of better-known imitations
From one of the
first factories to make Doc Martens, these camouflage jungle
boots have a genuine three-layer Solovair sole, oil fat and alkali
resistant as well as being vegan, with a breathable top. To turn
the top into waterproof breathable waxed canvas, simply heat
with a hair dryer and rub gently with a candle. There is no need
to do a thorough job at one time; a more even effect comes from
waxing every few months.
Of several midlands firms that used to make Goodyear Welted boots,
with soles licensed from the Funk Maetens Patent & Trade
Mark Association, this is one of the few still to make in the
UK rather than China
and probably the only one to to use the heat-sealed process.
Obviously it's not the one that bought the famous trademark,
but it's still the original & genuine Solovair with
- Goodyear string stitching
- Three layer self-moulding sole
- Oil fat and alkali resistant
- Sustaining a range of Jobs
trade, skills & supplies in a country with courts, votes
and a welfare state
- It saves the jungle: "expansion of livestock production
is a key factor in deforestation" according to Livestock's
Long Shadow, a recent UN report: "the livestock sector
emerges as one of the two or three most significant contributions
to the most serious environmental problems at every scale from
local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it
should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of
land degradation, climate change and air pollution water shortage,
water pollution and loss of bio-diversity".
Some other factory facts:
- Off cuts from the usual uppers
are still collected and shipped to a board manufacturer, rather
than go to waste.
- Off cuts from the soles are shipped-out to Zimbabwe for melting-down
& making into another kind of shoe sole.
- Some of the factory tools date back to 1885; some of the
moulds or lasts date back to the second world war.
- The firm that supplies camouflage upper material last stocked
it in 1998; this batch of shoes is going to be sold on a large
scale to justify getting more rolls made.
- The factory is looking for staff. The work is like a routine
office job in its claustrophobia, but this is balanced by the
satisfaction of making something real and sensible. There is
a requirement to move from machine to machine and colleague to
colleague, picking up far more inter-personal & craft skills
than in plenty of offices: staff simply spot a bottleneck in
the production line and go to help, allowing far smaller and
more complicated orders than mass production "Nowadays
we are getting young people choosing
the work as a career It's a craft, and crafts are cool"
- Hilary Freeman, owner of a different factory, Edward Green
& Co quoted on Radio 4 12/07 After working in a shoe factory
it's possible to study shoe-making at a college at Rossendale,
north of Manchester, or at Leicester.
- DM or Solovair soles' first market in the 1940s and 1950s
was mature women, who wore them for comfortable moulding to their
feet in a way that girls fashion shoes tend not to do.