MAKING SHOES LAST COBBLERS HELP SUSTAINABILITY REPAIRS
Traditionally, cobblers made shoes as well as fixing them but these days they mainly focus on repair and restoration. Cobblers have been around for centuries, making it one of the oldest trades in the world. Historically, people bought shoes from this person. In addition to resoling, today’s cobblers can also perform stretching, resurfacing, reshaping, reheeling and other repairs. “I was trained as a qualified shoemaker and understand the anatomy of footwear from inception to finished product,” Nick Pascuzzo said. While he doesn’t make shoes, he could fix many footwear problems “including specialised areas of orthopedic and welted construction repairs and alterations”. A COBBLER’S trade may seem like a dying one but Nick Pascuzzo begs to differ.
“While there is a perceived conception of living in a throwaway society, you would be surprised at the strong demand for repairing shoes,’’ Mr Pascuzzo, owner of Manly Cobblers, said.
“The current and necessary focus on sustainability really makes people want to make things last as long as possible. Sustainability may be a perceived modern concept yet cobblers have been making things last for centuries.”
Mr Pascuzzo said people had an emotional connection to their shoes.
“If you have a pair that is comfortable and good for your feet then it is so beneficial both for your health and economically to prolong their usability,” he said.
Mr Pascuzzo has been in the trade since he was 14, learning from a master shoemaker from Italy.
“Shoes really do tell a story … I am in the enviable position of hearing stories from all walks of life,” he said.
“One in particular is a gentleman who owned the same pair of RM Williams boots, which he repeatedly had repaired for 35 years. A fine example of someone who loves their shoes and the quality which RM Williams holds in order to last that long.”
He had also noticed how younger people wanted to educate themselves on shoe care and maintain footwear.
Cobbler Nick Pascuzzo has started a pickup and drop-off service to keep the trade alive.