“What?! It’s such a perfect set of shoelaces? Why are you placing it in the NG section?”
“Well, the devil lies in the details. Just a closer inspection and you’ll find the little defect in it. MACHIEN Inc. promises to offer our customers the best quality products, and so that piece of shoelace will not be accepted.”
“Wow! That sounds strict! So where did all the NG items go?”
Do you wonder then how MACHIEN Inc. handles all the defected shoelaces?
Come join us then on the tour to learning the second life of NG shoelaces.
What Counts As No-Good Shoelaces?
At MACHIEN Inc., shoelaces that would be tagged as no-good can be categorized into the following five scenarios:
Scenario No. 1: Irreversible Color Gaps
Take “white” colors as an example, we can say that ivory white is white, white marble is white, and that the cloud in the sky is white. (I do not intend to make it philosophical). These different “whites” all belong to the “white color” category, while being uniquely different. During the dying processes, sometimes unexpected incidents may occur to change the resulting color of the yarn or shoelace. Even if the color gap is extremely difficult for the human eyes to detect, the shoelaces made from the wrong color yarns will still be rejected.
Scenario No. 2: Unremovable Oil Stains
Sometimes, during the braid-making process, oil stains (sometimes even transparent in color) may be accidentally attached to the shoelaces. We can see that from the unknown reflective glare on the shoelaces. To fix that, we will first apply degreasers or alcohol on spots with oil stains. For customers from the E.U. regions, shoelaces with oil residuals are usually considered disqualified products.
Scenario No. 3: Perceivable Black Dots
Other than transparent oil greases, the most commonly found contaminant is the black oil stains. In addition to that, there are also those tiny knots caused by the braiding needles. These black knots may be similar to black peppers in size, and will unlikely be removed from the shoelaces.
Scenario No. 4: Collective Knots
Whenever a new set of braiding spindle is replaced onto the machine, a small knot will be tied to each so that the yarns would not easily go off. The small knots on each of the spindle would then tangle into bigger joints calling the shoelace a complete NG product.
Scenario No. 5: Length or Aglet Discrepancies
This type of error occurs after the head-tipping process. Due to various non-human factors, shoelaces originally cut for a certain length may end off longer or shorter than expected. Sometimes even those within the 0.5cm deviation may also be rejected. It is also possible that due to heat or other unknown reasons, the aglets are seen crooked. This will also sentence the shoelaces to death. On the other hand, however, these shoelaces may be acceptable for others. Some wholesalers are not very picky about the lengths or aglets of the shoelaces. Hence, these NG shoelaces are now back to the fashion runway.
Where Do NG Shoelaces End Up?
Despite the contamination, coloring errors, or tiny defects in NG shoelaces, MACHIEN Inc. still takes every piece of shoelace as our precious baby. Thus, we have devoted huge amount of efforts into helping these NG products find their second future.
Apart from applying these NG shoelaces for our stock packages or as gifts shared with friends, MACHIEN Inc. would also sell the better NG products to wholesalers in lower prices or offer them to organizations with shoelace needs. The following are the four major groups of NG-shoelace supporters:
- Local farmers (shoelaces used to bind plant roots)
- Event organizers (shoelaces used to set up lightings and stages)
- Campers (shoelaces used to build up camps and/or hammocks)
- School teachers (shoelaces used for classroom decoration, teaching, and club activities)
If you’ve grown interested in joining the line to support NG products and help them find a better second life, we want you now!
Or, if you have any other better ideas for supporting these precious shoelaces, please don’t hesitate to give us a ring!