What's that got to do with my handmade bed you may well ask? Well this story starts in pre WW2 Germany where a cartel was created and the Phoebus agreement was struck between the leading light bulb makers of the time. Osram, Philips, Tungsram, GE overseas group, plus quite a few others were all members. The objective was to establish the planned obsolescence of light bulbs.
What is planned obsolescence?
This is where a product, in this case the light bulb was designed to break before it needs to. In this case the light bulbs were designed to last no more the 1000 hours. Companies who broke the agreement were handed down cash handicaps. Also, as this agreement existed between a cartel they were also able to raise prices without fear of competition. Publicly there rational was that if a light bulb lasted longer it wouldn't give out so much light and would use more electricity. But this was actually a false claim and the cartel was dismantled.
Keeping up with the Joneses
It's fair to say this type of blatant global fixing is rare but planned obsolescence still exists in more subtle forms. General Motors of America were the first motor car manufacturer to champion the colour of cars (in particular the Chevrolet) using the what was termed as 'organised dissatisfaction' to imply the cars were out of date. People were encouraged to swap there cars in the 1950's and 60's every year or face being racked with car envy. Also the fins on these cars changed with mind boggling regularity. This strategy played perfectly into the minds of the American psyche of the time where 'keeping up with the Joneses' was the order of the day. This was a far cry from Henry Fords mantra that you could buy any colour car so long as it was black. And of course to this day the American consumer snowball still rolls on like an out of control juggernaut.
Can you point me to the handmade beds please?
IKEA is the largest furniture and household goods retailer the world. Yet, visit one of there stores and there isn't a handmade product in site let alone a handmade bed. And remember, you have to put the furniture together for yourself. No, but the point is if IKEA made furniture that was designed to last a lifetime they wouldn't sell nearly so much. So this disposable approach to furniture means that there is a constant supply of customers with rickety beds and bedroom furniture, not to mention the rest of the household goods. So maybe don't chuck out your chintz too soon.
The I.T. Crowd
What started off as a group of enthusiasts, techies, nerds and high school drop-outs chopping up old radios in garages evolved into computer centric world we now live in. What's this got to do with planned obsolescence? Well in the early days computer were handmade, it was a homespun hobbyists that could make anything by hand but as things grew and money started to be piled up the cooperate world moved in. They digitised more or less everything. To cap that the I.T. crowd build in planned obsolescence to just about every component in a computer from, batteries to ink cartridges, not to mention software...how many more updates.
Computer stuff mobile phones are just about the most disposable items on the planet. Apple have even gone as far as to create its own unique 5 star assembly screw so the phone is virtually impossible to get into and exchange a simple battery (which incidentally has planned obsolescence built into it). Thanks for that.
Ten year guarantee on your handmade bed frame
Although a lifetime guarantee is probably a bit much to ask for any product. Revival Beds have no planned obsolescence in there handmade beds or bedroom furniture, in fact it couldn't be further from it - we take a lot of time over everything we make. This is why we can guarantee each handmade bed frame for 10 years. Maybe with beds the majority of the design improvements have already been done. Another popular approach for a company is to de-engineer a product by putting less time and less raw material into a product...Revival Beds put more time and timber into each of our handmade beds...that's why they will last longer than your a average Apple, light bulb or American car.