The Lightbulb Conspiracy


You ever wondered why stuff (also clothes) don´t last anymore? It used to be different way back in the 1940´s or even 1990´s. The reason for it is not that the factories in Asia have lost their craftsmanship somehow. Far from it. They are actually very skilled in doing things, just not payed enough to do it right. "The Lightbulb Conspiracy" is a brilliant documentary by Cosima Dannoritzer. It´s about how our economic system based on consumerism and a thing called planned obsolescence. Never heard of it? It is the thing our so called economic growth is based on for the past century and it isn´t sustainable by any standard. But they keep insisting it is mandatory for a good economy. Bullshit. We have a saying in Finland "Köyhällä ei ole varaa ostaa huonoa." Freely translated it means that a poor person cannot afford to buy bad quality. The idea is that if you buy cheap things, they are also produced to break down more quicker. In result you have to buy the thing again, sooner. Good for turnover, bad for the planet. If you count the money together, you actually end up spending pretty much the same cash (or even more) but spending many times ore of earths natural recourses. This is why I believe buying good quality classics (stay longer in fashion) is always the better option. Yes, you might have to save up some money to get it, but it is better than impulse buying. Companies actually spend shit loads of money on marketing so you would always crave for the new thing. I know, because I used to works for one of those companies. Anyway, watch it and show it to your friends. As a consumer, I think it is your responsibility.

Watch the documentary here.


Photo: Victoriadunmire.com.
Top photo via.

Outi Les Pyy

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4 comments:

  1. I was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. Alot of clothing made by brands that are considered high quality, like J Crew, are made in China. I struggle to see the differance in buying a 120 dollar pair of jeans from them and a $20 pair from Kohls. Is it really better quality? If it is does it really matter if they are still paying those workers the same amount as the cheaper brands. Something I have been struggling with sometime now.

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    1. It is not that simple. To my experience it is MORE LIKELY to get better quality from more expensive brands than cheaper ones. But the focus is on the material. Even expensive brands manufacture garments that are not well done. It´s a bit of a gamble which it is why it is important to focus on the material itself and not the price or the brand. Thicker materials and natural fibres tend to last longer (especially in denim). 10 oz. denim does not last. In my experience jeans should be 12-14 oz. and no more than 2% elastane added. But when it comes to the wages of the factory workers, you can be sure that the 120 dollar jeans makers get a few pennies more than the 20 dollar jeans makers. My advice would be to buy less (amount and times) and focus on high quality materials so the garment will last longer in use. Make also sure that you care for it correctly.

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    2. Thanks so much for the advice!

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  2. I keep saying they don't make products to last anymore. My 1st microwave was great and lasted for years but I've bought at least 2 more in a shorter span of time. Same thing has happened on most of my appliances. I'd rather pay a little more and have it last!

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