When I bought my first Patagonia garment was 1987, a few years ago!
At the time it was quite innovative, that kind of jacket was uncommon in Europe; the actual fabric was considered an innovation in the mountain gear industry.
It was expensive, I remember that I had to save money from my student allowance to collect the necessary funds; at the time I was in high-school and in my city only a few very specialised shops were selling it.
That jacket, a few years later, is still in my wardrobe and last March, during our ski holiday, I wore it, as in the last 25 winters.
When last Sunday I noted a tv interview about the concept behind "Don’t buy this jacket" campaign by Patagonia I thought that it carries an important lesson.
In my opinion social responsibility is the single most important tool to create a more sustainable environment. And culture is the only path to achieve the sort of people’s attitude that can contribute effectively to achieve more virtuous behaviours.
In our field, to develop properties that use as little energy as possible, that are designed intelligently, with the right amount of technology (see image below: our state of the art Boderus technical room at Ville degli Olivi) and that can remain efficient for as much years as possible, are essential aspects of our work.
Since real estate lifespan is rather long, those aspects like bad design, cheap works, superficial material selections would affect the product and – more in general – our life for a very long time, with serious consequences.
For this reason I am particular concerned when I observe people who stop thinking and get driven mainly by price.
Very simply to purchase a superficially designed Italian property means years of extra costs and undesirable effects that last for a long time, less value, less capital appreciation potential and normally – in the case of a holiday home – a complete lack of letting income.
In most cases if you analyse carefully the sort of saving you think you are making by going cheap, you end up with a different story. I have the impression that the old Italians say: "Chi piu’ spende meno spende" is rather appropriate, and not only for the money but especially for the precious resources that all of us have the duty to preserve for future generations.
I look forward to discussing your thoughts on this.
Luca Catalano – firstname.lastname@example.org