Only buy things you love.
This is something I believe to my core. Too many people buy too much stuff because it was a good deal, or it would do for now. But I believe in buying things you love—even if they cost a bit more. It makes paying for them so much more enjoyable, and absolutely has an impact on sustainability. How?
The first of six Designed For Life tenets is LOVEABLE. In the DFL guide it is explained: If you don’t love it, you won’t keep it. Viscerally pleasing design is a hallmark of the Designed for Life approach. Fads, trends, or limited editions are incorporated in transient and changeable elements only, shaping a core product line that is reliable, endearing, and timeless.
Loveable is the first tenet because it is tragically the one most often overlooked by companies or brands chasing sustainability. It is easy to focus on the obvious “sustainable” attributes of a product or brand like, “bamboo,” or “recycled,” or “organic,” or “eco-friendly,” but if the thing, the product, the service or whatever is not loveable…ultimately it won’t compete. Ironically, its failure to win in the marketplace will render the product or brand un-sustainable—regardless of its “sustainable” attributes.
Designed For Life is (obviously) a design-led philosophy/strategy/approach to making better stuff. There are five more tenets that roll up into its over-arching goal to deliver products that are “built to last a lifetime, and designed to evolve.” That is a tall order if you think about it. But if one begins right from the outset—from the concept—from the design phase, we believe that true sustainability is achievable in this way. This begins by conceiving of and designing very intentionally loveable things that people want can be proud of, keep around and use a very long time.
It’s a delicate balancing act to give the item charm, character, and personality along with heightened usefulness and functionality, while still achieving a timelessness that won’t render it out of date, out of style, or otherwise incongruous with one’s changing and evolving life needs over time. When you set out to create something with the DFL tenets as your design brief, it is a high bar but it is achievable. The resultant products are better. DFL products will be timeless, enduring, remarkably useful, and loveable for a very long time.
Only buy things you love. Buy less, buy better.