I don’t really like to buy new clothes. Especially not in city stores full of people, advertising, strange trends, noise and bad smell. Alot of jackets, pullovers, shirts and shoes I got “second hand” from my father but sometimes I bought new things by myself to replace old worn down clothes. In some cases it’s unnecessary to spend money to new things because the old ones are repairable.
It’s more uncommon today; especially with clothes. People tend to throw away damaged things and buy new ones (and keep the industry and money running). But if you like your clothes and feel comfortable with them there is no reason to throw them away just because of some holes or broken zippers. In Sweden I got a pair of warm and cosy sheep wool socks for free; they don’t smell even after days of wearing. Also sheep wool let the skin breathe and they feel so comfortable like no other socks I had before. I could imagine to just have two thick and warm pairs for autumn/winter and two thinner ones for the warm seasons. When I have to clean the socks after some days I handwash them with a nature-friendly soap. With sheep wool there is no use for a washing machine because it would destroy the fibres. You safe water, electricity and maybe work because with sheep wool you need less clothes to change. It’s natural and you can get comfortable with it and feel that clothes made out of it are much more worth than artificial plastic materials. But even with common cotton or plastic fibre clothes you can get used and it feels hard to throw them away.
I like the things I have and which I’m used to. And it feels bad to me to support big industry in general and also spending money at unnessecary things is stupid. So, when there was a hole in my jeans I decided to loose the backpockets and sew them on the knees to cover it. I had the opportunity to use a sewing machine and it went well and it was easier than I thought. The result is good enough for my claim and the repairing act was in every aspect the better decision rather than buying a new jeans.
Some days ago I finally decided to buy a new pair of winter- and hikingshoes because it start to get cold outside, snow is falling and my old shoes fell apart in sweden at the kungsleden hiking trip. I had a rather exact image in my mind which kind of shoes I wanted to buy: They should be robust and warm, made out of leather and longlasting for many years. When I entered the shop I found those kind of shoes almost immediately at the shelf between hundert other shoes. I don’t want to write about labels here but the manufacturer has a history of 300 years in making more or less “oldschool” shoes in Germany. The salesman talked a lot and he also showed me two more technical developed hiking shoes which felt very comfortable at my feet and they were even 30€ cheaper than my favorit. But the more the salesman talked, the more I realized that those big, clumsy and at the beginning uncomfortable leather shoes would fit my needs better. They have no waterproof membran inside like all the modern shoes and they feel like heavy blocks of concrete on your feet (in Germany we say “Waldbrandaustreter” because you can step out a forestfire with them) – but: they will last much longer. The waterproof membran inside of the modern shoes will be destroyed after 10 to 15 years; so changing the sole shortly before this will happen is economically not worth the money. My leathershoes will be almost waterproof trough waxing them and there is no plastic around them which can rot in UV-sunlight, except the sole (which I can change as well). I bought them together with nice traditional red shoelaces like they had in the old times. Yes, I have to get used with my new shoes, many kilometers have to be walked until they feel comfortable but I almost get wet eyes when I think of still walking in them even after 20 years or more.
When I bought an iron pan last year to exchange another (of course) broken and perhaps health threatening aluminium teflon pan, I followed the same principle. The new one is made out of one single piece of iron. There are no separate parts so nothing can break. If I keep it dry and avoid rust it will last the rest of my life and even longer. After several times of use nothing will stick while frieing. Iron is much simplier in production process than aluminium, it’s not unhealthy and keep the warmth. You can eat directly from the pan without worrieing about scratches and your meal will stay warm for a while. Also you need less energy once the pan is hot on your stove (you can turn down the heat after a short time) and another great advantage is the possibility to use it on open fire and of course the superior frieing abilities in comparison with steel or aluminium. Yes, you have a bit more effort to get the natural non-stick layer but once it’s there and you take care to never wash the pan with detergent you will not miss “high developed” anti stick-technology. An iron pan is so heavy, you can use it as a shield or weapon as well ;-). I recommend to buy one with a structure-free bottom. You don’t need frieing grids on your meat or otherwise you have to pick out little pieces of your meal out of the structure every time… keep it simple. If you don’t have the money to support one of the last traditional iron pan producers, I’m sure you will find a suitable one at a second hand market.