Cobblers, that's where the shoe pinches

Clean Climber applied for a grant from Citylab010 and all of that we want to invest in shoemakers/cobblers. What do shoemakers or cobblers have to do with a sustainability foundation for climbing? Because that's what Clean Climber is. Well, a lot. Climbing is on the rise and a lot of rubber is worn out in the halls of Rotterdam. Rubber is on the soles of special climbing shoes, and together we throw about 80,000 kilos of shoes straight into the bin every year in the Netherlands. Locals at Monk, the Klimmuur, Neoliet Boulder, Monte Cervino and other climbing locations in and around 010 contribute to this.

That can be done differently. That is why Clean Climber started looking at the entire supply chain of climbing shoes. We are investigating whether the rubber can be reused, for example for sports mats, and how you can produce more sustainably. However, for this project we are not looking at recycling, but at reusing. Climbing shoes are not disposable products; you can put high quality new soles under them. This way, they can last for years, you have less waste and (you don't have to explain this to any climber) you don't have the inconvenience of breaking in new shoes.

The problem: there aren't very many shoemakers who are trained to do this. That's why Clean Climber is applying for a grant from CityLab010 to change this in 2022. With this grant, we will change that by training shoemakers using courses from Vibram, La Sportiva, and Scarpa (renowned makers of climbing shoes and rubber). This is good news, because it expands the range of shoemakers themselves and brings in new customers. Clean Climber also uses part of the budget to mediate between customers in the climbing hall and these shoemakers. A win-win situation for climbers and craftsmen, but also for our planet. And we love it at Clean Climber.

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