I recently visited the local shoe repair place, where my receipt came with this little nugget of wisdom: Shoes worth wearing are worth repairing. Amen, shoe repair place. I’d left in their care a very special pair of leather boots. A pair that’s taken me on various trips around the world, dutifully matching every outfit, weather type and music genre on the dance floor.
I’ve always been a ‘resole’ rather than ‘replace’ kind of person. But it wasn’t until I brought home my newly repaired boots that I thought to care for what’s above the sole—the leather upper, that for so long kept my tootsies dry and my outfits fly, was looking rather sad.
That’s when Tangent GC came into my life.* The Swedish brand’s shoe grease—GC stands for garment care—has an ingredients list that reads like it belongs on an organic cosmetics counter: beeswax, coconut fat, rapeseed oil, wool wax and rosemary. A better match for my genuine leather boots, I thought, than those strong-smelling shoe polishes with their list of unpronounceable toxic chemicals.
I was convinced their 100% natural products would be gentle. But would they be effective? With an old cotton t-shirt as a rag, I got to work on my tired, faded boots. The unmistakeable waft of rosemary was a treat. During 15 minutes of “contemplative polishing,” as Tangent calls it, I watched my boots transform from worn and weary to full of life again. I thought to myself, “Ah, this is what they’re supposed to look like”.
Most laundry and fabric care brands seem preoccupied with world, or at least grocery aisle, domination. Not so Tangent. “We grow slowly and we choose our retailers carefully. It’s more important to be in right place for the right reasons,” says founder David Samuelsson. Its collaboration with Filippa K on a spearmint detergent tailored to the mission-driven fashion label’s garments is a case in point.
There’s no doubt that Tangent GC is made for the slow-fashionista—the person who cherishes an expensive cashmere scarf, a delicate silk camisole, a fuzzy wool jumper. The person who wants to care for those items they care about in the best way, to make sure they last a long time.
Now, where’s that orange oil detergent? I have a handmade kimono to wash.
* Disclaimer: I did a bit of copywriting for them.