Repair Is a Radical Act

The king of beasts is a lion. The king of fruits is a durian. What do you think the king of shoes is? I believe it would be John Lobb. It may have not yet become common sense like the rankings of animals and fruits, but I expect I’m not the only one who thinks that way. They are the symbol of strength, stylishness, and smartness, though it may be influenced a lot by James Bond. These days, I’m into YouTube videos of shoe repair, where I saw John Lobb shoes were repaired to be so beautiful as if they were new. I feel like I understand why they are called the king of shoes.

As I wrote sometimes ago, I’m not so interested in things and owning things. It would be inevitable for anyone in the age of plenty, and sharing economy is the necessary result. This is what I believed, but I recently found the article that made me stop and think. I remembered the words in the article while watching John Lobb shoes be reborn in the video. It’s the article by Rose Marcario, ex-CEO of Patagonia, titled “Repair Is a Radical Act.” She argues customers (product-consumers not owners, to be more precise) are forced to seek out the best price buy by most companies making cheap stuff that breaks right away and must be replaced quickly.

Rose concludes her article with the following words “And as businesses, we have a responsibility to make higher quality products to help reclaim the act of ownership: make parts accessible and repair easy.” We feel tense as one of manufacturers, taking pride in having been fulfilling the responsibility, though. Our furniture is designed to last for decades, and we provide repair service as well. As transportation costs (and carbon footprint from the transportation) are considered, our own repair service is not feasible outside Japan, but I think your local furniture repair shops will help you use our furniture over some generations.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.

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2 thoughts on “Repair Is a Radical Act

  1. The loss of a willingness to place value on owning, purchasing & making things of quality, beauty & functionality is a casualty of the consumer age we live in.
    As an architect I am lucky enough to be in a profession that aspires to & often gets the opportunity to create spaces & buildings that will out live the owner, architect & the builder.
    The age of the computer has not delivered the paperless office!
    People have become consumers & numbers not living breathing individuals.
    Many of our neighbours do not have the time or understanding of how to just stop & appreciate the moment as it will never be here again.
    Our new world has been handed the opportunity to believe that you can get everything at the push of a button.
    However the computer cannot give you the sensual feel of real leather underfoot, the wind & rain on your face in the forrest or the heave of the deck as the boat lifts to a sea swell & the rigging catches the breeze.
    Each of these experiences are timeless moments of calm, oneness with the environment, inner peace & beauty to be treasured.
    Quality, attention to detail, the very best materials all put together with care, skill & a willingness to improve create items of beauty.
    Your CONDE HOUSE does that.

    1. Thank you very much for your reply and kind words. I hope more people will appreciate real things to help real manufacturers from driving out of the market.

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