SEOUL, South Korea, Sept 04 (Korea Bizwire) – Recently Korean consumers have been complaining that shoes from popular sneaker brands such as Nike, Adidas, and New Balance are unwashable. Consumers are having to wear dirty sneakers or throw them away despite the fact that sweat and dirt are unavoidable with sneakers because not only are a lot of these products incompatible with cleaning, but also have insufficient instructions on how to clean them.
An increasing number of consumers have seen their sneakers decolorize or lose their coating once they are washed, and there is a growing tension among customers and cleaning specialty stores on liability for damages. Sneaker makers, on the other hand, are not being very responsive to this problem, merely offering vague instructions on a separate printout inside the packaging box.
Because the instructions are in each box and not on the sneakers as with other clothes, consumers are unaware of these instructions at the time of purchase, and have to check with the printout every time they wish to wash them. The instructions are inconvenient also, with instructions for all products are written is small letters regardless of type of sneakers each person buys. It is up to the consumer to determine which type of shoes they have bought and apply instructions accordingly.
Even this might all be irrelevant as import sneaker manufacturers acknowledge that these shoes shouldn’t be washed in the first place. Choi Hyun-sook, president of Consumer Research (www.consumerresearch.co.kr), a consumer protection advocacy, said, “High-end sneakers have emphasized design and have become unwashable, conflicting with the common sense belief to the contrary among consumers. There is a pressing need to reinforce consumer instructions regarding the proper way to wash these sneakers.”