We speak to Adam Luck of Abbot's ahead of our collaboration.
Our good friend Adam Luck, founder of pre-owned footwear platform Abbot's, drove up from London to pay us a visit and deliver a curated selection of some of the finest pre-owned footwear, exclusively for MARRKT. We took the opportunity to show him around the local area and find out more about his business, as well as his views on the growth of the pre-owned market.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and the journey that led you to setting up Abbot's.
My name is Adam Luck, I am the founder of Abbot’s. I was born and raised in St. Albans, a small city just outside London. I am currently based in North London. Shortly after graduating from university, I began working in the financial services district of London, I used to love walking past the shoe shops and admiring the window displays of companies like Church’s, Joseph Cheaney and Crockett & Jones. However, I could not afford the prices they sold their shoes at, so I had the idea to buy myself a pre-owned pair of Church’s and restore them.
I taught myself how to clean and polish the shoes to get them looking as close to a new pair as I could and was thrilled with the end result. I continued to purchase and refurbish pre-owned shoes as I enjoyed the process, eventually I started doing it for friends and family as well as selling shoes online which I had restored. This hobby eventually snowballed and evolved into a full-time job and the small business that is now Abbot’s.
We’d be interested to know your view on the growth of the pre-owned market. Have you noticed a shift in mind sets and shopping habits?
I have certainly noticed a change in shopping habits over the last few years as consumers look to make more conscious purchasing decisions. This seems to have led to pre-owned becoming more ‘mainstream’ with big brands like Mr. Porter, eBay and Asos entering the space. I would anticipate more and more larger brands will look to follow suit in the coming years. However, I believe we are still at the start of the journey when it comes to the pre-owned market and feel there is ample room for growth. There is still a large proportion of the population who haven’t yet been coaxed into the pre-owned market.
Despite the encouraging growth of the pre-owned market, I do still feel there is a lack of focus on sustainable manufacturing with much of the clothing industry being dominated by ‘throw away’ products. MARRKT does a great job of showcasing brands that do focus on quality and in turn sustainability.
What would you say to somebody who is considering to buy a pair of pre-owned shoes for the first time?
I would encourage readers to give it a try! I would advise looking at established shoe brands that have built reputations for quality. Ideally, look at shoes that are constructed with a Goodyear welt so that they can be repaired easily in the future. Leather shoes in particular can take quite a beating but with the correct care can last for decades. A benefit, I find people can be surprised by, is that pre-owned shoes are often remarkably comfortable. The reason for this is that part of the sometimes painful break-in process that softens the upper has been carried out by someone else.
If unsure, I would encourage readers to try pre-owned footwear from a trustworthy pre-owned site like Marrkt or Abbot’s who pre-vet stock and offer returns. We often get messages from customers telling us they wish they had discovered pre-owned footwear sooner and that they aren’t planning on buying a new pair of shoes again!
As with MARRKT, Abbots focuses on quality well made products. Which brands do you typically admire?
There are lots of brands that I admire. One that springs to mind is Manchester based Private White V.C., I am a big fan of the outerwear they make, especially their Twin-Track jacket. In the footwear space there are so many great brands I admire, a few personal favourites are Tricker’s, Edward Green and Crockett & Jones.
I greatly admire brands that are willing to repair their products for their customers, I see it is a mark of confidence in their own products, all of the above brands I have mentioned are willing to do so. It would be great to see more brands focusing on repairability as well as quality.
Thank you to Adam for all the help with this project. You can find out more on Abbot's at abbotsshoes.com.
Shop an exclusive collection of 50+ pre-owned shoes, curated and reconditionned by Abbot's.