Nothing is permanent. I learned that from wabi-sabi. We buy things we need, hoping it can last forever. However, forever doesn’t exist in this world of consumerism. We are stuck in this cycle of buy-break-toss. It is a toss and replace culture we are living in. There’s no doubt, things will break eventually and that’s the best time for a minimalist to buy things right? Maybe not. We often skip the step where we ask ourselves, “can it be fixed?” It is a good habit to stay frugal, consume minimally and reduce the environmental impact if we are able to consume less. I will share with you things I repair as a minimalist
It is something we wear every day. After a long period of abrasion and wash, they are bound to have some loose strings and holes. I repair them because I don’t want them to become bigger and end up being unwearable. I take out my thread and needle to sew them up. It is a self-taught skill and my workmanship is not the best. As long as it mends the holes, that works perfectly fine for me. I try my best to make full use of them by repairing the holes. Sometimes they are irreparable and I have no option but to part away with them. Don’t deprive yourself and replace them when they are worn out.
2. Tops and Blouses
I rarely encounter tops that need repair as most of them are properly stitched. The only problem I get is bacon necklines if I do not handle them properly when washing. I hand sew loose buttons and stitches on my blouses. Once you know how to repair things by sewing, you can basically repair anything of similar material. That can be bags or pillowcases. Sewing is one of the skills I appreciate as a minimalist because it helps me fix a lot of things when it tears.
When it comes to shoes, they are the thing that receives the most damage because they protect our feet from whatever is on the ground. It is therefore an inevitable thing to face when our shoes are worn out. However, whether they are heel drag, tear or yellowing, there are always ways we can repair them instead of getting a new one. By sending damaged shoes to a good cobbler, they can look as good as new.
When it comes to furniture, as long as they are built with sturdy and long lasting materials, As long as you are gentle with them, they can last for years. If it’s just a few loose screws, I’m sure you can handle it. Though if you do not know how to fix furniture like me, I recommend you look for one that has a long term warranty before buying it. This will help a lot when it comes to repairing in the future.
We often look for electronics upgrades when we think that whatever we own is outdated. At some point, we can’t wait for our electronics to break so we can have an excuse to purchase the latest one with additional groundbreaking functions. Worse we get it when ours is still working perfectly fine. And that makes repairing not an option.
To be honest, most of us wouldn’t know how to repair electronics when they become faulty. Often, it’s not worth the time and money to search for local professionals to fix them. This is because first, we can’t be sure that it can be fixed, second replacing them might be a more cost-effective solution if the item is rather cheap. So when it comes to electronics, it is a difficult decision. Unless you really enjoy using this item or you love vintage products, if not I wouldn’t find ways to repair them if it costs more than replacing. The least I can do in the future is to buy electronics that have easy to replace parts.
I can’t narrow it down any further and I have to be vague in this because it works for any hobbies. Whether it is camping, hiking, gardening or even listening to music. They are activities that require tools and equipment to execute. There will come a time when the tools stop working. They can be pricey if we want to replace them. Often times we find that as a reason to upgrade to a better version of what we had. Instead of making rash decisions, why not ask yourself if it’s something you can repair instead of replacing them.
I wouldn’t claim that I lead a complete zero waste lifestyle. In some situations, I find myself using single-use items. I do try though to put an effort to reduce single-use non-biodegradable items. By using reusable tools and repairing existing possessions, I’m in a good way trying to fix the planet. Not consuming much when it is not needed can cut down on the environmental impact we create.
We all know the benefits of repairing items. It helps us save money, live minimally and reduce the environmental impact. But why are most people still not doing it? I think it still boils down to how we shop. In order for us to repair something, we first need to enjoy using this product. If not, we probably can’t wait for the thing to spoil so we can have no other excuse than buying a new piece.
When we become older and things start to break apart, that’s the worse thing that can happen because it is time for us to spend money. That’s why it is good to buy things that can last longer. At least we know if something is wrong, there is still a chance for us to fix it. That being said, with the things being long-lasting, it has to be something that we will enjoy using even after a long time. I know our taste and style might change over time, so it is important for us to do our research before buying, know what we like and maybe find timeless pieces. Or at the very least don’t make any impulsive purchases because they are cheap or because they are in trend. None of them last and that wouldn’t make you want to repair them in the future.
Even better, you might consider buying second-hand pieces, repairing them and making them your own. I have to say this though, that will require tons of research and knowing what you are doing with the repair.
Lastly, I’m not against replacing because it is an inevitable process where things will eventually break down especially technology and gadgets. I’m not trying to say that repairing is the only option. Rather. weigh the options before making a decision.
I hope after reading this post you will get some ideas and inspiration for repairing instead of replacing. If you have any more ideas on repairing items, let me know down in the comments section.