver

Cleaver

Cleavers or butcher knives have a distinctive flat, rectangular blade, but can come in a variety of sizes. They’re one of the heaviest types of knives out there, helping to drive the blade through large cuts of raw meat and even bone.

Chinese cleavers, which tend to be more lightweight than their Western counterparts, are highly versatile and are used more like chef’s knives. They’re used to prep all sorts of foods, from raw meat to vegetables, and even small items like garlic.

Kitchen scissors

Kitchen scissors

While not technically a knife, kitchen scissors or kitchen shears are an exceedingly useful kitchen tool that can help cut foods on the fly. With thick, strong blades, these scissors are perfect for snipping herbs, sectioning chicken and preparing shrimp.

Aside from food prep, kitchen scissors fulfill a wide variety of other roles, whether you’re opening packets, cutting baking parchment or even slicing up a pizza. This makes them one of the most reached-for items in a home cook’s tool set.

Just as important as finding the right knife is having a sharp one. Sharp knives aren’t just a pleasure to work with - they’re safer too. Don’t forget to read our guide on keeping your blades in top shape here.

 

Inspired? Shop our range of high-quality kitchen knives here.

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-03-12T10:15:51-0500 2021-03-12T10:15:51-0500 Teracube: a smartphone to outlive the rest Jasmine Vorley


  The problem You may have noticed we spend a lot of time talking about the shrinking lifespans of our electronics. As devices get increasingly short-lived and repair options disappear, these goods are piling up in landfills in their billions. Perhaps nothing encapsulates the issue more infamously than the smartphone. Many of us are familiar with the experience of your device slowing as soon as the warranty is up - if it makes it that far. Smartphones can be infuriatingly fragile, and repairs hair-raisingly expensive. Combined with shiny new devices being presented to us every year, it feels like we’re being strong-armed into upgrading at uncannily regular intervals.  At best, phones aren’t made to last - and there’s a strong case to say they’re designed to fail. With mobile phone owners changing up their devices about every two years on average, it’s no wonder that e-waste is fast becoming an environmental issue of staggering proportions. Globally, 350,000 phones are thrown away every day.  A new approach Last year, we stumbled upon a snappy crowdfunding campaign offering an alternative to this madness. Enter Teracube. Pitched as ‘the world's most reliable smartphone’, the Teracube 2e is covered by an unheard-of four year warranty. Not only is this way longer...]]>
 

The problem

You may have noticed we spend a lot of time talking about the shrinking lifespans of our electronics. As devices get increasingly short-lived and repair options disappear, these goods are piling up in landfills in their billions.

Perhaps nothing encapsulates the issue more infamously than the smartphone. Many of us are familiar with the experience of your device slowing as soon as the warranty is up - if it makes it that far. Smartphones can be infuriatingly fragile, and repairs hair-raisingly expensive. Combined with shiny new devices being presented to us every year, it feels like we’re being strong-armed into upgrading at uncannily regular intervals. 

At best, phones aren’t made to last - and there’s a strong case to say they’re designed to fail. With mobile phone owners changing up their devices about every two years on average, it’s no wonder that e-waste is fast becoming an environmental issue of staggering proportions. Globally, 350,000 phones are thrown away every day. 

A new approach

Last year, we stumbled upon a snappy crowdfunding campaign offering an alternative to this madness. Enter Teracube.

Pitched as ‘the world's most reliable smartphone’, the Teracube 2e is covered by an unheard-of four year warranty. Not only is this way longer than most manufacturers will offer (usually just one year), Teracube’s smartphone warranty really goes overboard when it comes to great service. It includes free two-way shipping and an express replacement option, and repairs outside the warranty are cheap too.

Facilitating these repairs is the Teracube’s design - it’s made for disassembly, with replaceable components held together using screws instead of reams of glue (a hallmark of today’s flagship phones). A battery change is as simple as popping the back off. You can even repair the Teracube yourself, using just a screwdriver and the accessible repair guides provided.

 

Teracube 2e disassembled

The Teracube 2e next to its replaceable battery.

What’s more, the Teracube aims to lessen its environmental impact, and is made of 25% recycled polycarbonate. It arrives in minimal cardboard packaging, with all the extras you need and none you don’t. That means a sturdy biodegradable case and pre-fitted screen protector are included - but it doesn’t come with yet another charger for your collection.

The Teracube project, now on its second smartphone, was born from a frustration with the wastefully short life cycle of modern devices. For most manufacturers, repair is just an afterthought in a phone’s design. But the Teracube, from its build down to the warranty, is all about staying in service for as long as possible.

 

Teracube 2e sustainable smartphone

The Teracube comes with a super-tough biodegradable case included. Don't worry, it won't compost in your hand.

 Having smashed its crowdfunding goal in just four hours, this elegant Android device is now a fully funded product and available to buy. And how much is it going to set you back? Incredibly, it costs just $199.

The specs

If that low price is making you a little cautious, we don’t blame you. With new mid-range phones setting you back around twice that amount (and flagship devices costing well over $1000), you’ll be wondering exactly where the Teracube phone cuts corners. It stands to reason that if you’re going to keep using a phone for four years and beyond, you’ll want it to be good. Never fear.

Teracube 2e specs
It looks just like those regular phones you throw away every 2 years.

The Teracube 2e has the sleek look and feel of a contemporary smartphone, with all the features you’d expect from a great mid-range model - plus a little more. Thanks to its Octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM, it has no trouble keeping up with heavy use, breezing through demanding multitasking and games. Its 6.1" HD+ display looks beautifully crisp even in bright sunlight, and the 4000 mAh battery can last up to two days.

It keeps all the little extras we’ve become accustomed to, such as a fingerprint sensor and facial unlocking. Oh, and Teracube love to gleefully point out that their phone has an actual headphone jack (looking at you, Apple). If you’re someone who uses their phone heavily for photography, the dual rear cameras (13 and 8 megapixels) and front camera (8) may not cut it. But if you’re just taking occasional photos and selfies to view on a phone screen, it’s very decent.

Teracube camera

Teracube camera

 A couple of real, unedited photos taken with the Teracube 2e.

If you want a closer look, here’s the full lowdown on the Teracube 2e’s specs:

 

Operating system - Stock Android 10.0, no bloatware and at least 3 years’ software updates guaranteed

Processor - MediaTek Helio A25, Octa-core processor 1.8Ghz

RAM - 4GB

Memory - 64GB internal storage, with microSD/dual SIM tray

Screen - 6.1" HD+ IPS Display (720 x 1560)

Cameras - 13 and 8 megapixel dual rear cameras, 8 megapixel front camera

Battery - 4000mAh replaceable lithium-ion battery

Security - PIN, pattern, fingerprint, face unlock

Connectivity - WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, FM, NFC

Ports - Headphone jack, USB-C port, Hybrid Dual SIM and Micro SD slots. Please note: USB-C PD chargers cannot be used with this device. Charge the Teracube 2e with a USB-C to USB-A charger.

Size - 155.2mm x 73.3mm x 10.1mm

Weight - 190g

Network - Dual SIM, 4G (LTE)

USA Carriers - T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, AT&T, Simple Mobile, Speedtalk Mobile, Ultra Mobile, Red Pocket Mobile, Ting, Tempo, Walmart Family Mobile, Pure TalkUSA, Straight Talk.

Overall, the Teracube punches far above its price point. Having used it for several weeks, we can confidently say that most will find it an outstanding mid-range device. If you’re accustomed to having the latest iPhone, Google or Samsung models, you’re likely to miss things like wireless charging or a cutting-edge camera. But if you’re a casual phone user looking for incredible value for money and a more environmentally responsible choice, the Teracube is a real standout option.

