Why Germany’s shoemakers are also on the sneaker hunt

Why Germany’s shoemakers are also on the sneaker hunt – and the survey results published today by the German Consumer Protection Association underscore the importance of footwear repair

Joint press release of the Round Table Repair and the Central Association of the Shoemaking Trade

The results of a consumer survey published today on the subject of shoe repair prove how difficult Germany’s shoemakers have it with shoe repair. 64 percent of those surveyed gave as their reason that many shoes cannot be repaired at all. But this is wrong. Most shoes can be repaired or even retreaded. In fact, however, many consumers feel that shoe repair is too expensive – compared to the purchase price.

The fact that 47 percent of those surveyed cannot find a repair shop nearby is understandable, however. After all, the declining demand for repairs has led to more and more shoemakers having to give up.

This must change! So it’s all the more gratifying that these days, the topic of throwaway shoes is getting more and more attention. For example, in the broadcast format “Sneaker Hunt”. Sneaker Hunt is an exciting and well-done format to make greenwashing, especially by the big shoe brands, an issue. Because the truth behind the green promises and collection campaigns is – as this research proves – anything but sustainable.

There are many reasons why textiles and shoes have become disposable items. Exploitation of workers in shoe factories worldwide and in Europe. Shoes that are so poorly made that they look outdated and used up after a short time and break.

There is a system behind this. Rapid wear and tear is intended to fuel new purchases just as much as the “sustainability lie” surrounding recycling, which manufacturers now use to redeem themselves. All this is also highly damaging to the environment and climate: textiles and shoes have a larger ecological footprint than air travel.

This doesn’t have to be the case: on the one hand, there are now also small brands that really take sustainability seriously, and secondly, there are shoemakers who can repair and “retread” many old-looking shoes so that they look “almost like new” – or better.

The National Association of Shoemakers has been working with the Repair Round Table since the beginning of the year to bring shoe repair to people’s attention and to make it easier and more attractive. To this end, a network of scientists, suppliers and manufacturers as well as shoe designers is being formed. The result of the project, which is co-financed by the Federal Environment Agency as part of its funding of associations, will be a roadmap showing what needs to be done to ensure that more shoes are repaired and worn for longer in the future.

After all, the only truly sustainable shoe is one that is either not produced in the first place or one that is worn, cared for and repaired for a long time.

That’s why the Central Association of the German Shoemaking Trade is offering the show creators of “Sneakerjagd” to repair a pair of shoes of their choice for all participating celebrities who don’t want to throw them away. We are sure: This attempt will convince them that going to the shoemaker is worth it.

The barriers to shoe repair are currently still high. The number of shoe repair shops – as a result of falling demand – has been steadily declining for decades. Many consumers no longer even know where to find a shoemaker.

Secondly, most consumers are not aware that there is hardly a shoe that cannot be repaired. This applies not only to high-quality leather shoes, but also to sneakers. Because even sneakers deserve better than a collection garbage can. Especially if you can win election campaigns with them – like Kevin Kühnert. Shoemakers can clean, repair and “retread” sneakers so that they (almost) “look like new” and once again serve their purpose for a long time and give pleasure.


–> Consumers survey on the topic of shoes

Contacts for queries

Zentralverband des Schuhmacherhandwerks
Rolf Rainer
Johannes-Flintrop-Straße 29, 40822 Mettmann
Tel.: 0176 2866 4387

Runder Tisch Reparatur
Katrin Meyer
Tel.: 0151 1788 9535