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.

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Single Use Project by Miska Mandic

I'm currently creating a series of photographs and videos exploring single-use packaging culture.

So many of the things we buy every day come packaged in layers of plastic, paper, styrofoam; all to be instantly discarded once we get it home. What we don’t often consider is the effect this has on our environment. A plastic water bottle, or a plastic container for example, has already gone through an elaborate process before reaching the shop; oil is extracted from the ground, shipped to a refinery, turned into plastic, shaped and then trucked to the store. This process - as well as the process of recycling that ideally should follow - is energy, water and carbon dioxide intensive, and takes many months to complete. Not to mention that 80% of water bottles don’t get recycled at all, but rather end up in landfill; by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

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