How ironic for the author that I wouldn’t have picked this up for full price (hi there used section of local bookstore!) and that I just found in linking it for the review that it is only available from outside sellers for a fifth of its list price.
The author manages to avoid the scolding tones of other books that admonish us to avoid buying discount merchandise so poorly made as to give planned obsolescence a bad name, but much like so many books about value that attribute the problem (correctly) to systemic inequality, it doesn’t have a lot to say about how to fix the problems it identifies. The conclusion points out a retailer (Wegman’s) that satisfies the “happy medium” of quality at low prices that don’t shortchange consumers or employees, but also notes that they’re exclusively in the northeast.
I shop locally at a small grocery and at farmers markets during all three weeks of Michigan summers, get most clothing from goodwill or thredup if I’m feeling fancy, and support handmade art and goods where I can. But all that shit costs money and ya gotta break somewhere, so I have absolutely bought cheap bookcases from target as well. Advice about buying pieces that are built to last is well and good, but finding that stuff resale takes time and buying new is prohibitively expensive for most. I get a bit fed up with journalism that shows a problem without suggesting a solution. I would LOVE more happy mediums, and I vote toward them and shop for them where they exist. But what else do we do to get them?