Tim Cooper, 2010
The throwaway society. How quaint that term seems now! I am old enough to remember the shock that attended its arrival as a description of modernity. The wastefulness it implied. The damage it evoked. The erosion it predicted, not just in terms of product durability but in terms of social durability, in the durability of society itself. And yet today the concept is so deeply entrenched in our cultural self-image as to be almost redundant. Very soon, I imagine, there will no longer be a generation that remembers what it was like to live in a society other than this. Was there really ever a time of make do and mend, of repair and reparability, of continuity and durability? Or was it just a dream? A figment of history books and senile imaginations? Our children have already inherited a very different view of the world. In which it is taken for granted that things don’t last. That relentless novelty is the order of the day. And for a few years they may even be able to sustain the belief that things don’t need to last. That today’s fashion is tomorrow’s junk. Today’s functionality is tomorrow’s dysfunctionality. Today’s beauty is tomorrow’s tawdry reject.