Consumption & Durability

08. Durability

Everyday I wake up, freshen up, read, prepare and do what I have to do. Then I go home and continue what I have to and want to do at home. Between waking up and falling asleep I breathe, eat, drink, move around, sit and whatever is required to get through the moment of the day.

Sometimes it occurs to me that between every breath and movement I consume either what is inside my body or outside my body and that makes me a consumer. In marketing terms I have wants and needs and therefore consume. This consumption multiplied by many individuals with similar needs and wants drives an economy, markets and industries to create the customer solution that is in demand.

One particular aspect of customer solutions, in short products is their durability. My parents raised me with the idea that taking care of what you have, gives you more enjoyment than just buying new things on an impulse. I have learned that they were right through experience. Sometimes that makes me sad when I look at a society that thrives on new trends that urge consumers to buy new things for the sake of consumption.

The Converse shoes on the picture have been with me for at least four years. I have three pairs of this Converse model but until they are reduced to disintegrating cotton slippers there is no reason to buy new ones. For frankly overpriced cotton shoes they are surprisingly tough. Two of the three pairs are in the worn out state of the picture above and still I only need a supporting foot sole to walk around in relative comfort.

When considering a purchase I look for value-for-money and specific solutions. Most things I buy, I simply need to do my thing and nothing more. I sometimes indulge in things that have a special emotional value. I still want to check out some other recordings of Bach’s “Cello Suites” for instance and a new durable DSLR is on my short list. Apart from that just want to enjoy an interesting book, some music and my black coffee moments.

The 21st century is a great time for technology and innovation. At the same time I continue to ask myself: “what do I really need?” In most cases I do not need much. In the pictures below there are some examples of typical durable things I appreciate. Yes, I consider duct tape of great value…