From the bean of Green Bean.
"You are in luck," the voice said on the other end of the connection. "They don't make the part any more so we will just give you a new washer."
I guess it is lucky. A new washer is better than one that does not work but what happened to repairing products? To replacement parts? To high quality items that would last and last and last? At 4 years old, our washer is not exactly ancient yet, apparently, its manufacturer has left it in the dust - or more appropriately the landfill.
It is not just appliances and its not just businesses. Our society as a whole views most things as disposable or transitory. When my iPhone 4's screen cracked, I got it fixed. Everyone and their mother asked why the heck I didn't just get the iPhone 6. I mean, iPhone 4s are so totally two years ago.
Visit any thrift store and you will see that our collective lack of interest in repair touches on anything that is broken, torn or stained. Just last month, I picked up an Athleta hoodie that was like new - except the zipper sticks some time. I also scored a white collared shirt with a cracked button.
I'm not one to judge, though. I've got a pile of clothes that needs to be patched and another of Nike socks (everyone is wearing them, please mom!) that need to be darned. I might eventually get to them ...
Just as I am ready to throw my hands up, I noticed a gaping hole in my Patagonia parka. I vaguely remembered hearing something about Patagonia repairing their products and gambol about the internet. I find the company repair page, send in my jacket and wait. Ten days later, a package arrives from Patagonia Repair Department. My sassy black jacket is inside, patched up, nearly undetectably, for free! Now that is the art of repair!
How regularly do you repair items? Have you ever tried one of those repair clinics that are popular in Europe and showing up more in big cities? Are companies like Patagonia the wave of the future or a denizen of the past?