 

Teracube 2e ultra-reliable sustainable smartphone

 4 year warranty, DIY repairable and made with sustainable materials. And it's just a really good phone.

The Teracube community

One of the great unexpected benefits we found from using the Teracube was the community of other users, in the form of an online forum. Here you can get swift technical support, as well as give feedback and suggestions straight to Teracube’s founders (who are actually active posters). What other smartphone can give you a direct line to the person who developed it?

By working together with long-term users and listening to their suggestions, Teracube are demonstrating their commitment to a user experience people will want to stick with. Catching a project like this at an early stage is not only exciting, it affords the opportunity to see it grow, and even influence the direction it takes. Supporting the little guy offers a totally unique smartphone experience, very different to having a device made by some faraway tech giant.
Teracube 2e
The Teracube 2e is the second long-lasting phone from this innovative tech startup. 

The future of sustainable phones

When people talk about a ‘sustainable smartphone’, or any eco friendly product, usually what comes to mind is green materials and production. What Teracube acknowledges is that the best step forward towards a truly sustainable smartphone industry is to actually extend the life of devices.

Nathan Proctor, director of the U.S. PIRG's Campaign for the Right to Repair, has pointed out the benefits of simply keeping our phones in use. "The rate at which we're replacing those phones [...] is a really urgent environmental concern, so the most important thing that we can do is use our phones for a lot longer," Proctor says. "That has not been a real, principal objective of some of the major cell phone manufacturers."

If just a small proportion of consumers start looking for reliability, this plucky tech startup is on a strong path towards rocking the boat of the entire smartphone industry. This is why Teracube’s incredibly attractive price - for both the device and future repairs - is no accident. They want to provide an accessible offering that’s open to as many people as possible, and grow a community who are in it for the long term.

A long-lasting phone is better for your pocket, and better for the planet. It’s a practical choice for practical people. Teracube is daring to do things differently to the big tech companies, by putting customers and the planet first - and we reckon that’s worth buying into.

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-02-26T09:33:21-0500 2021-02-26T09:33:21-0500 Why are long-lived electricals so rare? Jana Pleyto


When we set out to find the longest-lasting products in the world, it quickly became apparent to us that electronics would be a challenge.  Finding a really tough leather belt or iron pan is one thing - but often the stuff we want to last us is a little more complex than that. It’s generally accepted that electrical goods, from smartphones to washing machines, have a limited lifespan. But it seems to be that despite advancements in technology, new electronics give up the ghost more and more quickly. Is this the result of tech companies employing shady manufacturing practices to keep us in a cycle of consumption? Or is it simply in the nature of electrical goods to eventually fail? Let’s break down the reasons why electricals seem increasingly short-lived - and discuss how we can find ones that will go the distance. Why don’t they ‘make things like they used to’?   A victim of cost-cutting, built-in obsolescence or consumer culture?   This old adage seems to come up whenever we get talking about long-lived electricals. Many will remember a time when washing machines lasted decades, whereas now it’s not unusual for one to need fixing after just a...]]>

When we set out to find the longest-lasting products in the world, it quickly became apparent to us that electronics would be a challenge. 

Finding a really tough leather belt or iron pan is one thing - but often the stuff we want to last us is a little more complex than that. It’s generally accepted that electrical goods, from smartphones to washing machines, have a limited lifespan. But it seems to be that despite advancements in technology, new electronics give up the ghost more and more quickly.

Is this the result of tech companies employing shady manufacturing practices to keep us in a cycle of consumption? Or is it simply in the nature of electrical goods to eventually fail?

Let’s break down the reasons why electricals seem increasingly short-lived - and discuss how we can find ones that will go the distance.

Why don’t they ‘make things like they used to’?

 

Broken washing machine

A victim of cost-cutting, built-in obsolescence or consumer culture?

 

This old adage seems to come up whenever we get talking about long-lived electricals. Many will remember a time when washing machines lasted decades, whereas now it’s not unusual for one to need fixing after just a couple of years. Are we getting our money’s worth nowadays?

It should be pointed out that 40 years ago, a washing machine would have cost the equivalent of a month’s pay packet - a significant investment for most households. But today, a whole host of products previously considered luxuries are now cheaply available to all. You can purchase a washing machine for less than $400 now, and for $20 can get you a toaster, electric kettle, hand blender or even a fitness tracker.

While affordable prices have democratized ownership of goods both essential and frivolous, it has also resulted in a ‘race to the bottom’ between manufacturers to produce the cheapest products on the market. 

This competitive cost-cutting has been achieved mainly by outsourcing low-cost production around the globe, but other factors such as cheaper, lighter materials play a big part too. All this usually comes at the expense of build quality and robustness.

Is this planned obsolescence?

 

Lightbulb

Are manufacturers manipulating products’ short lifespans?

Planned obsolescence refers to purposefully designing things to have a limited lifespan. It stands to reason that forcing customers into repeat purchases will drive more sales than selling them one thing that lasts forever. But it can be hard to tell whether a product has been designed to fail, or simply not made robustly.

It’s certainly the case that when one company or group has a monopoly on a product, they can control consumers’ expectations of how long that product should last. This happened when the Phoebus Cartel conspired to reduce the lifespan of lightbulbs in the 1920s, in order to drive repeat sales.

But the fact is, the vast majority of electricals nowadays are sold in a competitive market. Even if forcing your customers to buy more often sounds lucrative, gaining a reputation for unreliable goods isn’t a good business strategy when you’re up against stiff competition. Most of the time, flimsier products are just a direct result of cost-cutting - ultimately caused by consumer demand.

Repair or replace?

 

Minirig Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Products that are designed to be taken apart, like these repairable Minirig Bluetooth speakers, are a rarity nowadays.

There’s another thing causing our electronics to head for the bin prematurely: the fact we don’t repair them. As the devices we own get more complex, fixing them gets harder and more costly. Alongside falling prices, consumers opting to replace instead of repair is an inevitability.

Manufacturers have a lot to answer for. A common feature in modern electricals is parts being glued or welded together, whereas before they might be held together with screws or bolts. This might save bulk, weight, or manufacturing costs, but makes a repair down the line far more difficult.

On top of this, manufacturers aren’t helping third parties repair their goods any more. Cheap spare parts and accessible repair manuals used to be commonplace for many appliances, even old models, but this is gradually disappearing. Some electronics, such as Apple devices, are even specifically designed to prevent third party repairs.

If we don’t need new stuff, are we made to want it?

 

iPhone

Maybe my phone does need three cameras...

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be right to say that consumers are forced to buy shiny new things, just because we can’t fix them. If planned obsolescence is the practice of designing products to break, perceived obsolescence refers to products becoming obsolete in our minds - before they break at all. 

The electronics industry moves at breakneck speed, and developing new features to sell can make the old models left behind instantly less appealing. For example, excellent-quality headphones have been available to us since the eighties, but technologies such as Bluetooth and noise cancelling keep the new models coming.

When you start to put it all together, it becomes clear that designing goods to break isn’t at all necessary to drive consumption. When perceived obsolescence combines with barriers to repair and the affordability of new goods, it’s easy to see why long-lasting electronics are a rarity.

What we look for

 

Evercable durable charging cable

We want electricals we can rely on - like these armored charging cables that will never split or fray.

A rarity, but thankfully not extinct. Whilst the implications of our rapid pace of consumption might be looking bleak, there will always be companies out there striving to make better products with longer lifespans.

Here are some things we look for in electronics. You might not find something that ticks every box, but they’re all promising indicators of longevity. Whether you’re looking for a smartwatch, an iron or a TV, keep an eye out for companies who look out for you years down the line - not just at the point of sale.


