What’s old is new again

On Friday I realised my black ankle boots, purchased this time last year, were worn completely down at the heel. I was actually walking on the leather, which had worn a hole at the back as well. With a week to go until the Christmas break and not a whole lot of other winter boots in my wardrobe, it was a shoemergency!

On Saturday I was due to meet my friend Steph in Shoreditch for brunch. I decided to take my boots in to the cobbler for fixing on the way, however when I got to my local place it was closed. Steph recommended Hoxton Shoe Repairs on Hoxton Street, so after brunch (buttermilk pancakes at Ozone), I headed there. I also realised that the boots I was wearing were in desperate need of attention. But when would I be able to pick them up? This week is quite hectic…

Turning up at the repair shop I explained my predicament, and asked if there was any way they could fix my boots while I waited. I was happy to sit and wait in the shop, but the owner persuaded me to wait in a local cafe with a newspaper he lent me. He led me down the street to a nice-looking cafe, installed me at a table there, I gave him my boots and I was left there in my stockinged feet!

Do you know a freshly squeezed orange juice costs £2.10 in Shoreditch? Which was, apart from a large quantity of coppers, exactly the change I had in my purse. The OJ lasted an hour until my boots reappeared by my table, and I went back to the shop to pay and pick up my other boots, stopping only to dump my coppers into a charity bucket wielded by a Santa-hat-wearing carol singer.


What an amazing job – I wish I had taken a before picture to show the damage. It really was so nice to get such amazing service, from guys who take real pride in their craftsmanship. Plus my boots now have a whole new lease on life. It’s good for the environment, for the local economy, for my pocket and for my feet!

Inspired by their example I went home and darned my favourite woolly tights. It really is so satisfying to mend clothing rather than throwing it away. I urge you to stop putting off those mending jobs, sew that button back on, darn your socks, fix that moth hole in your favourite jumper (try Woolfiller, amazing stuff), and take your shoes to be fixed.

3 thoughts on “What’s old is new again

  1. 7. Best for board games Salvation Army SE8 Best buy: Barely worn black suede four-inch Topshop ankle boots, £2. Who shops: Game boys and girls. Who drops: Deptford locals having a clear out now the kids have left home.

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