I really enjoy buying things, but I also get a buzz when I don’t need to buy something new, when I make something myself, buy second-hand or have a broken thing repaired.
A couple of years ago Ars Electronica‘s theme was Repair, and one of the most exciting parts of the festival was the marketplace and workshops around repair and design. Many of the major contributors were from Dutch designers working as part of Platform 21. I purchased the New Kintsugi ceramic repair kit and Woolfiller, which repairs clothes with felted patches. I also made sure to take home copies of Platform 21′s Repair Manifesto postcard.
Many of our woolen sweaters now have felted patches, and our mismatched plates are given some cohesion by their golden New Kintsugi repairs. I don’t just repair things myself, when necessary I send them to a professional.
For example, my rolling luggage. Some gravel had got caught in the wheels and had torn them to pieces. We weren’t sure where the original receipt was for the suitcase, but we took it back to Schirmherr (Umbella Man), an old fashioned luggage and umbrella specialist. They contacted the producers and sourced replacement wheels.
When I went to pick up my suitcase I didn’t have enough cash, so the owner of Shirmherr was nice enough to let me pay half and come back to pay the second half later. And they gave me candy!
So the moral of the story is repair things and go to small specialist stores. You will have renewed objects, a connection to your local community and you might even get candy.