The issue of durability concerns the material qualities of classes of particular consumer goods, the durability of the relationships that consumers have with those goods, and cultures of repair, reuse, and recycling. Durability is complex and not simply a matter of condemning an apparent rise in the disposability and disposal of frivolous and less-durable consumer goods.

In relation to classes of commonplace consumer goods, somewhat contradictory dynamics affecting durability can be identified. A general improvement in the quality of manufacture, reliability of components, and precision of engineering has increased the reliability and longevity of many consumer goods. However, durability is not reducible to longevity or reliability: Goods may last a long time, but with impaired and diminishing functional capacity, whereas reliability may be ensured in function, ...

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