Have you ever considered the impact of your shoes on the health of your feet and your surroundings? We have already seen how much it costs our planet to produce a single pair of shoes. What happens, then, when unavoidable wear and tear affects the footwear you wear regularly? When simply taking care of it is no longer enough?
Normally we would think that the only solution is to throw them away and buy a new pair. But what if we told you, instead, that resoling your shoes could be a beneficial solution for both your well-being and the environment? In fact, resoling shoes brings great benefits. And this simple act can be a significant contribution to a more conscious consumption perspective.
The health of the feet and more
It is inevitable that shoes wear out over time and unfortunately there is no attention that can make this process reversible. Nevertheless, observing its wear and tear can provide interesting information to understand the way you walk. Not just to those who exercise, but to any of us.
There are two types of wear: asymmetric or symmetrical. In the case of asymmetrical wear, it is an anomaly and is synonymous with a postural problem and an expenditure of energy due to an incorrect step phase, so it is advisable to contact a specialist. This type of wear can focus on one side of the sole, either inside or outside, indicating supination or pronation problems, respectively. Supination occurs when the foot distributes the load primarily on the outside, while pronation indicates a greater load on the inside of the foot. Understanding these wear patterns can reveal gait abnormalities and, as a result, postural problems that can cause incorrect postures and potential damage to the knees, hips, and spine over time.
When we walk, it is important to make sure that the weight of our body is evenly distributed on our feet, avoiding overloading certain areas. To avoid health problems, it is essential to choose shoes with good quality soles. Whether they are first-hand or second-hand.
Of course, it is not always possible to have your shoes repaired. Sometimes you need to buy a brand new pair. Many others, however, can be easily fixed with a good resoling. Repairing a good quality pair of shoes is not only a matter of comfort, but also of an environmental nature! Choosing a repair instead of investing in a new purchase reduces the number of shoes thrown away each year and helps support small local repair businesses. It’s a contribution to community and sustainability.
We know very well that compared to marketing campaigns, even aggressive ones, a small shopkeeper (but also a large brand) always has less visibility. In a society like ours, which aims at the most unbridled consumerism, we have decided to put some spotlight on the realities that have decided to go against the tide. Here is the example of some brands that have promoted the resoling of shoes. A winning choice for individuals, communities and the environment.
JVI-Repair’s mission: resoling for sustainability
JVI-Repair‘s philosophy is that performance should go hand in hand with sustainability. For those who don’t know it, JVI-Repair is the business unit of JV International that focuses mainly on the design and development of exclusive lines for footwear repair. And for several years now, it has been expanding a network of national or territorial distributors who supply shoemakers with heels, soles, half soles and plates to repair their customers’ shoes.
But that’s not all! JVI-Repair is an international company, based in Northern Italy, also attentive to its territory, where there is no shortage of solidarity initiatives. Like that of Roberto Visentin, the shoemaker from Cinisello Balsamo who decided to help the most needy with the Suspended Heel initiative. His shop, located in a town in the Milanese hinterland, bears this sign:
“Roberto doesn’t leave you stranded. Are you struggling?
I’ll fix your shoes and pay me when you can.”
The brand’s initiative consists in sending all the shoemakers who participate in the project an exclusive kit thanks to which they will be able to offer their customers a free repair. A way to meet the needs of needy families who cannot afford new shoes and a way not to leave the shoemakers in difficulty.
In addition, on June 10 and 11, 2023 in Wiesbaden, during the ISS (Inter-Schuh-Service) exhibition, the largest in the footwear repair industry, JVI-Repair presented new soles designed to extend the life of shoes, responding to the growing importance of environmental sustainability and waste reduction.
The example of Scarpa and its Ambassadors
Scarpa also focuses on sustainability, basing its philosophy on design for regeneration. The brand’s strategy is to encourage virtuous behaviors such as recycling and regenerating shoes that are no longer at their peak splendor and performance. Recycling, reuse and repair are terms that are part of the brand’s philosophy and vision. In fact, Scarpa devotes great attention to repair, with a worldwide network of official resolers. Every year they repair about 2,000 pairs of shoes, including mountain boots, climbing shoes and urban outdoor footwear.
The company aims to create high-performance and durable footwear that can stand the test of time. And, above all, that they can be easily repaired, thus reducing the consumption of resources and the production of waste. Considering the possibility of resoling products from the construction phase reflects the brand’s commitment to accompanying customers on every adventure over the years.
This philosophy is also carried out by its Ambassadors, with whom the company promotes its values around the world. This is the case of a Belgian mountaineer, Sean Villanueva, who completed the solo traverse of the Fitz Roy massif using Scarpa’s Kalipè shoes. He then took them to the brand’s headquarters for repair, thus promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle and raising awareness of the problem of waste production. As well as setting a good example, informing even less attentive consumers of the possibilities offered by the brand.
Repairing the past to safeguard its values
In a world that often underestimates the impact of its actions, let’s stop for a moment and look beneath our feet. The shoes we wear are a fundamental part of our health and that of our planet.
Resoling shoes is a simple but powerful action. Capable of transforming our approach to consumption. It’s not just about extending the life of shoes, it’s about adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. Brands are proving that sustainability can be fashionable, and shoe repair can be an act of kindness to the environment and the local community.
Every step counts. So the next time you look at your worn-out shoes, think carefully about changing them or resoling them. Your choice reflects your commitment to a more conscious and sustainable life. Don’t take it lightly.
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