Monday, September 27, 2010

The Annual Dilemma

Around this time every year I begin to get excited when considering my most treasured annual purchase: The winter boot.

As a teenager, Faith served me well. A Kurt Geiger sale pair were a great early purchase and have weared well. A couple of pairs have been passed on to me from my mum, and a couple of others have been found in discreet and quiet beautiful independent shoe shops around the country.

However, in the years since my sustainable fashion awakening - and understanding the need in our society to 'vote with my wallet' - no matter how great the look or label, if it's not been Terra Plana I have not bought it. Unfortunately, my black flat Terra Plana FAVOURITES that once looked like this...

Terra Plana Wood mid Cald Length Boot
Are now (despite much re-heeling) in a state of disrepair: broken zip, chunk missing from the back of both heels, buckle fallen off the top strap, threads coming loose. Looking at how they used to be, I would be more than happy to spend the same amount of money for a new pair on getting these fixed! Anyway, I don't think Terra Plana currently have a send back and renew policy - so my journey to replace them continues.

After lusting after the Terra Plana Lauren Boot (below) for way too long, by the time I had saved up to buy it, it had vanished from the shelves. These lovelies now exist only in virtual shopping areas in a size 3 or in yellow. (I'm a size 5 Terra Plana, if you're reading this and have a few spare black pairs).

Terra Plana Lauren Boot
I feel that the next part of the story is all due to the slight loss I feel by not owning a pair of the Lauren Boots. I have no ankle boots, and although I am searching for flat, black, practical but different, wearable but interesting (obviously responsibly sourced and manufactured) the look of the Lauren boot has always stayed with me in a search for something similar to take its place.

So, finding myself exploring the new Shoe Galleries in Selfridges on Saturday (along with a million other people) I was not impressed with any of the black flat boots I tried on. I was about to leave, wondering how much it would really cost to repair my favourite yet sadly unwearable original Terra Plana pair, when I walked past these black suede Siri boots in All Saints...

All Saints Black Suede Siri Boot
See a resemblance to the Lauren's? I know All Saints isn't at the cutting edge of innovative sustainable design, but they would be a good investment, surely?...I tried them on, squashed between other women trying on similar All Saints styles, commenting on how lovely they all are. I had a walk around in them and felt insantly Rock Chic...but was I really going to buy this slightly impractical yet stunning pair AND a pair of black flat ones? No, too much money. As I put them back in the box, still undecided, a keen sales assistant appeared. "I love these boots, we've sold SO many pairs of these today". Ah. That decided it. I left the Shoe Galleries pretty quickly without my essential Rock Chic footwear realising that however special I felt wearing them, at least 200, 300 + other rock chick boot lovers all over the country had felt the exact same way. I don't think that thought would put many people off...but for me there is no bigger turn off to buy something than knowing it is the most popular item. It is for this reason, not environmental issues, why I began making my own clothes, yet I am not blessed with the ability, nor equipment to make my own shoes. Reminded of my love for the niche and unique (yet affordable) I shall go back to finding small labels run by responsible designers trying to make a difference.

Oh, and until I can get my boots fixed I found my next purchase:

Terra Plana Black Birch Boot

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