Long warranties

We’re big fans of companies putting their money where their mouths are. A decent warranty, especially one that’s ahead of the competition, is a great indicator of quality. Always check the terms - does that mean free repairs? No-quibble replacement? Does it cover everyday wear and tear?


Customer service

A good warranty is inextricably linked to customer service. We want to find companies who genuinely want their products to have a long useful life - who will value their long-term customers instead of being at odds with them. Check the reviews of any company you buy from, and look for people who’ve dealt with them years after the point of purchase.


Repairability


AIAIAI modular hi-fi headphones

If these modular headphones break, you can just change out the broken part.

 

Electricals that are designed for disassembly are increasingly rare. With a little research, you may be able to find out whether spare parts are available, or whether the company offers affordable in-house repairs. This will of course vary greatly depending on what you’re buying.

Modular electricals are a great indication of repairability, meaning you can change out or upgrade parts yourself without discarding the whole device. 


Tough build

Many electrical devices are getting slimmer, lighter and more delicate these days. But if you’re willing to have something a little more robust, it could end up going the distance far longer. It’s generally sensible to choose the tougher-looking option over something that looks a little too sleek. Look for testing credentials too that indicate features such as water resistance.


Low-tech

Dualit repairable classic toaster

These repairable Dualit toasters have a clunky mechanical timer and a lever to lift your toast instead of a ‘pop’ button (which is prone to break).

We tend to look for products that are manual and mechanical, because they have fewer elements to go wrong. Although you can’t apply this philosophy to every device in your life (unless you want to live in the Dark Ages), low-tech machines tend to be more reliable - and more repairable.

For instance, rechargeable batteries always have a finite lifespan, eventually wearing out. Weighing this up (versus the value of an enhanced user experience) is something to consider when choosing between a cordless or plug-in vacuum cleaner, for instance.


Small companies

Stepping away from the brands you’re familiar with can feel like a risk, but it’s apparent that the bigger they get, the more corporations struggle to provide a personal customer service experience. Smaller companies are more nimble, so can afford to provide longer warranties and good repair services.

Conscious choices

When purchasing electronics, we know that it’s not always about finding the most indestructible bit of kit on offer, but the one that’s right for you. As with any product, if it’s going to last you a long time, you’ll have to love it, keep it, repair it and carry on using it - for years. That means first considering the features you need and what’s important to you.

Electricals don’t last forever - but we need to do better by them. With France rolling out a Repairability Index and the Right to Repair movement gathering steam worldwide, we hope we’re heading towards better consumer empowerment.

But in the meantime, our choices make a difference. If we can start thinking more about longevity, and support companies who take product stewardship seriously, we think we’ll be on the right track.



 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2021-02-11T16:38:54-0500 2021-02-11T16:38:54-0500 How to choose the right pan Jana Pleyto


Wrought iron, carbon steel, cast iron - what do they mean, and what’s the practical difference? You’ll know that all our pans are made to last a lifetime and more. But understanding different cookware materials can be confusing, and their properties vary greatly.  We thought we’d demystify the terms, picking out the pros and cons of each material. Whether you’re looking for something that’s heavy duty, low-maintenance or super-versatile, we want you to find the best pan material for your needs. Cast iron Our beautiful Finex cast iron pans, such as this impressive 10 inch skillet, merges traditional production techniques with modern aesthetics. They are handmade in Portland, OR.  Suitable for: all stove types including induction, open fires and oven use. Choose for: excellent searing, versatility and longevity. An elegant, rustic aesthetic. Avoid if: you’d struggle with a heavy pan, or want to use little to no oil when cooking. Versatile and solid, a classic cast iron pan is a trusty go-to that will last a lifetime. Cast iron pans are black, thick and heavy. They’re made by pouring molten iron that has a high carbon content into a mould, and can have handles made of different materials. Our Finex cast irons for instance have ergonomic spring...]]>

Wrought iron, carbon steel, cast iron - what do they mean, and what’s the practical difference? You’ll know that all our pans are made to last a lifetime and more. But understanding different cookware materials can be confusing, and their properties vary greatly. 

We thought we’d demystify the terms, picking out the pros and cons of each material. Whether you’re looking for something that’s heavy duty, low-maintenance or super-versatile, we want you to find the best pan material for your needs.

Cast iron

Finex Cast Iron Pans

Our beautiful Finex cast iron pans, such as this impressive 10 inch skillet, merges traditional production techniques with modern aesthetics. They are handmade in Portland, OR. 

Suitable for: all stove types including induction, open fires and oven use.

Choose for: excellent searing, versatility and longevity. An elegant, rustic aesthetic.

Avoid if: you’d struggle with a heavy pan, or want to use little to no oil when cooking.

Versatile and solid, a classic cast iron pan is a trusty go-to that will last a lifetime. Cast iron pans are black, thick and heavy. They’re made by pouring molten iron that has a high carbon content into a mould, and can have handles made of different materials. Our Finex cast irons for instance have ergonomic spring handles and easy-to-pour shapes.

Cast iron performs best when it's preheated for several minutes - it’s slow to heat and slow to cool, so once it gets hot, it stays hot. This is why skillets are well-known for giving an incredible sear to meat. 

The iron also emits a lot of heat, so as well as cooking the food directly in contact with the pan’s surface, it’s cooking the food above it too. It’s these self-regulating properties that makes cooking with cast iron very easy.

To protect the iron from rust and to build up a natural non-stick surface, cast iron has to be seasoned. Seasoning is nothing mysterious - it’s just layers of cooked-on oil that constantly develop the more you cook. Cast iron pans usually arrive pre-seasoned, so it’s simply a matter of getting stuck in with cooking.

When your seasoning is still young, it’s best to use a decent amount of oil when you’re cooking to help build up seasoning and prevent sticking. If you’re used to non-stick pans, bear in mind that seasoning won’t be as slippery as Teflon. However, preheating your pan and using oil will prevent sticking disasters.

Wrought iron

 

These wrought iron pans by Solidteknics offer a very similar cooking experience to cast iron, but with a more lightweight construction. 

Suitable for: All stove types (including induction), open fires and oven use.

Choose for: a pan to last forever, excellent searing and versatility.

Avoid if: you want to use little to no oil when cooking.

When we talk about wrought iron pans, we refer specifically to Solidteknics' seamless wrought iron pans - simply because we don’t know of anyone else making wrought iron pans like this. A wrought iron pan cooks in a very similar way to cast iron, but with less material.

Whereas cast iron is made by pouring molten metal into a mould, wrought iron pans are stamped into shape whilst hot. The high carbon content of cast iron makes it brittle, so a thick pan is necessary to retain strength. Wrought iron, on the other hand, has a lower carbon content, so these pans are stronger as well as thinner (and thus more lightweight).

Solidteknics' wrought iron pans are just 3mm thick, and behave almost identically to cast iron: they require seasoning and preheating, and are excellent for searing. Bear in mind that these pans are still heavy compared to aluminum or stainless steel, but are around half the weight of cast iron. They can withstand temperatures up to 752°F, even on a campfire or grill. 

Carbon steel pans (see below) are an even more lightweight alternative to cast iron, whilst offering a similar cooking experience. However, their thinness makes them more prone to hotspots and warping. Wrought iron pans offer an ideal balance of weight and durability.

Stainless steel

360 Cookware Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Stainless steel pans, such as this frying pan by 360 Cookware, offer a low-maintenance option. 

Suitable for: gas and electric stovetops. Check to see if the individual pan is suitable for induction or oven use. Our 360 Cookware range is oven safe up to 500°F.

Choose for: cooking acidic foods, low-maintenance (doesn’t require seasoning), highly versatile and durable.

Avoid if: you want a non-stick surface, or a pan that can achieve very high searing  temperatures.

