2024-07-21
Home SHOES'in'TECH Repair, repair and repair… even in the Safety field
SHOES'in'TECH

Repair, repair and repair… even in the Safety field

The world of personal protective equipment, from clothing to footwear, is also exploring the concept of repair.

Repair | Red Wing Shoes | shoestechnologies
Credit: Red Wing Shoes

At a time when inflation has spiraled out of control and the climate is making more and more explicit the imbalances in which we have enveloped it, a good way forward for this to be more sustainable is to make the life cycle of the products we use much more durable. It is now clear how consumption is a good way to ‘run’ the economy, but a very bad idea if you want to save the planet. Or rather, consumption is fine as long as it is characterized by a slightly more judicious and responsible approach.

Here, then, repairing clothes, objects, shoes and whatever else turns out to be more sustainable not only for the environment, but also for our pockets.

More and more people are realizing that the axiom repair=convenience works.

Starting with the French government, which recently decided to push its citizens to repair their clothes, to use them again instead of throwing them away. The repair bonus introduced by the French government has two goals: to encourage more responsible consumption and to reduce clothing waste. Every year in France, 700 thousand tons of clothes become waste, hence the idea of the mending bonus.

What does it consist of? Those who repair clothes or shoes will enjoy a voucher from 6 to 25 euros. To replace a heel you will get 7 euros off, 8 for the sole, 8 even to fix a broken zipper.

red wing Shoes repair | shoestechnologies
Credit: Red Wing Shoes

The push, or at least the focus on the repair theme, also applies to areas that perhaps do not immediately come to mind when thinking about the importance of pushing away the end of life of products. Such as the Safety world that is expected should always include PPE in perfect condition and super performing. Correct concept, but that doesn’t stop one from finding repair solutions that still ensure safety standards while thinking about the environment and workers’ wallets.

Here Wenaas and Gore-Tex Professional enter the stage with their Smart Repair Kit.

reapiar | shoestechnologies

The two companies have developed a handy patching system to fix punctures and tears that allows them to extend the life of PPE.

The greatest environmental impact in the life cycle of personal protective equipment occurs during the manufacturing and distribution phase.

Extending the longevity, or useful life, of a product is therefore the single most influential factor in improving its environmental impact.

This is especially true if a product can be repaired and reused.

With this in mind, Wenaas, an international supplier of workwear solutions from Norway, together with GORE-TEX Professional, has developed a smart repair kit for GORE-TEX PYRAD® personal protective equipment (PPE) for electric arc to help its customers extend the useful life of their garments.

Repair, repair and repair... even in the Safety field

Workers in the electrical industry often have to move over difficult terrain to locate a fault on the power grid and climb tall poles. During these activities, their PPE can easily get caught on something and tear. Although the garment as a whole would still be fit for use, a small puncture could cause a potentially dangerous situation for the wearer in the event of an electrical arc. Applying a patch would prevent the propagation of the tear and extend the life of the garment.

red wing Shoes repairing | shoestechnologies
Credit: Red Wing Shoes

The same philosophy can be found elsewhere in the footwear world. At Plant 2 of Red Wing, the historic Minnesota brand, while the crankery is hard at work on new models, tucked away in a remote corner of the factory, a group of skilled shoemakers repair Red Wing shoes sent from all over the world.

The repair shop is a tribute to our long-standing belief that high-quality footwear should be built to be repairable

Red Wing’s Americans, emphasize.

Among other things, years of daily use modify boots and shoes that at that point fit the owner’s feet perfectly. Comfortable, then, and with that lived-in patina that tells a unique story.

Thanks to the resuable design, even when a sole is practically worn out and the rest of the footwear still has years of life ahead of it, it is possible not to waste resources and ensure a shoe that is still comfortable for a few years.

Even in the case of footwear, we can identify in the hyper-technical world, such as that of PPE intended for firefighters, the possibility of repairs.

This is demonstrated by Rosenbauer, a specialist in the field, which in collaboration with Michelin has designed a replaceable sole system in case it is damaged by excessive thermal stress or mechanical wear. After all, in the firefighting context, the sole of a boot determines much of the safety of movement.

repair Rosanauer Boot | Shoestechnologies
Rosenbauer Boot, collabo. w/ Michelin

And it is important that the soles developed by Michelin always perform as they not only provide grip, but also resistance to mechanical stress, oil, gasoline, and most acids. The antistatic rubber compound prevents sparks, offering an extra layer of protection.

Being able to replace them as needed, without having to invest a lot of money in buying a whole new boot, allows the device to be kept in perfect condition at all times.

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