The production years ago and now.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the ‘80s, and by extension the quality of products in general. Back then, the culture around buying and selling was different. Things were made to last. Of course, it’s true that you paid a little bit more for that level of quality, but you knew that you were going to enjoy your purchase for a while. And it was great for our planet because overall we were generating much less waste.
Then the ‘90s arrived and the market changed. It was the dawn of cheap, fast goods. Product quality started to decline, resulting in a really short lifespan for merchandise and a really sizeable benefit to the new market. It all revolved around a model of making fast and selling fast. Buyers weren’t thinking about what was going on behind the scenes. Despite the cost, they were happy to get a product, use it a few times, throw it away, and buy another. This was the same story no matter what you shopped for—electronics, clothing, home accessories, whatever.
When I was growing up, I remember my grandma kept the same fridge for well over a decade without replacing it. Back then, not only were goods higher quality, but loads of jobs were generated around repairing them so they’d last. Products were designed and made so you could fix them. Thankfully, that culture is coming back in certain product categories. But at the time everything was made to last, and the repairman was there to keep things in good working order. By contrast, today when your fridge breaks down you just have to replace the whole unit, which (if you’re lucky) you’ve had for a couple of years. Unfortunately, even when you do spend more money up front on goods, the result these days is just not going to be 10 years of life.
But, as I said, currently we are trying to move away from this brand of consumerism, and I feel positive and hopeful that consumers are changing their thought process when it comes to making purchases. More and more people are starting to consider how we need to generate the smallest impact possible to have a healthier planet, to leave this world the best that we can. We have a lot of blogs that helps us to find that path like Anuschka Rees in this article.
Supporting handmade products.
Buying handmade goods also supports small communities and shops that care about the environment and the planet. When you decide to buy that special handmade something, it feels rewarding to know that you’re making a positive difference to small businesses, that you are supporting local families and artisans. That’s part of why farmers’ markets and other local venues are still so popular today. At Harbour UK Bracelets, that’s important to us, too. And it’s a large part of why we work so hard to support small businesses in everything we do. We make sure that our all-vegan materials are cultivated with eco-friendly practices and ethically produced.
All of our durable bracelets are handcrafted in London with a focus on putting money back into our local community and avoiding the seemingly endless chain of mass production. In these troubled economic times, it’s nice to know that you can still find and enjoy an authentic handmade product, created with customers who support fair trade in mind.
All our bracelets are proudly handmade in the UK, knot by knot—the ‘vintage’ way.
Find more about our collections here.