What do you think about a world where we use our phones for half a decade or so? A world where people could earn enough to feed themselves and a whole family if they had sold just about 20 vacuum cleaners a year doing door-to-door sales. And those vacuum cleaners could probably last those buyers a generation. It was a world where bankers would not be able to afford houses that much bigger than someone who was a hawker.
It was also a world where money lost value faster; and goods less so. So we would treasure things that were bought and sold for money, perhaps more so than the money. We undervalue durability, and we overvalue change in our world today when we constantly want to chase the next shiny object.
Sustainability starts with awareness and consciousness. But it also requires us to recognise how the culture we have today perpetuate that. It came from the stories we inherit during a time of want. My parents didn’t like the idea of ‘second-hand’ and thought it as something of a last resort when one cannot afford. But today, we need to rewrite that story to be about sustainability and waste reduction. I’d rather many of my things be more durable, lasting, but we also need a culture that supports that. Because lasting stuff becoming waste, is not going to end well.