when i was young, my mom taught me that nothing should be purchased at full price. that, when you walk into a store, you beeline for the sale rack in the back of the store. nothing is worth retail price. hey – it was the 90s! the more you had, the better you were.
but here we are in the second decade of the 21st century and it’s time to rethink the value of stuff. sometimes stuff costs more because it’s worth more: the person who created it is skilled, the design is innovative, the materials are longer lasting… last week, we talked about the true cost of handmade: yes, it costs more but the true cost is so much less.
not convinced? here are three reasons you should pay more for the next thing you buy:
1. support an individual.
when you pay for something – say $30 for a t-shirt instead of $10 – you are paying a real person, who lives in a community very much like yours, for their time and skill. you’re opting out of the system of poverty that allows corporations to pay so much less than a living wage (whether in america or abroad). you’re choosing to pay someone what you’d like to get paid for the same work.
2. support an economy.
you know that global recession we’ve just started coming out of? i am convinced that part of the problem is our unwillingness to recognize the true value of the stuff we consume. when we inflate the value of executing the management of a company and put little to no value on the products it produces, most of us lose out. and when people like you and i lose out, we don’t have the money to consume much of anything – creating recession.
by choosing to pay more for better products, we help support job creation throughout the economy.
3. support yourself.
ugh. the need to consume is so draining! when you pay more for better products, you’re less likely consume quite so many in the never ending cycle of “i need this.” you’ll feel free be more conscious of each buying decision you make. when you cut out the $1-here or $5-there purchases you can purchase quality, design, and uniqueness. you can complement your life with stuff that reflects your value[s] instead of filling your life with stuff that has none.
i was recently introduced to the story of stuff, an internet video phenomenon, that describes the exhausting cycle of working to buy and buying to feel good about yourself. annie leonard, the writer behind the story of stuff, says she’s not looking to get rid of stuff. she says, “i want us to have more reverence for our stuff.”
seems like a good reason to pay more to me.
to get started paying for real value and give buying handmade a try, you can use the menu at the top to browse around and find goodies of all sorts. if you’d prefer to go straight to the source, i recommend starting at etsy and supermarket! good luck and best wishes for finding great stuff.