A dichotomy: Should I consume more to be sustainable?

it may be a contradiction

it may be the solution. 

I don't know

but that's why I'm asking you.

Lately, I have come to the conclusion that consumption may become my personal solution to obtain a more sustainable closet. It may sound contradicting and against what I preach all the time, to consume less to be sustainable, but listen to this:

My clothes break permanently.

Here are some examples.


the coat

aka second skin


ultraboost sneaker


AEP backpack

Item 1: Scandinavian coat aka second skin

I've bought a great second-hand coat, genuine wool mix from the late 70's, in 2015. From then on, this coat held me warm over three winters. Basically, like my second skin. But daily usage left some traces. The material got thinner, especially in the areas of the underarms and around the ribs, where my backpack scrubs the coat when wearing it. Which I do most of the time.

Item 2: The one and only sneakers aka I wanna even more Scandinavian

The same happens with my shoes right now. In 2015, I've rewarded myself with new sneakers. My guilty pleasure, an Adidas Ultraboost, as I was unable to find a sustainable solution. That is still the case until today, as there is no alternative to sports/running shoes in an ethical manner. But anyways, these shoes were bought for the purpose of a charity run and my initial thought of becoming a runner. Whatever made me think I would all the sudden enjoy running. The shoe became an everyday sneaker, which I would wear for many occasions. But slowly and steadily the upper knitted material is getting holes and the sole is getting thinner. I've caught myself sliding around some surfaces since October.

Item 3: The everyday companion aka extended brain

My AEP backpack was something I've gifted myself for Xmas 2015. And since then, it travelled destinations like Portugal, California, Spain or the northern lights. But mainly, this item is a lifesaver and outsources brain. It holds on to my calendar, several notebooks, laptop, water bottle, usually some food and other stuff a female carries with her. But slowly, the seams are loosening, the back support is lacking and it doesn't close properly anymore. 

I've been thinking about it for a while now: Should I consume more to be sustainable? By diversifying the options, I could wear each item longer. Because instead of wearing the coat, sneakers and backpack on an almost daily basis, I could pick between several options. Or at least a minimum of two?

I am well aware of planned obsolescence of fashion items (read the blog post here), yet, I am shocked how short the period of consumer usage is. Two years to the newly produced backpack and sneakers, whereas the vintage item has lasted some decades.

Either way, vintage or not: Should I start getting everything double? It is not that I'm not taking care, but things just break. And it makes me feel frustrated and annoyed.

it may be a contradiction

it may be the solution. 

I don't know

but that's why I'm asking you:

How do you handle heavy usage of items? Do you let go after just some months?