The Sustainability of Clogs

A follower once told me, “As long as you repair the soles before it wears through to the wood, and take good care of the leather, they will last forever.” The fact that this person was Swedish just further convinced me. After wearing my Troentorp DaVinci clogs for about a year, I knew they would need to be resoled soon. Not wanting to be clog-less, I waited until I had a back-up pair. I purchased my Lotta from Stockholm High Heel Classic Clog pair in February, right before COVID-19 hit. At that point I didn’t go to the cobbler because I thought they were closed. I had actual real fear of dropping them off and the business closing down for months, or forever, with my beloved clogs trapped inside. When I finally did take them in to the oft-recommended Camody Shoe Service, I learned they had been open the entire time. Shoe repair, considered by many to be  archaic or obsolete, was deemed “essential.”

Here’s the fun part. My $99 clogs cost $61 to resole. I didn’t have a choice. The repair man tried to dissuade me. I don’t think he had any idea how much a person could love a pair of clunky old shoes. Clearly he was unaware of the wildfire that was the hipster phenomenon of #cloglife. I left them with him, not at all confident he would return them to me the way I imagined. We agreed he would sand down the wood to remove the scuffs and marks but would not varnish them with shiny shellack. But what if he used some weird colored rubber? I did not feel sympatico with the gentleman but decided to trust him anyway. Two days later I retrieved them and was thrilled! They looked perfect. It still seems crazy to have paid so much but isn’t it better to repair and reuse? To commit yourself to the stewardship of a good pair of shoes?

Around the same time I bought my second pair of clogs, I made a purchase from Nordstrom: a pair of white Classic Dr. Scholl’s. My mom wore these when I was a kid and I had at least one pair back then and I’d been thinking about getting a pair for a long time. The only question was, “What color?” I decided on white. A few days later, a Nordstrom box arrived in the mail, (my new Dr. Scholl’s!) as well as a box from my mom. “What is this box from my mom?”, I wondered. An identical used pair of Dr. Scholl’s. I am not kidding. I had mentioned that I wanted them and she said she might have some and I forgot all about the conversation. The new ones are the photo on the left. The used ones (only a few years old, not form the 70s or anything) are on the right. Same color. Same size. Came on the same day. Like the universe was telling me, “You don’t need to buy new stuff. There’s plenty of perfectly good stuff already out there.” It was freaky. But so cool. Such an affirmation of my commitment to #lowbuy. I sent the Nordstrom ones back.

This year has been a complete 180 on shopping for me. The less I buy new clothes, the less I want them. I have been so completely content with what I have. And more and more I am really clear on what I like. Having less and maintaining a minimal, curated closet is so satisfying.

RESOURCES:

How I got started with clogs

By the way, if you need to adjust your Dr. Scholl’s buckles, this video is a life saver!

To learn more about the Low Buy Challenge, check out Signe’s site.

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