Look into any kitchen - domestic or professional alike - and you’ll likely find a few stainless steel pans. Offering a highly versatile and hardwearing cooking surface, they’re an absolute staple when it comes to stewing, boiling and other cooking methods.

The ‘stainless’ properties of this material come from adding chromium and nickel to steel, which makes it highly resistant to corrosion. 18/10 stainless steel is considered to be the best. The two numbers here refer to the percentages of chromium and nickel added to prevent rust, and enhance shine and durability. 

Unlike iron, stainless steel won’t be corroded by acidic foods, doesn’t scratch easily and has a light-colored cooking surface, enabling you to easily see color changes in your food. However, stainless steel isn’t non-stick, and can’t be seasoned to become low-stick like iron. 

Stainless steel is also a very poor conductor of heat, which is why most stainless steel pans will tend to have a layer of conductive material sandwiched inside the base. This helps to spread heat quickly and evenly throughout the pan. Using stainless steel without a core will result in hot spots on the cooking surface and foods will cook unevenly. Our 360 Cookware range are all made out cladded metal, and measuring at .11” thickness (or gauge), 360 Cookware is thicker than most cookware brands.

Copper

Sertodo Copper Skillet

Copper pans, such as these beauties from Sertodo Copper offer an unparalleled cooking experience due to the super-conductive material.

Suitable for: gas and electric stoves, and oven use.

Choose for: highly responsive heating, and a beautiful pan for your kitchen. 

Avoid if: you’re on a budget, or have an induction stove.

There’s no material to cook with like copper. It heats up rapidly and evenly, and, unlike iron skillets, cools down as soon as it’s removed from the heat. This super-responsive material gives you maximum control over your cooking. As a result, copper pans are prized by chefs the world over.

If used alone, copper will react with acidic foods and impart a metallic taste to your cooking. To prevent this, copper pans are usually lined with a different non-reactive metal such as tin or stainless steel (stainless steel being much more hardwearing). For the pan to benefit from copper’s properties, it should be around 90% copper. A thin external coating of copper will be purely decorative! Our Sertodo Copper range are made from 100% pure recycled copper, expertly handcrafted by artisans in an area known for traditional hand-hammered copper products for over a millennium. They also come with a hot tinned interior, which is the traditional and natural non-stick surface.

That being said, copper cookware doesn’t come cheap, and the thicker the copper, the higher the price tag will be, as with our Sertodo skillet pictured above, which has a heavy gauge of 2mm. But a well-maintained copper pan will certainly retain its value, and whether you keep it polished or let it tarnish, copper is a beautiful addition to any kitchen.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel wok

Carbon steel can be tricky to use, but is the professional’s choice for high-heat cooking.

Suitable for: all stove types, open flames and oven use.

Choose for: high-heat techniques such as wok frying and searing. Durable and affordable.

Avoid if: you’re an inexperienced cook, or looking for a low-maintenance pan.

Also called black iron, carbon steel is generally regarded as a specialist cookware material, though it’s gathering popularity with home cooks too. Carbon steel pans have similar properties to other iron pans, but they’re thinner and lighter (though still relatively heavy duty). 

Like other iron pans, carbon steel has to be seasoned in order to prevent rust and build up a non-stick surface. They don’t tend to arrive pre-seasoned, and usually come with a layer of protective wax that must be washed off prior to your first seasoning cycle.

Carbon steel pans can achieve blistering temperatures, making them perfect for certain high-heat techniques. Carbon steel woks, for instance, are ideal for creating an authentic smoky stir-fried flavor on a roaring burner. A flat carbon steel skillet is great for searing meat, but once well-seasoned, can whip up perfect omelettes too.

These pans act like a lightweight version of a cast iron skillet - what’s not to love? The downside: iron is not very conductive, so a carbon steel pan will be slow to heat up, and will be prone to hot spots. This is when the pan only gets hot directly above the heat source. This can also make the pan easier to warp, which occurs due to extreme temperature differences within the pan.

Aluminum

Aluminium pan

Aluminum pans are lightweight and highly conductive, and often come coated with other materials.

Suitable for: gas and electric stove.

Choose for: an affordable, lightweight and responsive pan. A practical choice to reduce weight on very large pans.

Avoid if: you have an induction cooker.

Pure aluminum pans aren’t common kitchen items, though their lightness makes them practical for camping. However, if you have a non-stick pan, it’s probably made of aluminum.

Aluminum pans are highly conductive, second only to copper, making for responsive cookware that’s also affordable. However, bare aluminum will react with certain acidic foods, imparting a metallic flavor and discoloration. For this reason, aluminum pans are usually non-stick coated, or undergo a process called anodization.

Anodized aluminum has a hard, dark grey oxide layer on its surface. This layer is non-reactive and tough - three times harder than stainless steel - and it won’t flake off. Anodized aluminum is an ideal choice for bakeware: hard anodized range is a great alternative to non-stick coated products that eventually start to peel.

More commonly, aluminum pans will have a non-stick coating instead, which protects food from the reactive aluminum and of course prevents food sticking. Some of the best non-stick pans are anodized too, which makes them more hardwearing. Read on for our thoughts on non-stick coatings.

Non-stick

Teflon frying pan

Non-stick pans sacrifice durability for convenience. Whilst non-stick technology is always improving, even a well-maintained pan will have a limited lifespan.

Suitable for: gas and electric stoves. Check individual pans for induction suitability.

Choose for: a low-maintenance pan that’s easy to cook with, particularly with minimal oil.

Avoid if: you want a pan for life, or if you want to take your pan to high searing temperatures.

Non-stick coatings have been truly revolutionary in cookware, allowing us to cook with minimal amounts of oil, and with easy clean-up. Most non-stick pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon. It’s so effective at not sticking to things, entirely new technologies had to be invented to bond it to a metal surface.

However, Teflon’s effectiveness relies on the integrity of the coating’s surface, and even small scratches will reduce its non-stick capabilities. These pans should be used with care, avoiding metal utensils, very high temperatures and stacking pans up to store.

Even a well-maintained non-stick pan will have a limited lifespan, so if you’re after a pan for life, these coatings are to be avoided. This is why we don't stock any non-stick products, whether that's pans or bakeware. However, some manufacturers will offer recoating services, so that your pan can be refurbished again and again.

Whilst historically there have been concerns about the safety of non-stick coatings, nowadays they're considered to be safe. However, never take your non-stick to extremely high temperatures of 570°F plus, which is when Teflon starts to break down and release toxic fumes.

Non-stick can’t be beaten when it comes to convenience. If you’re a novice cook or you don’t want to spend time on seasoning and cleaning, it’s a great option. However, we’re of the opinion that iron pans are not only more long-lasting, they offer a cooking experience that’s far superior.


We hope you're feeling more informed about what type of pan is right for you. To see our full range of pans, check out our cookware range, which is full of high-quality pieces you'll be able to rely on for a lifetime and more.

Read more about the Buy Me Once research process here.

 

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2020-11-24T21:13:14-0500 2020-11-24T21:13:14-0500 6 reasons why Buy Me Once loves linen Jana Pleyto


If you’ve had a thorough look around our clothing and homeware ranges, you may have noticed something: we love linen. From luxurious bedding, to lightweight pajamas, to summer dresses and winter coats. It’s one of our absolute favorite textiles. We thought we’d talk about the numerous benefits of linen and why exactly we want to spend 100% of our time wrapped up in it. If you’d like to read more about our linen pajamas specifically, check out Ben’s review of his pair. 1) Strength We champion long-lasting things, and the primary reason we love linen is because it’s really, really strong. Linen is made from long, lustrous fibers from the stems of the flax plant - and it’s the length of these fibers that gives the fabric its longevity.  Linen’s inherent durability is the main reason we think it’s worth investing in. It’s much stronger than cotton, and linen garments can hold up to decades of wear. Our beautiful linen bedding by Piglet is an heirloom investment that will last and last. You’ll love the feeling of high-quality flax against your skin year-round. 2) Ultimate comfort Linen is well-known for being highly breathable. When it comes to bedding, better fabric breathability allows your...]]>

If you’ve had a thorough look around our clothing and homeware ranges, you may have noticed something: we love linen.

