Monday, July 4, 2016

Zero Waste Life - Pimp My Shoes nr. I

Zero Waste Life - Pimp My Shoes nr. 1

Recently, I've been leaning heavily towards a little thing called ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE. I mean, c'mon! You get to spend less money, you have a constant excuse of putting your imagination to work in the form of various DIY projects, AND you're doing something great for the environment. What more could you possibly want?

Inspired by the thought of not having to throw broken stuff away but repairing or reusing it instead, I went through my shoes. I have quite a few pair of those, but unfortunately enough, the ones I love the most are also the ones that are the most torn, broken, or otherwise icky, and thus, useless.

I don't know about you but I still have the teenagey crush on Converse I used to have in high school. Converse (or Converse style) canvas shoes are versatile, can be worn with almost anything, are comfy, airy and I could really go on and on and on.

Now, with loving a shoe inevitably comes wearing said shoe. A lot. And sadly, as almost all love affairs must come to an end, so do our beloved shoes eventually get worn out and start breaking and ripping *sob*.

When this happened to my absolutely favourite pair of mint green Converse style shoes, it made me a bit sad. I'm not normally that attached to shoes, but when you spend close to a year searching for something that you want, and then you finally find it at an affordable price, you normally want to keep it in use as long as possible. But fortunately, I knew I had just the materials and the know how to make my shoes wearable again!

- P I N   T H I S   I M A G E -

If you want to live a zero waste life, repairing worn out shoes is a must -  and fun too!
If you want to live a zero waste life, repairing worn out shoes is a must -
and fun too!

As a saying goes: "shoes are no longer new when you stop taking them off with your hands and start taking them off with your foot", it was exactly what happened in my case. In a moment of impatience to get the dang things off my feet and finally relax, I stepped on the side of my left shoe with my right foot and tried to pull my left foot out. One RRRRRIIIP later and I was looking at my shoe which had a huge tear on the side, and swearing my mouth off.

Some time later, I noticed that the back of the shoe started ripping along the seam as well. And, as if that weren't enough, a couple of days later as I was walking around and it was raining outside, I noticed that my sock was getting wetter and wetter. Yep, the sole had broken as well -.-

By then I knew that it was high time I got to work. I wasn't gonna throw away a pair of shoes that were in perfectly good shape, save for a few breaks and tears that I could easily fix, right? I knew I had some fabric scraps stored in my room somewhere, so I fished out something that would match the mint green colour of my shoes. Pink with white polkadots? Y E S.

Because the pink fabric was so thin and flimsy, I decided to wrap it around a scrap piece of felt (I always knew my hoarding habit would come in handy some day!). I sewed the fabric in place with white thread, then, carefully tracing the same stitch line, I sewed it onto the back of my shoe, covering the tear. I purposefully made the patch to be a little bit too long for the shoe, so that I could fold it over and secure it with some stitches on the inside.

zero waste life how to repair shoes

Now, normally I would have made sure to only stick the needle throught the outer layer of the shoe, so that the stitch would not be visible from the inside, but I already had to work hard to push the needle through the thick layer of dry hot glue (tried to glue the fabric in place earlier, didn't work) and my fingertips were fricken SORE so I just couldn't be bothered.

As for the side tear, I also tried fixing it with glue but it was in such an awkward position that I just couldn't get it to stick. So I used another scrap of felt and secured it from the inside. I don't really care what the inside of my shoes looks like so I was not too bothered by the fact that the scrap of felt was pink but you could always use something that matches the colour of your shoes.

Last but not least: because I felt that there was something missing, I attached a skull rivet to the top part of the pink fabric.

I fixed the sole with a bit of hot glue. I won't be wearing these on rainy days anymore but they will be more than great to wear when it's dry outside.

So there it is, my shoe salvage project. I have quite a lot of shoes that need some TLC, so I will be posting more similar projects in the future.

Now, lemme tell you another upside of repairing or pimping old shoes instead of throwing them out and buying new ones (I mean, besides the fricken awesome fact that you're helping the environment). You know how, when you wear your new shoes for the first time, they inevitably give you a few painful-as-fuck blisters but then you wear them in and they are the most comfortable thing ever? Well, repairing old shoes gives you the look of a new shoe BUT WITHOUT THE PAIN OF BLISTERS! How freaking awesome is that?!

Have you ever fixed a piece of clothing/shoes/whatever instead of throwing it out? Care to share!

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