Buying best is best. Buying cheaply is something else.
On one hand you have quality. On the other, you have cost.
Equally different, equally important, somewhere along the consumer timeline, these two elements have managed to become merged. The more you pay, the more performance you get, so it's believed...
Online purchasing has never been easier. Coincidentally, it's never been more precarious. Navigating the barrage of today's online goods, making an informed purchase is frankly, precarious. In an effort of constant filtration, you have to have your guard up, looking-out for what seems best. It can be a bit overwhelming. Who do you trust?
The water is most certainly muddy in the interent ocean of reported quality. Communicating this proves even harder for businesses who produce their well made goods; they're drowned out. Worse still, big companies are playing the craft game in an effort to seem more relatable, more current. If you weren't aware, smartphones can apparently be 'crafted'.
For quality-driven companies, being-best during an era of being-cheapest has a polarising effect. The battle of being cheapest is arguably a battle of quality. Relatably, if you're accustomed to freshly ground, nicely brewed coffee, instant coffee is a deplorable thought. It's hard to go back.
In our own search for quality, we've had the pleasure of discovering and connecting with similairly minded companes. We've listed some of our favourites with you below.
The best German furniture brand made here in the UK.
Founded in Frankfurt in 1959, Vitsœ was saved from bankrupcy and brought to the UK by managing director Mark Adams. From their factory in Royal Leamington Spa, the company focus on producing high quality, long lasting furniture. (See image of 606 universal shelving system at the top of this article.)
In an interview, Adams discusses the topic of quality and longevity, intrinsic to the furniture design at Vitsœ. Highlighting the company's unwavering attention to good design of their high-end furniture, Adams explained their endeavour for quality. From the enduring performance of their furniture, this longevity enables lasting sentimental attachment and subsequently, 100% customer return rate.
"Encouraging more people to live better, with less, that lasts longer."
A craft beer revolution.
If you like beer, you're probably familiar with BrewDog.
In 2007, founders James Watt and Martin Dickie began their beer making quest. A quest for something much better tasting and better quality than the usually bland, mass market beer. Entering their home-made brew into a supermarket competition, the duo won all three of the tasting categories. BrewDog had been born.
Pioneering a craft beer revolution, the duo have since persued their flavour for well made. In his self wrriten business book, Watt discusses his ideas regarding price and quality.
"Competing on price is a hiding to nothing. If you've got something good, it won't be long before legions of of loyal fans fall in love."
This town in making jeans again.
A town that once boasted a weekly production of 35,000 units a week, the Welsh town of Cardigan was host to the UK’s largest jeans making factory. In 2001, the factory doors closed, as the owners opted out for cheaper labour offered in Morocco.
This cease in production for Cardigan resulted in the abandonment of many skilled workers rendering 10% of the town jobless. It was this drastic repercussion that later inspired founders David and Clare Hieatt to re-open Cardigans prior jean making industry and start Hiut Denim.
"The reason the old factory closed, is because they fought the wrong battle. They fought the battle of who could be the cheapest and it wasn't them. So when I opened Hiut, I wanted to fight a different battle; who could be the best."
Repair is a radical act.
As far as quality and longevity go, Patagonia has to be one of our favourites.
Founder Yvon Chouinard is an american rock climber, environmentalist, and outdoor industry billionaire. In 1957, Yvon began to blacksmith his own climbing hardware, otherwise known as pitons. He made his first few pitons and a rate of two per hour, comparitively more expensive than the throwaway versions made by his competitors. As opposed to discarding the used pitons on the rock faces of mountains, Yvon's could be used by climbers time and time again.
From his anvil and hammer, Yvon continued to build his clothing and gear brand which soon became recognised as an ethically driven billion dollar empire. Patagonia encourages their ethics through their reveered equipment repairs service. As strange as it may seem, they actively discourage their customers from buying more of their equipment to reduce their environmental impact.
"Build the best product,cause no unnecessary harm,use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis".
The best mountain shirt in the world.
Nestled in Slaithewaite, West Yorkshire, a truly localised production of high quality, ethical clothing is sourced and manufactured McNair shirts.
Merino wool is reknowned for it's quality, breathability and thermally regulating properties. Garments made from this super-wool maintain optimal temperature, copmapred to that of lesser, sythetic textiles. It was these superior charactersitics that led McNair to design and manufacture what they describe as the best mountain shirts in the world.
"A traditional and principled approach to manufacturing in Britain with one simple aim; make the best mountain shirt in the world."
When the time comes to buy a new pair of glasses, it's helpful to know what to look for.
you wear your glasses for as long as 16 hours a day, everyday for two or more years. On that fact alone, we believe the quality of our eyewear is pretty important. Inspired by the companies we've listed above, we continually strive for quality and longevity.
To us, this is the best competition.