Knitting and crocheting clothes and socks sounds old school. It is a skill our grandparents and parents alike embarked on to beautify their houses and possibly sell to families who did not horn the skill at a young age. Crocheting and knitting was an easy skill to pick up and that most people learnt while in school.
However, while crotcheters turn to the traditional yarn to spin clothe, Valarie Lambisia has mastered the skill of crocheting in a different form. Being a resident of Mbita, finding labor to lock yarn to a needle is not hard; simply because the residents have long yarned to pass time.
About two years ago, she discovered that she could mint money by recycling old rubber shoe soles and give them life through crocheting. Having crocheted clothes almost all her life, Lambisia decided to apply the skill on old soles.
“I used to crotchet sweaters and socks but later discovered that I could come up with something new and unique,” she says. She says learning was not so hard because she had the basic skills; all she needed to do was perfect the job.
On every market day, Valarie goes to shop for Mitumba shoes in bulk. In her shop, Lambisia sorts the good ones from the bad. “It is easier to get shoe soles from Mitumba because they barely wear off. They are also relatively cheaper, going for between Sh100 and Sh200.” She resells the good shoes and rips of the bad ones.
Lambisia then makes holes round the old sole and crochets until it becomes a good boot or closed shoe. Her shoes range from Sh600 to Sh1,000. They are especially great for children because they are comfortable and also expand.