Good morning everyone
a couple of days ago my friend Joerg F.B. brought my attention to an article by Vogue that, ringing trumpets, states the following: the real luxury is being able to repair!
My mother and who would have thought that? Menomale that Vogue thought of it otherwise we would have groped in the darkness of the most naughty ignorance.
Irony aside, at the good hour. It is something that those who frequent the world of craftsmanship, handmade, tailor-made, to order etc. etc. have always known. But as often happens, those who live in it take it for granted that an obvious thing for him is just as obvious to much of the rest of the world. Of course, that is not the case. We wouldn’t be here talking about it, and Vogue readers probably wouldn’t be illuminated these days by a cone of mystical light.
Now, having ascertained this, does the speech end here? For some, maybe yes, not for me. In fact, you give me the “A” to hammer even harder than I’ve done in years before. Because the talk is long and, if you like, also a little complicated and in between we always end the lack of culture, attention, information that envelops the average customer regardless of the spending capacity.
Let me explain what I mean.
Why do you need a magazine like Vogue to turn the light on such a simple concept?
Because evidently in the last 30 years the push of a large part of the global market has been towards “when you break the butt and away” to define luxury, wealth, economic tranquility. This led the average user to disinterest in the qualities, of what he bought because in the human soul the instinct to prove that one is “worthy of…” or “a step above…”. And to get to be able to prove this, what could be simpler, more liberating and pump-ego than being able to throw-and-buy back?
Of course, this is regardless of the degree of well-being to which one can aspire; rich or poor each in its habitat has for years done or longed to be able to do so.
This, as already mentioned, probably also influenced the habits of the children, and the echoes of grandparents’ teachings were now increasingly distant. With the supreme joy of eh brands, will you believe that this trend has offended the noble lineages of historical brands?
Who would blow their clothes if the loyal customer went from purchasing a new piece of the same brand? Let’s go even deeper, do you think it’s free to maintain labor and management-receive-evaluation-shipping system? Do you think a brand earns more by selling a pair of new top-of-the-range shoes or repairing them? Do you think it is easy to train staff, maintain an archive of pieces, leathers, colors, shapes? Do you think it’s free for a brand to stock all this? How do you think warehouses of manufactured parts are emptied?
So imagine how sorry it will be for those who “keep the accounts” to see that they could have lowered their expenses without losing in earnings, in fact the time had come to lower the quality!!! Eureka, none of the new customers would have noticed because the culture is dying and it is absolutely important to continue like this. And so it is. Just take a walk in any luxury boutique, I’ll give you an example on the fly below.
Wooden heels are luxury heels, which you usually find (now almost exclusively) in tailored shoes. Those with colored dots are plastic heels that as you can see are not just the prerogative of market items. Attention, I say HEELS not over-the-top. In the photos I highlighted with colored dots the fastening areas of the plastic over attachment to the plastic heel. That inside will be almost completely hollow, with a nice result: it will sound like a drum during the walk, you risk slipping more easily because the overattack must be plastic to hold the work and if in any case the repair should start it will be neither very simple nor safely held because the base on which you work is farlocca.
But they cost a lot anyway.
I spent years in shoe and bag repair workshops, from the most banalotte to those of extreme luxury. And I smile when a newspaper despairs in praise of a brand that repairs footwear, however much it is absolutely welcome. I smile because in the meantime it does not take long to understand why such an article comes out now and then why I do not think the journalist knows how long it takes to have the shoe repaired by the manufacturer and what the price is. I can tell you that in a close period of my life I spent 2 years at a rate of 2 pairs per day of Goodyear footwear (particular type of construction that has its focal point on the method of sewing between sole and upper, focused on the “weevil”) to which I restored the sole in full brought by customers who did not want to wait for the times envisaged by the brands or, worse, they were not even aware that the brand they loved offered that service. And this is very serious because, as long as a choice is dictated by some convenience of timing-economy, it is a personal choice anyway but when it is driven by ignorance here there is also the guilt contest on the part of the brand. (And here too I would have anecdotes but then we go too far.) Because those who sold the shoe did not consider it necessary to do so or…
But NOW childish anecdotes about the tradition of repair are popping up, 9 months ago it was poor people’s stuff. If those who sell certain items, whatever they may be, do not highlight among the merits of the product the possibility that it can be repaired thanks to its qualities … well who should do it?!
However, apart from that, the basic problem always remains that; erasure of a culture. A systematic, repeated and serious lack with regard to the perception of the real VALUE OF THINGS. Their value is given by quality and for a long time high quality meant possibility of restoration. Always from obvious expert hands but the certainty of being able to count on the fact that an object was so well made /designed that it could be repaired N times with original pieces or not but still the structure would have granted it, endured. And it would be usable again. And the more independent the parts between them the more accurate and effective the repair can be. And the more these pieces, the more work there is behind both construction and design. So it cost more but with a very specific intent that it will not have been to pluck the customer but rather, conquer him with an object that can accompany him in time and life. I have articles that are 15-20-35 years old and sometimes I stop to think looking at them, what they have faced, seen, overcome in life with me. And they have the physical signs, but they’re beautiful for that, too.
And so yes, sustainable is what can not only last a long time but above all that can be repaired, modified because in doing so leads to fewer purchases. The ecological footprint of such an item will always be lower than that of a disposable and the economic yield will also be quite different. And you also look in the markets, because I always do it and I find great deals that last years. Then give space to the fantasy by having it modified or adapted and so you will also give work to someone else. And think about how positive that article’s impact will be on the economy. Which really gets circular.
So you want to be more sustainable?
1) Buy less but of true quality that is not always given by the price
2) When you buy, ask the shopkeeper as much information as possible, even if they offer a repair service themselves, for example
3) Make yourself a basic culture when it comes to materials
4) Also look in the used “purebred”, you will have huge surprises.
The sermon is over, go into peaceful sustainability and that San Vogue continues to refresh young minds about the essential principles of beauty&benfatto as well as true sustainability criteria. After all, as I often say, the important thing is for someone with adequate ‘firepower’ to turn the spotlight on a subject that is useful to everyone. I will continue to do so in the hope that more will be added.
Good steps and see you soon.