Repair for sneakersSave instead of throwing away

real time | Article from 07/25/2020

Repair for sneakersSave instead of throwing away

By Gesine Kuehne

You don't throw clothes away when they're dirty, you wash them," says sneaker "savior" Ina Morocha. (imago images / imagebroker)

The sole is yellowing, the leather is dirty: sneakers and trainers often end up in the garbage in this condition. But that doesn't have to be the case. Because there are shops that polish these shoes up again - also as a sign of appreciation for things.

"Hello, I wanted to give my shoes away."

A small shop in Berlin Mitte, on a high wall of shelves there are transparent plastic boxes with sneakers in them. A kind of receipt on the outside of the box. It says what type of cleaning was done on the pair of sneakers. This shop is called "Sole Fresh". The delivery station for dirty sneakers.

"These are the shoes, nice Nike Airforce 1 with a yellowed sole. That's the classic thing that happens."

"Exactly, and we have developed a special unyellowing technology for this," says Ina Morocha. "After cleaning, we can make the sole white again."

Ina Morocha and her husband opened "Sole Fresh" in Berlin a year ago. The idea came from her best friends in Russia, who came up with the idea five years ago. A good idea obviously. Because there are already 19 branches worldwide.

"Because we ourselves have experienced that our friends or family simply threw away a lot of shoes when they were dirty," says Morocha. "We found it strange that you just throw away your shoes when they're too dirty. That's not necessary. You don't throw away clothes when they're dirty, you wash them."

Sole Fresh's small dry cleaning is in a different district of Berlin. There, Ina Morocha's husband and another employee take care that the shoes are cleaned inside and out, the insoles are also disinfected and yellow soles are bleached, if the customer wants it.

"I'm not going to reveal everything now," says Ina Morocha. But: "These are chemicals that are used in the home and special UV lights."

Because the concept should be sustainable, only cleaning agents that have the "Blue Angel" environmental certificate are used.

You don't have to throw away broken sneakers

change of location. Hagen Matuszak from Berlin is a trained orthopedic shoemaker and two years ago had another idea to defy the modern throwaway society: "Sneaker Rescue". He saves sneakers in a workshop in Berlin-Neukölln by repairing them.

"There are so many sneakers in the world and they're all broken. When I walk the streets and look at people's feet, you can see flaws everywhere and the shoes are often just thrown away, but that doesn't have to be the case."

The 24-year-old explains that it is the inner lining or lining that breaks most often, especially at the back in the heel area. Worn through equals uncomfortable equals unwearable. The big toe tends to pierce through the front of shoes made of so-called mesh.

"Then you can pull it together again and line it up. We have another new method, but we're still working on it so that the mirror, the front part, can be completely replaced."

It's about appreciating things

Sneaker repair means lots of trial and error. trial and error. Because Hagen Matuszak would like to be able to completely repair a sneaker at some point. Special things like an air-filled sole from the best-known sneaker manufacturer still give him a headache:

"Because the manufacturers simply don't give out the original soles. We can offer sole swaps: if you bring a donation pair, then you swap the entire bottom if it's your favorite pair."

Up to 250 pairs of shoes are repaired here at Sneaker Rescue every month. #antiwaste is on the company's Instagram profile.

"For me, it's about appreciating things. The shoes are assembled under less than the best circumstances, are imported really cheaply and sold at high prices, and if you throw them away after three months, I find that a bit reprehensible, so just wear them a little longer , if small things need repairing, have them repaired. Done."

A statement against turbo capitalism

Cleaning and repairing, two tried-and-tested concepts from our past, before turbo-capitalism fooled us into believing that we are only who we are with the newest clothes, shoes and devices!

A deep cleaning at Sole Fresh costs 35 euros on average. Having the lining repaired by Sneaker Rescue also costs 35 euros with the return of the shoes.

more on the subject

Running shoes - the disposable product(Deutschlandfunk, Sport am weekend, 06/15/2019)

New shine for old clothes (Deutschlandfunk, Environment and Consumers, 09/04/2013)

"Made in Europe" in the test - jeans from France, shoes from Portugal (Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Weltzeit, February 18th, 2020)

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