Why Quality Costs Less. An Edward Green Experience.
I’ve learned through painful experience, earned over years of lessons and repeated mistakes, that buying the best quality product you can afford, whilst more expensive initially, will often work out to be the least expensive option in the long run. This holds true from a suit, to tap-ware and everything in between. The earlier article on quality expands more on this and sums up a great deal of what TimelessMan is about.
Take, for example a pair of shoes. A typical “decent’ pair from a high street brand will cost around 100GPB (give or take). These are usually made from poor quality and thin leathers, thin soles (often rubber) and a generous amount of glue in place of stitching. They’ll last you no more than 12 months of solid wear, during which time the leather will crack and peel, the soles will wear out and, perhaps worst of all, they look cheap from day 1 and only get worse. Then they’re thrown away and another equally nasty pair take their place.
Contrast this to a quality shoe from great value makers like J. Fitzpatrick or Carmina, the two makers who I consider as the best in affordable quality shoes and who have every right to charge a good deal more than they do for their shoes. The change is significant – goodyear welted soles, much better leathers, handmade in Spain and built to last. These shoes will, with proper care, last decades and only improve during that time. As they wear, they develop a unique patina and they take a polish much better than lesser shoes, the soles last for multiples of the life of a high street shoe and can be re-lasted when they do eventually wear out, making the shoe as good as new, except with the added benefit that the uppers have since molded to your foot and maintained the hard earned character of patina.
Moreover, they’ve become “your” shoes. You walk memories into them; places you’ve been, friends you’ve met, good nights out which they’ve carried you home from, puddles you’ve avoided or willingly waded into, because you know that life’s too short to stress over getting your shoes wet.
Quality matters, but it has the strangely counter-intuitive habit of being the cheaper option at the end of the day, even though it’s almost always more expensive up-front.
This philosophy was further reinforced a few weeks ago when one of my Edward Green belts, which I bought from Double Monk, a couple of years ago, had an issue. One of the 2 screws which holds the buckle to the belt, came out, making the belt move around, not holding tight. The ultimate first world pain. Not a life threatening dilemma, but something which needed to be fixed to continue wearing the belt. The screws are unique and not something you find at a hardware store. If it were a cheap belt, I would have be bothered and had to throw it away, effectively doubling the cost of the original belt, as I’d have to go and buy another one.
So, I contacted Double Monk, who were happy to help, but unfortunately didn’t have any of the screws in stock, which led me to contact Edward Green directly. I was emailed back the next day, apologising for the inconvenience, asking for the details of exactly which screw it was, then two replacement screws (in case, in the unlikely event, it ever happens again, so I would have an instant back-up) were immediately mailed to me from the UK at no cost.
The belt is back to its old self and my appreciation for Edward Green is beyond its already high level.
When you buy a quality product, from a manufacturer who cares about what they make, it will cost you more at first, but the investment is repaid countless times over through the longevity, peace of mind and sense of ownership you gain as the years roll on.