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Buy Cheap and Buy Twice

Posted on October 13 2018

Buy Cheap and Buy Twice

Its 1940’s weekend in Pickering and the usual mix of carnival and spectacle are in the air. I am a fan, keeping the interest in the second world war alive is important, in the hope that this lesson from history will continued to be learned.

One of the constants of the weekend are the costumes, many of which are from the period. This gives me two areas for this blog, functionality and longevity.

The fabrics on show are a great example of the great steps forward we have made in recent years. The only period waterproofs on offer are unbreathable barriers. Waterproofs changed with the advent of gore-tex type fabrics. They became the norm, with companies like Patagonia and North Face developing their own versions. The famous one, from back in the day, is Lowe Alpines Triple Point Ceramic. Bomb-proof as the saying goes. But very sweaty! I still have one, now for gardening and car washing. I run hot, so need breathability. Therefore, my first Paramo was a revelation. You haven’t experienced breathability till you’ve used a Paramo Analogy garment.

I got it in 2001, and its still in use! But no car washing duty this time, no, serious mountain use. The attached video is of a trip to the Highlands, in which my choice of jacket, given the extreme conditions, was my old Paramo. Still working and doing its job.

That’s the other thing that strikes me about the original 1940’s gear, its lasted. It was built to last, as it cost a lot, so you wanted your money’s worth. In this time, of environmental catastrophe, we have disposable clothing. This can’t go on, without increasingly dire consequences. Sadly, much of the technology has been hijacked by cheaper alternatives, that claim to be water-proof and breathable and do both jobs badly. Constructed in a cheap manor with no thought to the environment, they are soon broken or discarded. “Well, I can just get another”. There’s a good lesson here, buy cheep and buy twice. But not only is the good stuff well-constructed and works as you would hope. Companies like Paramo and Patagonia care about how its made, its human cost and its environmental cost. So save up and buy once, for all our sakes.


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