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RIP Kiwi Shoe Polish: Brits take to Twitter as we enter a less shiny new era

The great tradition of shining your shoes will soon be a thing of the past, as the established Kiwi shoe polish is set to take their product off the UK market. 

Despite decades of service and its household-name reputation, as Brits are no longer buffing their boots, the manufacturer has decided to withdraw the shoe polish. 

The firm has confirmed that it will continue to sell its shine elsewhere across the globe. 

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The habit of polishing shoes has declined due to the recent rise of remote workers and sway towards casual footwear. 

A Kiwi spokesman confirmed the trend to the Telegraph. He said the firm has seen a fall in the number of Britons polishing their shoes due to a “rise in casual shoes that don’t require formal polishing.”

The firm added that it would focus on markets where shoe polish “remains relevant.” Despite Britain’s abandonment of the product, not all consumers have. Many office workers and members of the armed forces still embrace a shiny shoe. 

David James, 62, whose family owns a London shoe repair and cleaning service attributed the loss to “a sign of the times.”

James told MailOnline: “It is what you did on a Sunday night before school or work for the week, but those days are fading fast.”

James highlighted the increase in casual footwear, he said: “While shoes are dying, trainers are alive. We now renovate sneakers- repair and paint them.”

History of Kiwi Shoe Polish 

Kiwi polish was established in 1906 in Australia by William Ramsay, who named the brand after his New Zealander wife. 

It is bought in more than 120 countries and accounts for more than half the shoe polish sold globally. 

Two years later, Ramsey exported the product to Europe. But sales boomed after the outbreak of World War I, as the polish became essential for soldiers in trenches. 

Reaction to Kiwi Shoe Polish decline 

The disappearing tradition has upset many, with shocked reactions spurring on social media. 

One user wrote: “Come on Britain, get the sine back on for the New Year!”

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Another user wrote: “Sums up the UK’s accelerating decline.”

Sums up the UK’s accelerating decline.

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Another user reminisced over his childhood memories of the shoe polish.

The smell of Kiwi shoe polish takes me back to Monday mornings before school – very evocative and will be sadly missed.— David Kearle (@KearleD) January 2, 2023

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One user commented on the increase of trainers in Britain.

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Another user sharing the Telegraph’s article summed up Kiwi’s exit as “depressing”.

Others compared the military and everyday use of Kiwi shoe polish.

A reflection of the lack of even basic disipline in an individuals presentation? I’m not military!— Rupe (@Roopit2) January 2, 2023

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One user commented: “Plenty of shoe polish out there to buy. Doesn’t need to be Kiwi.”

plenty shoe polish out there to buy. Doesn’t need to be Kiwi.— Jenny Mac (@jenny_mach1) January 2, 2023

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And even more users were shocked at the decline of Kiwi.

I somehow missed this key piece of news: Kiwi shoe polish is no longer being sold in the UK! 😱Recommendations for what to use instead now much appreciated.— Sarah 🌻 (@S_A_George) January 1, 2023

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