THE SOUL OF THE SOLe
Earlier this year, we were lucky to work with renowned sole unit makers Vibram as part of their Repair if you Care with Nike Server. Since its inception in 1937, Vibram, and the signature yellow octagon stamp, has maintained its reputation as the gold standard when it comes to its innovative shoe tech and footwear soles. The deep-lugged soles are used by more than 1,000 footwear makers, including the likes of Danner, Hoka One One, ROA to Balenciaga. Investing in a more circular future, Vibram's 'Repair if you Care' programme gives consumers the power to re use and personalise their shoes. Check out our controversial Onitsuka Trainer concept on our Instagram here. The Vibram Academy locations allow consumers to change a shoe's functionality. Built-in the brands' technical design, consumers are given the option to adapt any shoe with one change of a Vibram sole unit, meaning you can turn an everyday walking trainer into a running shoe or a running shoe into a hiking shoe or...you get the idea...
The new Repair if You Care campaign, created by Orienteer, see's us delve into three different categories of activity across Trail Running, Hiking & Cycling. Giving every shoe new use and purpose, we explore the soul of the sole and the idea that any upper can be built for a new journey into the outdoors.
We caught up with their head of special projects Cecilia Dossan, to discuss the Repair if you Care programme's future:
The 'Vibram Repair if you care' programme is centred around encouraging individuals to repurpose their worn footwear instead of discarding it. How did this initiative come about and what has the uptake been like so far?
Since the mid-1950s, Vibram has been a leading player in developing products designed for the shoe repair market. Every year, Vibram develops soling products with unique designs and compounds specifically intended for repairing all types of footwear. Every day, all over the world, thousands of shoemakers put their trust in Vibram products to guarantee the best results for their customers. So the program "Vibram Repair If You Care" was born at the beginning of 2021, naturally, to promote and communicate the resoling shoe service, to educate consumers on re-using and repairing shoes as a sustainable approach for the environment in a historical moment in which a growing economy is emerging through a new make-do-and-mend attitude. Repair is becoming a trend in themselves. Give a second life to the shoes underlines that Repair is a valuable opportunity for reducing waste and a conscious choice linked to sustainability.
The Vibram London Academy has been partnering with Nike Server for over a year now, but I'd love to know more about how this partnership came about and how it has allowed Vibram to step into more of a streetwear-led environment. Was this always an angle that you were looking to explore, or has it been a natural step in the evolution of this project?
In this case, the collaboration between Linus of Nike Server and the Vibram London Academy occurred spontaneously due to the need to repair old sneakers to be customised and resold to the public of Nike Server collectors. This is precisely the principle of "Vibram Repair if you care": giving a second life to your shoes. The collaboration between Vibram and Linus started in Milan on the occasion of an event organised at the Vibram Connection Lab. We then relied on the Vibram London Academy to communicate the message in London and carry on the Repair if you care workshops. So we can say that Linus's project was an excellent starting point to experiment in the sneakers field, to speak directly to the sneakerhead community, not only linked to the streetwear world but also attentive to the theme of sustainability and recycling.
Are there plans to expand the idea of the academy and open similar spaces in countries worldwide?
Yes, absolutely; for us, it is an ongoing and expanding project. Vibram continues to expand the network of certified cobblers at various levels, promoting the concepts of Upgrade, Customise and Upcycle, choosing a Vibram sole. Nord Europe, Spain, US and Korea represent interesting areas for us to explore and strengthen in the future.
To locate your closest Vibram Academy, head to the Vibram Cobbler Locator online and start the resoling process.
Directed by @orienteermapazine
@advanced.rock @oisinlondon & @johannaparv_
First Assitant @essofori
Second Assistant @flan_guapman