From luxurious bedding, to lightweight pajamas, to summer dresses and winter coats. It’s one of our absolute favorite textiles. We thought we’d talk about the numerous benefits of linen and why exactly we want to spend 100% of our time wrapped up in it.

If you’d like to read more about our linen pajamas specifically, check out Ben’s review of his pair.

1) Strength

We champion long-lasting things, and the primary reason we love linen is because it’s really, really strong. Linen is made from long, lustrous fibers from the stems of the flax plant - and it’s the length of these fibers that gives the fabric its longevity. 

Linen’s inherent durability is the main reason we think it’s worth investing in. It’s much stronger than cotton, and linen garments can hold up to decades of wear.

Piglet Basic Bed Linen Bundle, Dove Grey
Our beautiful linen bedding by Piglet is an heirloom investment that will last and last. You’ll love the feeling of high-quality flax against your skin year-round.

2) Ultimate comfort

Linen is well-known for being highly breathable. When it comes to bedding, better fabric breathability allows your body temperature to regulate quickly, leading to a faster and deeper sleep. Linen is also hypoallergenic, making linen bedding perfect for sufferers of eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions, because it calms rather than irritates.

Linen clothing is usually associated with summer, for good reason. The absorbent nature of the flax fibers means it can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. Wicking moisture from your skin in this way keeps you dry and comfortable in the heat.

In the cooler months, linen’s porousness gives it a warm, comforting feel. Often made into loose designs, linen is perfect for layering, and thicker linen garments are versatile pieces ideal for spring and autumn. 

3) Sustainability

Flax is a rotation crop, farmed naturally in small batches. Linen production requires very little pesticides and water (rainfall will often suffice), and every part of the plant is used up. It’s much more biodegradable than cotton too - so it can even go in the compost at the end of its life.

According to the European Confederation of Linen and Hemp, a linen shirt will use 6.4 liters of water across its life cycle, compared to 2,700 liters for a cotton shirt. As well as the water-intensive growing methods cotton requires, this staggering comparison is due to the fact that linen needs to be washed less - which leads us neatly onto our next point.

Piglet linen pyjamas, blueberry

Our beautifully-made linen pajamas by Piglet are made of stonewashed French linen. Perfect for lounging and sleeping year-round, they get softer and softer with wear and use.

4) Low-maintenance

Linen doesn’t require a lot of looking after. It’s naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which means you can wear linen for longer between washes. It resists dirt and stains, withstands high temperatures and can be dry-cleaned, machine-washed, or steamed. Furthermore, the smooth flax fibers of the material will never pill and become bobbly.

What about ironing? Linen is well-known for wrinkling and creasing easily, which is due to its lack of elasticity. However, we’re of the opinion that line-dried linen, which will remain slightly crinkled, is as beautiful as a perfectly ironed piece.

A lesser-known benefit to linen is its imperviousness to moths. Clothes moths - or rather, their larvae - are the bane of many long-lasting natural fibers, such as wool (one of our other favorites). However, because linen contains no keratin, moths leave it alone.

5) Improves with age

Linen has a stiffness to it that feels really fresh and clean - like crisp sheets. But once you start wearing it, this texture ‘breaks in’ to silky softness. This will reset each time you wash it, but over time, your linen will just get softer and softer. It’s one of the pleasures of keeping linen garments for years.


6) Timeless aesthetic

Linen’s natural luster and texture lends depth to any outfit, whether you’re artfully layering up in the autumn or wearing one simple summer dress. Linen’s porous fibers can be dyed rich colors, which combine with its texture to create a dynamic aesthetic that can’t be imitated.

Linen fabric has been around since 8,000 BC, used in all sorts of applications worldwide. It truly is a timeless textile - a classic linen shirt could be one or one hundred years old!

Piglet linen tablecloths and napkins
Made from Piglet's signature stonewashed French flax, these classic linen napkins and tablecloths create an effortlessly sophisticated look, even when crinkly.

Why does linen cost more?

Whilst we can wax lyrical about the many benefits of linen, we acknowledge that it doesn’t come cheap. The reason linen is more expensive than cotton garments is because manufacturing it is a long, labour-intensive process - from harvesting it to creating the fabric itself. There are also geographical limitations to where flax will happily grow. 

Linen accounts for less than 1% of textile production worldwide, and it has long been associated with luxury. However, the qualities inherent to this fabric make it an outstanding choice when it comes to keeping your things for longer. We believe that if you’re making purchasing decisions for the long term, linen is an investment that will pay off time and time again.

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https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2020-11-03T10:40:42-0500 2020-11-03T10:40:42-0500 10 Reasons Why a Gift Card is Actually the Ultimate Present Jana Pleyto


Ever had that sinking feeling when you realize you've given someone a gift they don't like? We know that even if you buy something that's been made to last, you’re never guaranteed to get it right when it comes to gifting. Regardless of whether it ends up in the bin, at a charity shop or being gifted again to another awkward recipient, giving people stuff they don't want is just wasteful. There's a way to bypass bad gift purchasing, where you can give someone the perfect present they'll love for life. The answer? Gift cards. With our Gift for Life card, we want to champion the idea that the gift voucher is the pinnacle of conscious gifting. Here’s why:   1. No more unwanted gifts Buying things that aren’t wanted isn't 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. 2. It’s kinder to the environment It’s not just unwanted gifts that might find their way to landfill. Choosing cheaply-made gifts that break by January does no one any favors. Even if you're on a budget, a Gift for...]]>

Ever had that sinking feeling when you realize you've given someone a gift they don't like?

We know that even if you buy something that's been made to last, you’re never guaranteed to get it right when it comes to gifting. Regardless of whether it ends up in the bin, at a charity shop or being gifted again to another awkward recipient, giving people stuff they don't want is just wasteful.

There's a way to bypass bad gift purchasing, where you can give someone the perfect present they'll love for life. The answer? Gift cards. With our Gift for Life card, we want to champion the idea that the gift voucher is the pinnacle of conscious gifting. Here’s why:

 

1. No more unwanted gifts

Buying things that aren’t wanted isn't 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.

2. It’s kinder to the environment

It’s not just unwanted gifts that might find their way to landfill. Choosing cheaply-made gifts that break by January does no one any favors. Even if you're on a budget, 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.

3. Give a gift at a distance

With the uncertainty the pandemic has brought us, there's every chance that you won't be able 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.

4. Contribute to something bigger

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. 

5. It forces them to treat themselves!

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 gift recipient will have to treat themselves to something they love, instead of the weekly shop.

6. A gift with a story

When you give someone a Gift for Life card, you're not just presenting them with a soulless voucher. You can tell that person the story of Buy Me Once, whilst giving them a perfect entry point into our ethos. They'll be spoiled for choice with our huge range of things, all made to be loved for life.

7. Money well spent

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.

8. There’s no accounting for taste

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.

9. Don’t rush into a bad purchase

We’ve all been there - that anxiety-fueled 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.

10. Loved for life

‘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 reputation? If you’re ready to give the gift of choice, check out the Gift for Life card by Buy Me Once.

