Every single thing that interests me. And that's a lot.
I like buying expensive things. Unfortunately this stands in stark contrast to the fact that I am not a very rich person. Not very rich at all. Yet I still do it, and you might be wondering, why would I submit to such an uneconomical practice? Is it because I want to appear richer than I am in order to attain social status? Is it because I am a slave to consumerism, subconsciously compelled to spend my hard earned money on things of superficial value? Am I just stupid? I’m hoping I have enough personal insight to claim that neither of these reasons apply, at least not to any significant effect. Instead, the choice of consumption is a result of a most conscious reasoning.
The first reason is design. Now, design means a whole lot more than just making things look pretty. It is everything from choosing materials to defining the assembly or production process. Good design yields products that are not just good looking, but are of a high workmanship quality. The looks are an important part of it, of course, especially concerning things like clothes, and one can usually tell a well-designed piece from a mass produced one. Appearance can tell you a lot about a person and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to present yourself in the best manner possible. The caveat to all of this is, of course, that good design is not cheap. Good designers didn’t become so overnight, nor are they in abundance. This makes their service more rare and therefore more expensive.
The second reason, which ties in with the first, is quality. My sister was quite baffled when I told her I had bought a couple of jeans for 1100 krona, when she just had bought a perfectly good pair for 200. I did however wear those jeans daily for the better part of 1,5 years, only purchasing a single other pair of pants for that entire time. I still have them and I don’t plan on throwing them away anytime soon. Seeing ones clothes, accessories, equipment or appliances as investments, rather than satiations of immediate needs will definitely save you money in the long run. These items don’t have to be expensive, of course, but as earlier mentioned, it is often the price for good design.
The third, and perhaps in a wider perspective most important reason, is sustainability. This relates to both of the previous points. Using items of higher quality and of timeless designs results in a lessened need for constant replacements. This counteracts the consumerist culture of buying new things as an end to itself. Putting more thought into ones purchases will not only be more economical in the long run, but benefit the environment, and provide an economical incentive for shopkeepers and product manufacturers to prioritise quality over quantity. This in turn benefits smaller, independent crafters and entrepreneurs, stimulating local economies, and making each and every purchase a more powerful act.
Individual consumer awareness is, in this way, an integral part of making the world better through collective, economical guidance. All of this might be easier said than done, but I’m sure going to try my best.