We all have a pair of go-to shoes that are irreplaceable but what can you do when they reach the end of their life? homeWORK Editor Farah Khalique tries out The Restory’s shoe-restoration service and gives #visiblemending a go.

About Restory


Founded in 2015, The Restory prides itself on breathing life back into cherished clothes and accessories. With a recent revival of pre-owned and pre-loved items, The Restory are making this trend viable in a luxury space.

An average shoe consists of about 20 components built and bonded together. These different materials all arrive at the landfill site together and because it’s difficult to split each component up, they often can’t be recycled.

Vanessa Jacobs, CEO and Founder at The RestoryRestory

The Restory, however, is fighting to curb waste. And homeWORK Editor Farah Khalique tried out their shoe restoration service, Roland Cartier strappy sandals in hand.

I bought my favourite pair of shoes at 18, when I was still in school and before I had even been kissed. Much has changed in my life since, but my Roland Cartier blue strappy sandals have remained in my shoe closet – they never let me down!

Farah KhaliquehomeWORK Editor

Sadly, it takes more than love to sustain a pair of well-worn shoes. The heel tips had been replaced countless times, the midnight blue colour scuffed and the material had been gouged away on the heels. “Muddy fields and heels don’t mix,” explains Farah. “But thankfully The Restory came to my rescue.”

Based at Grand Union Studios in West London, its team of experts lovingly restore bags and shoes. Services include special cleaning and custom colour touchups, as well as repairs of tears, rips or punctures and replacement of hardware like zips and studs. Vanessa says, “We think everyone has something in their wardrobe for restoration and our aim is to make you fall in love with your favourites all over again.”

Farah booked a courier online to collect the shoes from her apartment and deliver them to The Restory atelier where they assessed the items; three days later a quote for £156 landed in her inbox. Standard cleaning and repair work takes five to seven days; advanced services can take three to five weeks, depending on complexity.

“It took a month to bring my shoes back to life, but the wait and cost were worth it,” says Farah. “My sandals look brand new. Even when I carefully inspected them, I couldn’t see the previous damage. The rich blue colour has been beautifully restored, the heels are sturdy and when I wear them, I feel 18 again.”

Farah KhaliquehomeWORK Editor

Find out more about the pioneers of sustainable fashion had to say at Workspace’s Business Insight Dinner, A Fashion Revolution: the future of the industry, hosted at China Works in Vauxhall.