     

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2020-10-21T15:47:05-0400 2020-10-21T15:47:05-0400 Buy Me Once Kitchen: Spotlight on 360 Cookware Jana Pleyto


    If, like us, you’ve suddenly found your kitchen to be the center of your home, you’re probably scrutinizing your cookware a little more than usual. Any big box retailer or department store offers up a myriad of cookware and bakeware options - it can be overwhelming for anyone in the market for replacing their current wares. Yet the questions remain. What’s it made out of? What's the coating on that non-stick pan? Is it manufactured locally? Does it distribute heat properly?  With 360 Cookware, all these answers are answered transparently. Their products are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill pots and pans, and you can tell from the very first unboxing. Each and every product in their extensive range is made from the highest quality materials, backed by a lifetime guarantee and with a certificate of authenticity from their Wisconsin-based factory.  What’s more - it utilizes vapor cooking, if healthy eating is what you’re trying to achieve as well.  Vapor Cooking… What is it? 360 Cookware is constructed to utilize a method called vapor cooking. While it may sound contemporary, it’s been around for a while. It also goes by ‘waterless cookware’. What this basically means is that 360 Cookware holds in...]]>
    If, like us, you’ve suddenly found your kitchen to be the center of your home, you’re probably scrutinizing your cookware a little more than usual.

    Any big box retailer or department store offers up a myriad of cookware and bakeware options - it can be overwhelming for anyone in the market for replacing their current wares. Yet the questions remain. What’s it made out of? What's the coating on that non-stick pan? Is it manufactured locally? Does it distribute heat properly? 

    With 360 Cookware, all these answers are answered transparently. Their products are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill pots and pans, and you can tell from the very first unboxing. Each and every product in their extensive range is made from the highest quality materials, backed by a lifetime guarantee and with a certificate of authenticity from their Wisconsin-based factory. 

    What’s more - it utilizes vapor cooking, if healthy eating is what you’re trying to achieve as well. 

    Vapor Cooking… What is it?

    360 Cookware is constructed to utilize a method called vapor cooking. While it may sound contemporary, it’s been around for a while. It also goes by ‘waterless cookware’.

    What this basically means is that 360 Cookware holds in ingredients and flavors as nature intended, cooking without the addition of water or oil. 

    It’s all about the tight-fitting lid, which creates steam from the water content found in most foods. A vapor seal is created between the stainless steel pan and metal lid, locking in moisture. The steam evenly circulates, gently cooking the food without having to crank up the heat or stir the food around.

    The result is healthy, non-processed food with no need for grease, salt, butter or other additives. As well as being a healthier option, this gentle way of one-pot cooking can help you save time, money and energy.

    Their products are of course not strictly limited to just vapor cooking. They can still be used however you want to cook - and if that involves searing foods on a high heat with plenty of oil, then their pots and pans are perfect for that too!

    The 360 Cookware Family

    360 Cookware was founded by owner Bryan Hurley, who came from a family that knew their cookware. His father before him had been a cookware salesman, and together with the rest of the 360 Cookware team, the company has more than 450 years of combined veteran cookware expertise. 

    360 Cookware shares the Buy Me Once approach to minimizing waste: by not buying cheap, shoddy products that get discarded easily, and instead investing in lifetime pieces that can be passed down to future generations.  

    Proudly American made, 360 Cookware uses no harsh chemicals while making their cookware or bakeware, handcrafted in their Green E-Certified factory in West Bend, Wisconsin. 

    Green Credentials

    All 360 Cookware products are made in the world’s most environmentally advanced factory, which has been recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Americraft - 360 Cookware’s parent company - was also recognized for their commitment to environmental responsibility with a Green-e Certification. They’re a Green America Approved Business, and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

    Their factory meets eco-centric standards by using 100% renewable energy, such as solar, water, or wind power, to generate the assembly line. They also use cleaning products that leave no toxic residue, and their shipping containers and packaging are completely recyclable. 

    Quality Materials 

    All of 360 Cookware’s products are sourced from the highest grade of materials possible, starting off with layers of T-304 stainless steel with a .110 gauge, the same thickness from the center of the pan to the rim. 

    These three layers range from 18/8 to 18/10, referring to the percentage amount of chromium and nickel in the metal. (i.e. 18% chromium, and 8% to 10% nickel). The outside layer, which touches the heat, is T-400 Series Stainless Steel - it has a lower nickel content and higher carbon steel content to interact on induction cooktops. These two layers of stainless steel sandwich a layer of aluminum, which ensures superior heat conduction.

    The lids, which create the high steaming effect, are made with the same attention to detail. The precision of the design creates the vapor seal which allows the food to heat evenly and quickly, and at lower temperatures.

    This cookware is also oven and broiler safe up to 500 degrees, and versatility was definitely front of mind for 360 Cookware’s design team. Stockpots can be used as ‘small ovens’ to keep small poultry moist on the stovetop, and cake tins can be used to roast vegetables, thanks to their even heat distribution. No stone is left unturned here, as even a single saucepan will have a number of uses, all delivering non-processed, healthy cooking.

    Ticking the Buy Me Once boxes:

    Our research team looked at our criteria checklist and we're happy to report that 360 Cookware passed the Buy Me Once kitchen test with flying colors. In a nutshell, we love these products for their:

    Versatility.
    Quality Materials. 
    Lifetime Guarantee.
    Proudly Made in America.
    Green Cookware: from manufacturing to cooking method.

    So if you’re currently in the market for quality cookware and bakeware, 360 Cookware is a great investment. Their exceptional range is full of items you’re bound to pass down to your kids and grandkids. They can be purchased individually or as sets, which are perfect for first home nesters or any other special occasions.

    Oh and here's a tip - they work well with our range of wooden Earlywood cooking utensils.

    Check out the range here.

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2020-08-27T16:42:00-0400 2020-08-27T16:42:00-0400 Four Solid Reasons why we love Duluth Pack Jana Pleyto


    Here at Buy Me Once, we’ve been in love with Duluth Pack ever since we laid our eyes on one of their durable backpacks, in this case the Large Standard Backpack in Olive Drab. Not only was this bag perfect for outdoor adventures such as hiking and camping but they were also suitable for urban ones, whether that’s a bag for the daily commute to work or to classes. You can practically find Duluth Pack’s bags and packs right at home in the woods or the streets of Williamsburg, and its versatility isn’t the only reason why Duluth Pack is a Buy Me Once brand. Our research team looked at our criteria checklist and compared it against Duluth Pack’s products. While we were blown away by its lifetime guarantee and quality, we've uncovered a couple more reasons why we think everyone should invest in a Duluth Pack:  A brief history  Did you know… … that Duluth Pack’s origins can be traced back to 1882? Duluth Pack’s rich history dates back to more than a century, with humble origins starting with French-Canadian immigrant, Camille Poirer, who arrived in Duluth in 1870. With his small collection of leather and tools of the trade, he...]]>
    Here at Buy Me Once, we’ve been in love with Duluth Pack ever since we laid our eyes on one of their durable backpacks, in this case the Large Standard Backpack in Olive Drab. Not only was this bag perfect for outdoor adventures such as hiking and camping but they were also suitable for urban ones, whether that’s a bag for the daily commute to work or to classes.

    You can practically find Duluth Pack’s bags and packs right at home in the woods or the streets of Williamsburg, and its versatility isn’t the only reason why Duluth Pack is a Buy Me Once brand.

    Our research team looked at our criteria checklist and compared it against Duluth Pack’s products. While we were blown away by its lifetime guarantee and quality, we've uncovered a couple more reasons why we think everyone should invest in a Duluth Pack: 

    A brief history 

    Did you know…

    … that Duluth Pack’s origins can be traced back to 1882? Duluth Pack’s rich history dates back to more than a century, with humble origins starting with French-Canadian immigrant, Camille Poirer, who arrived in Duluth in 1870. With his small collection of leather and tools of the trade, he built a shoe store to service the early American settlers of a booming frontier town on the shores of Lake Superior.

