As an artisan, I am interested and inspired by the workmanship that goes into creating a quality product. I like to think of the design, the tools that are used, the sore fingers, the passion, etc., but quality products often come with a price tag.
I admit, my Scottish descent meant I was always looking out for a bargain. I bought cheap stuff that lasted five minutes. I just did not understand the implications of my choices.
I think we should pay twice as much for most things, including our shoes! If you paid £200 for a pair of shoes that would last you 10 years, then that equates to £20 a year. You would be hard pressed to find a pair of shoes for that amount these days…even cheap shoes.
When you the consider the cost to the environment of importing goods into this country and add in the social implications of the underpaid or slave labour used by cheap shoe manufacturers, then £20 a year looks like an even better deal. Sure, those 10 years will inevitably see you pay for new soles or repairs, but when you get them back, they will still fit you like a glove and will be very comfortable as the leather moulds to your individual foot shape.
Slow fashion must be the way forward. Rather than buying something cheap – that will most likely be uncomfortable or made from sweaty materials – we should invest in our craftsmen, our environment, our fellow human beings…and our feet!
Herring’s welted shoes come with a ‘Repair Service’ tag to identify which of their shoes can be sent back to the original manufacturer for repairs. If their owners look after them well, these shoes will last for years and years to come and will be a joy to wear.
Find out more about Max McMurdo in Look Who’s Wearing
Follow Max: @maxreestore