Thursday, January 6, 2011
Everything Old Is New Again but Made to Look Old
Manufacturing gets me down. Above, my Doc Martens from 1991. Made in England, purchased from a mail-order company in California because at the time I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Doc Martens weren't available there. My first big purchase with the wages of my first real job: School Janitor. They cost $110. I was 14.
I wore them everywhere in high school, then in college, after which I began to alternate them with several other pairs of favorite boots. They've been with me for over half my life, have lived in every city I have, and have even traveled overseas with me.
Because I love them, and because they are looking very worn, I looked into buying a new pair, a black pair. I learned that they are now made in China (I was tipped off that something was wrong when I realized they cost just a bit more than $110 now, 20 years later). You can even buy them with a "worn" look. Behold.
There's a "remarkable wearing-in process" taking place in Chinese factories to produce boots of mediocre quality (NOW I realize why so many people have recently told me that their Doc Martens fell apart very quickly. I wondered what they could possibly be doing to their shoes). That's so sad to me.
It looks like I still have a chance to purchase the black ones I want from the original factory here. I'll take 20 years of boot made in England for $100 more; would you?