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Have you ever heard the Buy It For Life (BIFL) movement?
I learned about this at dinner last night…
I think this is a big commercial driven movement…
But, my best friend disagreed…
She is the BIFL supporter… And I’m not!
Do you know what happens at dinner?
We debated for over three hours, and
I’m not changing my mind!
As a writer, I invite you to be the judge of this debate…
Allow me to introduce, the BIFL movement.
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What Is Buy It For Life (BIFL)?
If you think BIFL means buying stuff that lasts for a “lifetime”, you’re wrong…
Then what does BIFL stand for?
Well, BIFL is the movement away from ordinary, mass-produced goods … in favor of extremely durable, reliable, and top-quality products.
Does anyone want to know the reason behind this?
Protecting the environment… Specifically, our landfill.
The BIFL argues, mass production and low-quality products are the cause of massive wastes, which are choking our environment.
If we’re all become BIFL, it will reduce landfill by as much as 2 to 10 times… simply, because durable goods don’t need to replace as often.
Do you see the flaws in this argument?
BIFL make the following assumptions:
- Durable goods don’t break, and
- People don’t replace durable goods as often.
Have you ever visited our landfill…?
What about my BIFL friend? No, she never did!
If you visit the landfill, you’ll understand why the Buy It For Life is a commercially driven movement… It has nothing to do with saving our environment… Sorry, my friend.
OK, how about applying the BIFL theories to real life?
Buy It For Life Products
Durable goods do break… Here a subreddit, BIFL fails, to prove this point.
The #1 reason stuffs break… “Improper Use and Maintenance!”
Yes, it has nothing to do with durability.
Why do you think we have product warranty insurance?
My friend argued, “So, you can get a replacement… not putting the product in the trash.”
OK, for your information… They send you a replacement… and you are responsible to throw away the broken one.
How’s that save the landfill?
For the sake of our debate, my friend brought up the BIFL Backpack…
Many BIFL recommend this durable Backpack, The North Face Backpack… beautiful backpack, which costs over $50.
I bought two of these backpacks for my teenage boys…
Not because of the BIFL movement… But, I was told, “It can take the teenage abuses!”
Just after one school year, the BILF backpack was destroyed!
I know, the backpacks were damaged because the boys abused them…
But, that my point… improperly used is the #1 reason products break!
Now, this takes us to the second BIFL argument,
People don’t need to replace durable goods as often.
This argument assumes that people are using the goods until they break, or not usable…
No, that’s not how things got replaced in this society.
We replace stuff because,
- Things get lost
- it’s out of fashion,
- better technology,
- energy efficient,
- just want new stuff,
- get tired of using the same thing, last
My point is, we don’t replace things because they are broken… But because we want to…
Listen to this debate…
My BIFL friend has a full closet of shoes…
Women, we love shoes… I’m guilty of this too.
I asked her, “Why do you need so many shoes?”
The list of reasons is endless… matching colors, special occasions, seasons, styles, comfort… and more.
Then, I asked, do you really need a full-closet of shoes?
She reluctantly agreed with me… NO…
So, what do you do with the one you’re not using?
Go in the trash?
From my experience… not many women want old shoes…
When I have to get rid of old shoes… They go right into the trash… Nobody wants them!
You see, we replace stuffs not because it breaks… But because we don’t like them anymore, or our tastes change!
To say BIFL shoes help reduce landfill waste… doesn’t make any sense, when we continue throwing away good shoes.
The debate took on a new direction…
My BIFL friend agreed that,
Not Everything Can Be A BIFL Product
According to my BIFL friend, the BIFL movement recognizes that not everything is suitable for BIFL.
Technology is one of the non BIFL products…
My BIFL friend pointed out… Because of technology change so rapidly… most computers become obsolete in a few years…
OK, I can relate to this… operating an online writing business, I need the best computer to research and write…
I thought BIFL advocate on durability!
There are a lot of durable laptop computers on the market… Why are they not BIFL products?
So, is the BIFL suggest we buy cheap and low-quality computers?
No, my BIFL friend argued… it just doesn’t make economic sense to buy an expensive computer… then has to replace it after a year or two.
But, isn’t electronic waste the most hazardous to our environment?
Doesn’t the BIFL movement want to buy durable computers to help reduce electronic wastes?
What is wrong with this picture here?
My BIFL friend accused me of manipulating and twisting the truth…
But, do you agree with me,
The BIFL Is A Commercially Driven Movement.
The BIFL movement presents itself as an environment protector…
But, as I have pointed out… many of their arguments for BIFL are flaws.
When you do a search on Google for “Buy It For Life”, you get blog posts from bloggers promoting specific BIFL products.
Look, who doesn’t want to buy the high quality and durable goods… people don’t buy them because… they cannot afford it.
The BIFL movement is the same… Just go back and read the technology debate…
When it doesn’t make economic sense, the BIFL abandons its philosophy, “saving our environment”, and go for low-quality computers.
Does this sound like a good cause?
You be the judge?