On value and shoddy upcycling (in which I cut up a pair of high-tops)


After my last pair of canvas shoes fell apart, I decided to mix it up a little bit and try a pair of high top shoes. I thought it would be a good idea because I could wear proper socks without hooking them back over my heel. It turned out to be not such a good idea because I just didn’t like how they looked (with shorts, with skinny jeans, with dresses) and never wore them. As a bit of a minimalist, I started to resent owning something I never used and started to feel guilty every time I saw them at the bottom of my wardrobe.

“Why don’t you just cut the tops off them?” said my Mum. Could I? Could I really? Just destroy a perfectly good pair of shoes because they weren’t quite what I wanted.


I realised that things only have value if they are actually valuable to us. Despite paying more than I usually would for these shoes, they had no value for me while they remained unworn. Sure, to some people they might be less valuable now that they’ve been shoddily chopped of and left to fray, but I’ve worn them more in the last week than I have in the last two months since I bought them. So I’ve actually increased their value to me.


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