Tara Button – founder of BuyMeOnce and author of A Life Less Throwaway – shares her advice for buying a gift that will be treasured for years to come.
Christmas got a bit awkward in my family for a while. As the founder of a website that sells the most sustainable and longest lasting products on the planet, whenever someone bought something a bit throwaway or unsustainable, it was often accompanied by a “Sorry darling, it’s not very BuyMeOnce!”
The trouble is, our culture, our families and sometimes our friends expect STUFF. The idea of going over to another person’s house over Christmas empty-handed can feel like turning up with no clothes on – exposing, uncomfortable… cold.
This can lead to panic buying novelty gifts that will raise a giggle when opened but then simply become clutter in that person’s life. These gifts become something that must “do its time” in a drawer or on a shelf before the recipient feels justified in guiltily getting rid of it.
I firmly believe that gifts should be for life, not just for Christmas. A product that can be useful well into the future almost always is the most eco-friendly option, as it means no new products need to be manufactured to replace it.
How to buy for life at Christmas:
Products that have a story and meaning in their own right, or have the potential to become an heirloom item becoming more meaningful over time, are always going to be the most cherished gifts. We’ve started a secret santa tradition between adults as this way one higher quality item can be bought rather than a splurge of littler bits and bobs.
Before buying always ask:
Do they need it?
Is it in line with your values and theirs?
Will they use it well into the future?
Will it hold its value?
Gifts for Her
Buy cradle to cradle
Ally Bee Alpaca hat, £59
Nothing is softer. British alpaca wool with no dyes create an heirloom quality hat. Ally will do free repairs for the first 3 years and at a fair price after that.
Gifts for Him
Buy the toughest
Darn Tough socks, £23
These are the most comfy socks on the planet and lifetime guaranteed. Socks with no holes, no rubbing, no losing elasticity and no crispyness in the wash. Made from merino wool and seamless genius.
Did you know that half of kids toys are broken within 3 months? Find products that are durable enough to become hand me downs or that can grow with the child for a couple of years.
Plan toys fruit set, £21.35
Made from wood from sustainable sources, these toys are unbreakable and a favourite with toddlers practicing their motor skills by cutting the fruit… for hours and hours.