In the time we’ve been in London, I’ve gotten quite settled into our little neighborhood. I know all the shops around here, and most of the shopkeepers recognize me too. The man I probably visit the most though, baker aside, is the shoe repairman (the cobbler, as it were). He is a very sweet man, and I was devastated when he had to close his shop for two months last winter due to illness. He has a slogan on his receipts that says “Shoes worth wearing are shoes worth repairing”, and I couldn’t agree more.
With five people in our house, we put our shoes through quite a lot of abuse. It used to be, in the States, that shoe repair was hard to find and expensive, so we ended up throwing our shoes out when they needed to be repaired. Here, though, I just walk them down to the repair shop and look forward to wearing them into the ground again. This has cut down on the number of shoes we’ve had to buy in two ways. First, we need fewer pairs of shoes, since we can break a pair in safely and wear them much longer. Secondly, we need to buy fewer pairs of shoes because they go to the repair shop instead. So it has come to be that I will pay more for a very good pair of new shoes, knowing that I can have them repaired if anything happens to them, which in turn has done wonders for our feet.
This is a mundane little detail of my life that I am sharing, but it really has shifted our perspective. My one weakness in fashion is shoes, so I know how hard it is to not buy shoes every month, but having our shoes repaired means that I can keep my favorite pairs going indefinitely. Repairing shoes lessens the strain on our budget, it lessens the number of pairs of shoes we send off for recycle or charity, and it lessens the time and agony (for Husband mostly) of shoe shopping. It used to be that this was what everyone did, and I think there would be some benefit to going back to it. After all, who wouldn’t benefit from better shoes and more money?