Last month I took my favorite sandals to the shoe repair to get fixed. I was told that they honestly weren’t worth the money to repair since the quality of the sandals were so poor. The soles were easily separated from the actual sandal. I asked for more of an explanation, and I was shocked as I was told that the soles were plastic, the sole lining was cardboard with fake stitching, and that the straps were a combination of leather and gold vinyl. I thought I had purchased a quality pair of shoes made in Italy, but they had no “repair value” after only one good year of wear.
I asked the cobbler if there were any brands of high quality sandals she would recommend. She replied that it is all about having an eye for quality. She said that all brands and designers can make both low and high quality products. It is just about knowing how to distinguish between the two.
It is more apparent than ever that cheap quality products are being mass produced to keep us constantly buying more.
As someone working towards a lifestyle of zero waste, I am no longer interested in having to constantly repurchase what should be able to be repaired and have a longer lifespan. As I continue this journey, I see how our everyday choices effect the amount of trash we produce. Even our unaware choices of the past have a huge impact. Well when you know better, you do better right? Purchasing high quality shoes with amazing craftsmanship, not only a beautiful appearance, is vital for a zero waste lifestyle.
So my favorite sandals are in essence worthless, and I am on the search again for a new pair. Whether my next sandals are from consignment or are an investment piece, my goal is for them to have a long lifespan with “repair value”. It is also important to me to find a pair which doesn’t contain plastic materials like the plastic sole and gold vinyl straps of my old sandals. With many shoes designed with mixed mediums of natural and synthetic materials, discerning good quality is critical as well as reading the shoe labels more carefully.
So my dream sandals are composed of all natural materials with “repair value” in a gorgeous classic style.
I hope to find a good pair before summer. If any of you know of wonderfully crafted sandals with natural materials please share below. I’ve been searching all month.
(Images by Dawn Michelle)