Repaired Things


I fixed my shoe.
October 2, 2012, 4:54 pm
Filed under: fabric, rubber | Tags: , ,

Hey Anne, do you still have your blog about repairs?  I fixed my shoe.

Hey Allan! Thank you for the photo! I will post it. What happened to your shoe? I have kept Repaired Things going, but just barely.

It’s what happens will all my shoes, the inside of the back of the heel came undone.  And all the shops were like, “Oh, we can’t fix that.  You have to stop kicking your shoes off.”  Scolding me!  So there was this flap of shoe hanging around the inside, so I sewed that very crude patch on.

There are plenty of people in India who will fix things like that. Our cobblers are just lazy.

And it’s a cost of labor vs. cost of manufactured goods thing.  I don’t exactly understand it.  The relative cost of a repair, vs. the cost of a new item, is higher in rich countries than in poor countries.  It’s because labor costs are higher in rich countries than in poor countries, but since the shoes (everywhere) are made in the poor countries, the new shoes end up being relatively cheap vs. the repairs, because the repairs have to be done by a high-wage-earning person in the rich country.
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Unless there were some way to outsource/globalize the repairs.  Send a container-load of damaged shoes to India, have them fixed at the local rate, and then ship them back.  Just need to convince people in North America and Europe to wait three months for their shoes to get repaired, but for only $1.
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This is true, but if you were willing to pay a fair 1st world rate for someone to sew the back of your shoe back together, then why wouldn’t they do it? Because they don’t want to – not because they can’t. Even in India people told me that my sandals weren’t worth the time to repair, but they did it anyway because I was willing to pay.
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Besides, it is worth it in the long run. We are just externalizing the costs of producing cheap goods; the costs are there in environmental harm and human rights abuses; we just don’t see them. So if I want to not hurt anyone with the things I wear, it might be cheaper to pay $20 for my things to be repaired rather than buy expensive new free trade / organic shoes.
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Maybe if the economy stays crappy more people will go into the sneaker repair business.  At least the high prices are forcing people buy smaller cars.  It’s a start.


Bike Repair Workshop
June 3, 2012, 9:10 pm
Filed under: metal, rubber | Tags: ,

With Eric Clausen of Drawing America By BikeNURTUREart, May 5, 2012

How to change a tire with a fork!



Sandals: A Repair Saga
April 28, 2012, 1:40 pm
Filed under: fabric, leather, rubber | Tags: , , , , ,

I wore this pair of sandals the whole 7 months I was in India. Pretty soon, the soles started wearing thin. I could feel pebbles through the soles. So, when these kids approached me at a train station and offered to repair them for me, I asked them to make an insert.

The insert fell out pretty quickly since it wasn’t sewn in properly, so in Vrindavan, I had this cobbler sew in a proper insert for the heel. Perfecto.

Eventually, that wore down too, and a cobbler in Bangalore sewed an entire new sole to the bottoms of the existing ones. New treads!

No photo of the last repair, but I had another Bangalorean cobbler tighten the strap that goes between your toes. 3 years later and they’re still a major component of my summer gear!

A friend said they are probably one of the only pairs of cobbled Airwalks in the world.



Repaired Sunglasses
March 30, 2011, 6:57 pm
Filed under: plastic, rubber | Tags: , ,

Looks like a rubber band and safety pin.

Eric is a repair-er extraordinaire-er. Support his epic bike trip across America in exchange for hand drawn postcards and comics.



Walker
December 20, 2009, 2:11 am
Filed under: rubber | Tags: ,

There are tennis balls on the feet of Volti’s walker to protect the wood floor.



Boots, shoes, bag
September 23, 2009, 4:24 pm
Filed under: fabric, rubber | Tags: , , ,

Christiana Florio repaired her fish-themed boots, shoes, and bag.

shoe

boots1

boots2

bag