How I repaired my Melissa shoes / by Miska Mandic

Being a vegetarian / vegan who also happens to be an environmentalist can sometimes make it hard to find shoes. Especially when you throw in a personal sense of style. Often vegan shoes and wallets are made of cheap and badly made faux leather which isn't biodegradable, falls apart quickly and goes to landfill; on the other hand, the long lasting, repairable and well wearing shoes are made from leather which poses quite a conundrum to vegetarian environmentalists like myself!

This is why I love my Melissas. They're sturdy, not tested on animals, made of a non toxic rubber and are entirely recyclable at the end of their life. I have pairs of Melissas that I've worn for over 5 years and I've never thrown out a pair yet. I was so upset when recently after 3 and 4 years of heavy wear two of my Melissa sandals tore at the strap. So here I am with two pairs of beloved shoes, unwearable because of torn straps, but otherwise in tip top shape.

Leather shoes can get repaired by shoemakers, but Melissas are made of rubber and there don't seem to be craftspeople yet who do those repairs. I even emailed Melissa to ask about it but they didn't have an answer.

So I decided I would try to fix them myself, and I did! I'm pretty happy with the result and it only took me 20 minutes to do both shoes.

All I used was thread and needle and a thumbtack.

Firstly I chose the colour of the thread; for the black shoes I picked red, coz why not? And for the blue and green sandals I chose green.

On the black sandal I carefully positioned the needle every time taking into consideration where the lines of red would go so it was spaced out nicely and looked good. I also made sure I didn't put the needle too close to the tear because I presume that would make it a weaker stitch. Once I got all the way to the bottom I repeated the procedure using the same hole spots, reinforcing the process.

With the green sandals, the strap was a lot thinner so I was just trying not to put the stitches too close together.

Make sure when you're done you loop the thread under and over a couple of times to create a knot. If you don't know what I'm talking about then you should watch a little tutorial on how to sow buttons, same principle.

Happy mending!