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Workwear specialist HAIX looks to ensure that “mending is trending”

09 May 2022

IN ORDER to realise a circular footwear economy, there needs to be an industry-wide shift towards making ethical workwear maintenance as important as ethical procurement. As industry experts strive to minimise workwear’s social and environmental impacts, global footwear specialist HAIX is diligently working in partnership with the Boot Repair Company on ensuring that “mending is trending”.

Every year, circa 149 million pairs of shoes are thrown into landfills in the UK. As footwear is manufactured, transported, worn and discarded at a rapid pace, the impact spreads far beyond the environment. Fast-paced supply chains often rely on outsourced and poorly paid labour from factory workers overseas, resulting in a commodity-driven process that causes not only social, but also environmental damage.

Consumers, non-Governmental organisations, Governments and other stakeholders alike are now ramping up the pressure for businesses to commit to supply chain transparency and ethical production across a broad spectrum of industries. However, in the world of workwear, there still needs to be a fundamental shift from solely encouraging ethical procurement to encouraging both ethical procurement and maintenance.

The Boot Repair Company was formed from two family businesses with over 120 years of experience in the boot and shoe repair trade. Its craftsmen specialise in repairs for personnel operating in the Emergency Services (ie the Fire and Rescue Service, the police service and the ambulance service) sector as well as for individuals and companies in the equestrian, motor sports and walking equipment markets.

The company’s highly-skilled craftsmen repair, stitch and welt each boot by hand using original HAIX components, which are 100% manufactured in Europe to meet socially responsible guidelines. A full resole offers renewed grip and posture and can actually double the life expectancy of HAIX footwear.

Regular inspections

The Boot Repair Company’s director Tom Forbes explained to Fire Safety Matters: “Sole repairs are most common because this part of the shoe is subjected to the most pressure. The timeframe in which a repair is needed will depend on occupation, the job hazards encountered, how often the boots are worn and even the individual wearer’s size and weight.”

Forbes continued: “Regularly inspecting safety boots is particularly important for Emergency Services workers to avoid unnecessary injury. However, while a sole is vulnerable to wear and tear, a nicely broken-in upper can escape virtually unscathed and have lots of life left in it. We’ve found that HAIX boots can be re-soled around three times because the thick upper leather is so strong.”

Further, Forbes asserted: “Ultimately, good boots are like old comrades. As two family businesses with a history of supporting Emergency Services workers, we take great pride in knowing that we can minimise waste and help more people to keep their footwear for longer.”

HAIX’s UK sales manager Simon Ash responded: “HAIX made a Corporate Social Responsibility promise over 70 years ago that’s wholly focused on ‘Made in Europe’ manufacturing, which encompasses fair working conditions, sustainable practices and modern testing facilities. The family business’ partnership with The Boot Repair Company embodies our commitment to drive a more sustainable future, feet first.”

Ash went on to state: “To help achieve a circular footwear economy, we need an industry-wide shift to make ethical workwear maintenance as important as ethical procurement. Businesses maintain their premises, equipment and company vehicles, so why not their footwear? There’s a business case and an environmental case to be made for boot repairs. HAIX makes its footwear as durable as possible such that wearers can minimise waste and organisations can buy better, not more.”

Using high-quality materials can extend the life of footwear and encourage prolonged use. HAIX shoes are put through their paces to ensure that they exceed the minimum standards as much as possible, including undergoing a series of over 100 material and quality assurance tests, replicating the day-to-day challenges of wearers who spend most of their time on their feet.

*For more information visit www.haix.co.uk