Monday, 14 March 2016

Buy me once or never

Last month, I had the pleasure to meet Tara Button from Buy me once. Tired of buying poor quality items that needed replacing on a regular basis, Tara launched her website at the beginning of the year. She has selected brands of clothing, kitchenware, toys, brushes etc. made to last. Tara's idea proved so popular that, a few weeks after launching Buy me once, she handed in her notice to her boss to dedicate herself full time to expanding her website. 


Tara Button in her flat in North London. Photo by Amandine Alexandre. 

Buying less but better quality items
Tara is not just trying to sell stuff - albeit quality stuff - to people. She strongly believes that we need less material things in our lives in order to be happier. She came to this conclusion last year after reading the Happiness project (a book I also recommend). Tara realised that she had everything she needed and even felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in her life. She decided to have a big clear out. The experience was a real eye-opener. 

"I used to compulsively buy notebooks. I realised that I had almost enough of them to set up a shop", Tara told me. She also discovered that she had managed to collect 18 hair brushes. Some of them were freebies, other had been given to her as presents. A lot of those hairbrushes were spares that Tara had bought because it was quicker than rummaging in her big pile of stuff in order to lay her hand on a hair brush. 

So, last summer, Tara gathered all her possessions and discarded all the items which she didn't need. "I realised afterwards that I was using Marie Kondo's method", she told me. The parallel with Marie Kondo doesn't stop here. "The idea of the website came after my sister gave me a beautiful Le Creuset pot back in 2003. It sparks so much joy in me. I thought that if all my objects were like this it would be very nice."

Tara cherishes her Le Creuset pot.
It played a big role in her setting up Buy me once.
Photo by Amandine Alexandre.  


Unwish lists
Tara wants to surround herself with beautiful things but she is just as determined not to buy things that she doesn't need. She has written a blog post about it which I find really interesting. It's called Things I don't need. In it, Tara explains how she is fighting the temptation to buy things she doesn't need. She writes unwish lists. 

I love the idea of having an unwish list - whether it's a mental one or a written one. Because, let's face it, now and again we all feel like buying the latest kitchen gadget/item of clothing/sports equipment that we see everywhere on social media and/or magazines. I do have to remind myself, on a regular basis, not to buy (more) cooking books and kitchen gadgets such as a juicer or a spiralizer. Recognising that we feel the urge to acquire some of those items is already a step in the right direction, I think. 

What's on your unwish list? I am curious to find out as we probably all have quite different unwish lists depending on location, family circumstances etc.