Meet Tara Button, Founder at Minimalist Eco-Webshop: Buy Me Once

Buy Me Once is an online destination to find the longest-lasting products on the planet. The company is on a mission to change the way the world shops from short-term throwaway buying to long-term sustainable purchasing habits.

We are active in the UK and the USA and sell hundreds of the most useful household, kitchen and clothing items. From invincible umbrellas, fixable phones and multi-century-warrantied cookware, each one has been researched by our in-house team and is considered best in category for longevity.

The way we find our long-lasting products is to ask – what are the reasons that this product usually gets thrown away? What are the weakest links? For example, with frying pans, the top two reasons they might be discarded is if the handle gets wobbly or if the non-stick starts flaking or sticking. Once we know what these weakest links are, we can then look for the companies and brands who have done the most to overcome these weaknesses.

So for example, our frying pans are made out of one piece of metal so there is no handle joint to get wobbly and the surface can be re-seasoned to be non-stick indefinitely. We also look at the warranties offered by these companies in brands and we like to champion companies who really stand by their build quality and take responsibility for their products in the long term. For example, our frying pans have a multi-century warranty.
Buy Me Once | Selling Products That Are Built To Last | Buy Me Once UK

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I was working in advertising throughout my 20s and I became increasingly disillusioned by the fact that I was essentially selling things to people that they didn’t necessarily want or need. Then, on my 30th birthday, my sister bought me a present that would change my life.

It was a beautiful baby blue Le Creuset casserole pot. It was the experience of owning this durable heirloom piece of kitchenware that made me realise everything else I owned was very temporary and had been bought “just for now “. I decided that from then on I would only buy pieces that I would be proud to pass on to my grandchildren. This would make my home a nicer place to live in and save me money in the long term.

So I went looking for a shop that only sold the longest lasting products and, back then, there just wasn’t one. I thought the shop should exist but never expected that it would be me who would build it.

Over time though, I made the connection between buying for the long term and saving carbon emissions. Not many people realise that one of the best things you can do for the environment is to buy products that last rather than re-buying shoddy products again and again. It was this realisation, and the fact that no one else was doing anything about it, that fired up my passion to create Buy Me Once regardless of whether it ever made money or not.

I started to research products in my spare time and when I had around 100 products on the website a journalist found it on Twitter and wrote about it in the Telegraph in an article that went viral globally. The outpouring of enthusiasm and encouragement from people all around the world was both humbling and a little terrifying but it gave me the confidence to quit my day job and work on Buy Me Once full-time.

Since then, we have become a real destination with huge amounts of useful articles around product Longevity as well as hundreds of excellent brands.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

We closed an investment round of 1.1 million in 2020, just before Covid hit, which has allowed us to bring on several members of staff, expanding our research capability, content writing and customer service.

Instead of boycotting Black Friday, which we have in the past, we decided that we should give customers a chance to vote in advance for what they want to see discounted. After all, the problem with Black Friday isn’t that it makes products that we need more affordable, it’s that it pushes impulse buying and overconsumption. By asking people in advance what they want we are creating a more mindful shopping ethos.

What’s next?

We have three exciting projects right now –

We have just launched our first wedding registry, as this is something that our customers have been asking us for a really long time. Now couples can register for beautiful home and kitchen items that they can commit to and are designed to last as long as they both shall live.

We are very aware of the cost of living crisis and we’re going to be using our research power to launch a “cost per use” calculator so that people can really see the value of long-term buying.

A personal dream of mine is to launch our own line of products, designed from the ground up to be the longest-lasting in the world. This isn’t where most designers start, so I expect the products we come up with to be unique and spectacular… watch this space.