We interview Joel Chudleigh, co-founder of Made to Last, the online store connecting people with well designed products that stand the test of time
Joel Chudleigh believes that the days of conspicuous over-consumption will soon be over. To that end he has decided, along with business partner Kinjal Patel, to launch an online store that helps you to find functional and good quality British-made goods. Made to Last only sells products from brands that are confident that their goods will stand the test of time, which fits perfectly with the Make it British ethos. So we spent some time chatting to Joel, who in his other role runs an online marketing agency, to find out what inspired him to launch Made to Last.
What problems are you trying to address with Made to Last?
People are constantly being pushed by the media and retailers into the idea that they need to keep buying new things. What’s worse is that much of this stuff, such as fashion or electronics, will only last a short time before it breaks or is disposed of. We believe that this culture of over-consuming and throwing away has had its day, and that people are looking for something with more longevity. Made to Last offers the customer the opportunity to buy products where there is a clear guarantee on the minimum length of time that that item will survive, so that they can buy with confidence. Every product on the site has a minimum guarantee of one year, but many are much longer, and our suppliers send out care instructions with everything that is shipped.
You sell everything from electronics to kitchenware and furniture to fashion on the site, how easy was it to find companies that were willing to offer a guarantee, especially in areas such as fashion which is so disposable these days?
It was not that easy to locate companies at first as few publish the guarantee of their products on their websites. However, it was important that we supported British manufacturing, so we sourced many of our suppliers through sites like Make it British, and most of them were happy to offer an extended guarantee when we asked them. We are hoping that once we have several companies within one product category that they will be encouraged to offer a longer guarantee because that is what their competitors are doing.
Who is your typical customer and what has been the most popular item sold from the site so far?
We are selling to people that are interested in sustainability and the environment, and who care that the products that they buy are well made. The Jaybe guest beds are one of the most popular things that we have on the site. They are well designed and functional, and come with a lifetimes guarantee, so it is not surprising that our customers have taken to them.