    He later identified a need for a durable pack that would survive the harsh Minnesota winters, and after rigorous designing and testing, the C. Poirier Pack Sack was born. The pack was a specialized outdoor pack with a tumpline, sternum strap, and multiple carry options. 

    It was perfect for the trappers, traders and timber workers who carried their wares up and down the rugged terrain and crossed the numerous rivers and lakes that dotted the Northwoods. The C. Poirier Pack Sack was officially patented in 1882 and its design is still sold today as the #2 Original Pack. 

    In 1911, Poirier sold his business to the Duluth Tent & Awning Company, which later became known as Duluth Pack. From the pack’s humble beginnings as a canoe bag for the early explorers, the line soon expanded to accommodate the changes in transportation modes that came with the turn of the century. 

    The company also added hunting and shooting sports products to their outdoor range, as well as a lifestyle range to meet the demands of globetrotting travelers. Duluth Pack prides itself with their ability to adapt to a consumer’s changing tastes, yet somehow sticking to the old school values and techniques they have built their company on. From durable backpacks, heavy duty scout packs and other canvas and leather goods, there’s pretty much a Duluth Pack for everyone.

    Buy Me Once | Duluth Pack
    Made in the USA

    More than 138 years on and Duluth Pack still produces quality backpacks and outdoor packs that are just as versatile, sturdy and reliable as its original pack. Duluth Pack uses the highest quality cotton canvas and leather materials, with many of their raw materials sourced locally. 

    Duluth Pack is headquartered and manufactured in Duluth, MN, in the same building it’s been in over a century in Lake Superior. Having their factory, distribution center, offices, and retail store all based in one place means that their carbon footprint is small. 

    Owning a Duluth Pack is also the result of American workers standing behind it, when most of its contemporaries have moved their operations overseas. 


    Quality, quality quality

    What we love about Duluth Pack is its durability and quality, in a world where fast fashion and mass production rules. Dismissing line work and focusing on time-tested craftsmanship and quality, the craftspeople of Duluth Pack still cut every canvas and leather product by hand. Pride sits on the very foundation of the company, and each and every bag is still hand-signed by the craftsperson that manufactured it.

    For many of Duluth Pack’s products, production starts in the canvas cutting department, with each canvas pattern hand traced and hand cut, before moving on to the leather department.

    Buy Me Once | Duluth Pack

    Leather is carefully inspected, before the leather patterns are also hand traced and hand cut. These patterns make their way to individual sewers, where they are stitched together by sewing machines.

    Following this, many of the bags go to the riveting department where rivets are either hand pounded or by foot machine. The final process that every Duluth Pack goes through is quality control, where each bag is hand inspected before receiving final approval. 


    Guaranteed for Life

    Owning a Duluth Pack is for life, and we’d be remiss not to mention as well Duluth Pack’s exceptional lifetime guarantee against manufacturer faults. Many of Duluth Pack’s customers wear their used bags and packs with pride, with bags even being passed down through numerous generations. While the colors may fade over time and the canvas and leather may scuff and tear through decades of outdoor activity, each of these imperfections add to a bag that’s definitely seen numerous adventures and experiences!

    Buy Me Once | Duluth Pack

    Duluth Pack’s exceptional lifetime guarantee covers manufacturing defects which includes hardware such as zippers, buckles, snaps, rivets, d-rings, fabric tears along a seam, or a stitching defect that prevents the product from being used. Whilst the Lifetime Guarantee does not cover normal wear and tear, Duluth Pack has a stellar repair program that can patch, mend and fix anything for a nominal fee.


    This is one brand we absolutely stand behind in and we’d love our customers to experience the Duluth Pack quality. 

    Shop Duluth Pack here.







     
     





     



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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2020-07-21T06:56:00-0400 2020-07-21T06:56:00-0400 What is planned obsolescence, and what can you do about it? Jasmine Vorley


    Whether you're new to the buy-for-life movement, or have been following the BuyMeOnce journey for a couple of years, you may have come across the term 'planned obsolescence'. It’s a concept we reference often, so we thought we'd break it down in a little more detail.  What exactly is it? Put simply, planned obsolescence is when products are designed to break (i.e. become obsolete), so that you buy them more often. This can take many forms. It can be in a software update that inexplicably slows your device. It can also be in a shoddy part in your appliance that, once broken, sends the whole unit to landfill. It can even be in the instantly-bobbly material of a cheap fast fashion garment. It's sometimes called premature or built-in obsolescence, but they all essentially mean the same thing. The idea of planned obsolescence was first conceived in 1928 by marketing pioneer Justus George Frederick. According to this article by the Guardian:  “[Frederick] stated that it was necessary to induce people to buy an ever-increasing variety of things, not in order to use them, but to activate commerce and discard them after a short period of time."   Today this concept has been legitimised and is built heavily into manufacturing and marketing cycles. Planned obsolescence drives profitability,...]]>

    Whether you're new to the buy-for-life movement, or have been following the BuyMeOnce journey for a couple of years, you may have come across the term 'planned obsolescence'. It’s a concept we reference often, so we thought we'd break it down in a little more detail. 

    What exactly is it?

    Put simply, planned obsolescence is when products are designed to break (i.e. become obsolete), so that you buy them more often.

    This can take many forms. It can be in a software update that inexplicably slows your device. It can also be in a shoddy part in your appliance that, once broken, sends the whole unit to landfill. It can even be in the instantly-bobbly material of a cheap fast fashion garment. It's sometimes called premature or built-in obsolescence, but they all essentially mean the same thing.

    The idea of planned obsolescence was first conceived in 1928 by marketing pioneer Justus George Frederick. According to this article by the Guardian: 

    “[Frederick] stated that it was necessary to induce people to buy an ever-increasing variety of things, not in order to use them, but to activate commerce and discard them after a short period of time."

     

    Today this concept has been legitimised and is built heavily into manufacturing and marketing cycles. Planned obsolescence drives profitability, and has been largely accepted by the business world and consumers alike.

    Our founder Tara Button wrote the book on living a life less throwaway - sign up to the buy-for-life movement and we'll send you the chapter on planned obsolescence, for free!

     

    Notable examples

     

    Planned Obsolescence Phoebus Cartel

     

    One of the most famous examples of planned obsolescence is the light bulb. In 1924, light bulbs were improving in quality; some were lasting up to 2,500 hours. Concerned for their profits, a group of major light bulb manufacturers formed the Phoebus Cartel, which colluded to reduce the average light bulb lifespan to 1025 hours. How did they get away with it? Many of the changes were sold to consumers as efficiencies and improvements in brightness. 

    A more recent example is Apple's slowing down of older iPhone models using compulsory software updates. In France, where planned obsolescence is illegal, Apple were slapped with a 24 million euro fine for "deceptive commercial practice[s] by omission".

     

    What is psychological obsolescence?

    Whereas planned obsolescence involves giving products an artificial end-date or reduced lifespan, psychological obsolescence makes consumers dissatisfied with products that still work perfectly well.

    This usually takes the form of releasing a fresh new model, that makes the product we have seem old and inadequate in comparison. This prompts us to purchase the new model, even if the old one hasn't yet reached the end of its useful life. One of the big proponents of psychological obsolescence is fast fashion, which drives faster and more frequent trend cycles, whilst simultaneously driving the price of clothing down. 

      

    What can be done about planned obsolescence?

    When it comes to fighting planned obsolescence, our greatest power lies in the everyday purchasing choices we make. We can and should campaign for laws that empower consumers and combat waste, such as the Right to Repair. However, if buyers keep demanding cheap goods whilst accepting their short lifespans, we won't see change any time soon.

