Besides not purchasing it at all, acquiring something secondhand is typically the most sustainable way to source something. But, sometimes this isn't feasible - you can't find what you need secondhand, or maybe you don't want to give a secondhand gift. When I purchase something new, I try to find a version that looks hard-wearing enough that I can have it for years and years. I bet you probably do, too.
Have you heard of the awesome online store Buy Me Once? The owner corrals the most long-lasting products she can find. Maybe a brand is known for being super durable, or having the a lifetime guarantee or a stellar repair policy. I love that idea. I haven't purchased anything from the store, but I often turn to it when I'm trying to research which umbrella / hairbrush / teakettle might last me the longest. It's so fun to browse and check out the reasons that each item was chosen for inclusion.
The concept of "buy me once" can extend beyond that store, too. I love the idea of giving a gift that your user will keep more or less forever and never have to purchase again. For my birthday this year I received the enameled cast iron pot photographed above, and I'm so looking forward to cooking with it for decades to come (my mom has been using hers for twenty years!).
If you go this route, you can include a little note explaining how to care for the object. Gifts with good longevity needn't be expensive, necessarily - see the suggestions below for ideas at different prices.
A few more ideas:
-A locally made wooden spoon or cutting board with a little jar of homemade wood butter to keep it well conditioned
-Find a cast iron pan at a local secondhand store and re-season it to perfection
-Give Darn Tough socks, made in the USA and with a lifetime guarantee
-Or, browse the Buy Me Once website to get more inspiration
This post isn't sponsored - I just aspire to have more things in my life that are bought once and never again, and think their site is such a great resource.