    We want consumers to think about product longevity when they choose what to buy. Good value doesn't mean finding the most low-cost option, and conversely, a high price doesn't always denote quality! Our aim is to empower consumers to buy less, and buy better.

    Products with long lifespans often work out cheaper, stay out of landfill and provide a better experience. When we buy for life, we are investing in an item that could even outlive us! 

     

    Finex skillet

    USA-made Finex skillets are guaranteed for life. That’s not just 100 uses, or 1000 uses - but the last one you will ever have to buy. 

     

    What should you look for when buying long-lasting products?

    Whilst some brands have a solid reputation for making high-quality items, often it's not obvious whether a product will stand the test of time.

    It always pays to do a little research into what you're buying. What materials is it made from? Which parts could break? Is this a timeless design you'll love forever?

    A great indicator of longevity can be a fixed-period or lifetime warranty. This indicates that the manufacturer has confidence in their product and stands by their quality promise. For some items, like shoes and clothing, guarantees are very rare - but some companies will repair or refurbish your item for a fair fee, sometimes even for free! 

    Another interesting consideration is to look for products with modular parts. Modular designs acknowledge that there are some parts of the product that are likely to wear out, which you can easily change up instead of buying a whole new unit. 

    You can read more about our own in-depth research process here.

     

    Wishbone bike

    These kids' bikes by Wishbone have a modular build, so they can be adjusted and changed as a child grows. This combined with easy repairs keeps them in use for longer.

     

    What is BuyMeOnce’s role?

    BuyMeOnce research and sell the longest lasting products in the world. We're tackling planned obsolescence by championing manufacturers who buck the trend, and go the extra mile in quality.

    By carrying out thorough, independent research into product longevity, we want to facilitate smart shopping choices for the long term. We’re demanding well-made products, more watertight guarantees and responsible manufacturing. Our aim is to be the trusted destination for finding fantastically reliable items. 

    We know people are sick of badly-made stuff. That’s why we exist, and we want you to know you can expect better.

     

    Love things that last. 

     

    Join the our movement. 

    Shop our Bestsellers range here.

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    https://uk.buymeonce.com/blogs/articles-tips/interview-france-fight-planned-obsolescence 2020-06-24T16:50:00-0400 2020-06-24T16:50:00-0400 Why we're wearing Panda Sunglasses all year long Jana Pleyto


    Panda Sunglasses is our brand spotlight for this month of June, and we have oodles of reasons why. Durable, sustainable, and stylish - they’re not just for looks alone.  The Origins of Panda Back in 2012, the founders of Panda realized that there’s a market for stylish sunglasses that are not harmful to the planet. Sick of cheaply made shades, they launched a Kickstarter campaign which soon reached legendary status, raising more than six times what they have initially asked. It paved the way for a durable, sustainable sunglasses brand to be introduced to the market.  The Benefits of Bamboo Enter bamboo, a great eco friendly alternative to hazardous plastic and metal sunglasses. Bamboo not only grows quickly, but does so without the need for harmful pesticides, fertilizers or much water. Plus it’s also more moisture resistant than other traditional woods, making it ideal to use around water. Other brands soon started copying the Panda model yet they lacked the high quality and exceptional aftercare that Panda brings to the table.  What makes Panda different is their wooden frames, which are made with 11 interwoven layers of FSC certified bamboo, coated with beeswax to help waterproof the bamboo. The lenses...]]>
    Panda Sunglasses is our brand spotlight for this month of June, and we have oodles of reasons why. Durable, sustainable, and stylish - they’re not just for looks alone. 

    The Origins of Panda

    Back in 2012, the founders of Panda realized that there’s a market for stylish sunglasses that are not harmful to the planet. Sick of cheaply made shades, they launched a Kickstarter campaign which soon reached legendary status, raising more than six times what they have initially asked. It paved the way for a durable, sustainable sunglasses brand to be introduced to the market. 

    The Benefits of Bamboo

    Enter bamboo, a great eco friendly alternative to hazardous plastic and metal sunglasses. Bamboo not only grows quickly, but does so without the need for harmful pesticides, fertilizers or much water. Plus it’s also more moisture resistant than other traditional woods, making it ideal to use around water. Other brands soon started copying the Panda model yet they lacked the high quality and exceptional aftercare that Panda brings to the table. 

    What makes Panda different is their wooden frames, which are made with 11 interwoven layers of FSC certified bamboo, coated with beeswax to help waterproof the bamboo. The lenses are made from recycled polycarbonates and are polarized at filter level 3. In layman’s terms, this basically means that the lenses are suitable for bright sun and reflected light from snow or water. 

    The American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses all year long whenever outdoors. Spending just two or three hours in bright sunlight can affect the eyes’ ability to adapt to nighttime or indoor light levels, which in turn can affect nighttime driving. The AOA recommends polarized sunglasses that can block 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation, and all Panda Sunglasses are 100% UVA/UVB Polarized Lenses.

    Individually handcrafted, these are wooden sunglasses that are light enough to float on water and to wear all day long and in different seasons. The Panda Originals weigh around 22 grams on average, and the Ultralights around 17 grams, with each frame weight depending on the style.

    The one thing we absolutely love about Panda is that they stand behind their glasses and offer a 100% lifetime warranty. They will replace any pair of glasses with defects caused by materials and workmanship. Accessories brands that do this are few and far between, and finding one that’s also socially responsible even rarer.

    Their Partnerships 

    Even from the very beginning of their Kickstarter campaign, Panda has been transparent with their commitment in helping someone in need. As a partner for 1% for the Planet, every purchase of their sunglasses goes back to a charity dedicated to helping the planet. 

    They also partner with Optometry Giving Sight, a global fundraising initiative that gives someone in need a life-changing eye exam and a pair of prescription glasses. Founded in 2003, this organization has screened nearly 4 million people and delivered more than 27,000 pairs of glasses. They have also trained 116 optometry students in 39 countries.

    Panda also supported 12 microloans in 10 countries through Kiva, and have changed the lives of nearly 100,000 students through Pencils of Promise. More close to home, they’ve also helped the Washington National Parks fund to protect some of the most beautiful forests in the Pacific Northwest and also partner with One Tree Planted. 

    How they fared up

    Coming from someone who used to purchase cheap sunglasses every season, these durable sunglasses have really held up to my rough handling. I’ve thrown them in my tote bag without its case, and it came out with nary a scratch to the lens or frame. 

    I’ve kept it on during bike rides, and have lifted it up, like a headband, for prolonged periods of time. The hinges continue to remain tight and have not loosened, and the lenses certainly block the strongest sunlight whilst riding. 

    The Monroe style that I have feels secure on my face, without the feeling of flying off when a huge gust of wind comes by. I was initially worried that the style may not suit me, but Panda also offers a comprehensive guide on which styles suit different face shapes.

    I have used these durable sunglasses through bike rides, beach trips and running errands around town. The polarized lenses are certainly strong enough for snow and winter sports. These eco friendly sunglasses come in an upright sturdy bamboo case that easily slides into a bag. For those who love versatile accessories as much as I do, they also come with a microfiber pouch that can double up as a cleaning cloth.

    Recently, I have been gifted a pair of luxe sunglasses, the type that has an eye watering price tag and a big, purple case that takes up half my bag. Whilst beautiful, it definitely did not have the sturdiness of these Panda bamboo sunglasses.

    Within a week of using it, this other well-known brand had one loose hinge. I’ve sadly had to return this pair for repairs, only relegated to occasions where looks (not function) matter. Suffice to say I have gone back happily to my trusty pair of Panda polarized sunglasses to wear all year long. 

     

    Shop our extensive Women's and Men's sections for other durable accessories.

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