An alarming new study out today expresses concern over Virgina’s drastic decline during the last decade in production of those plastic thingies found on the end of shoelaces.
The state ranked 50th in the U.S. for producing “whatever you call the little thingies that help the lace go through shoe holes,” according to the 22-page report by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
“As the Baby Boomers retire and move to Velcro or slip-on footwear products, it is obvious to us that we are about to see an influx of younger generations in need of tie-up sneakers, dress shoes and even replacement laces,” said Jeff Anderson, executive director of the economic group.
“And this demand will require those plastic thingies on the tips of the strings,” he said, “or else it’s really impossible to lace up the shoe, not to mention really frustrating when the things fall off and the laces fray.”
Industry supporters were quick to concur.
Marcus Nelson, president of the North American Plastic Shoelace Tip Thingies Association, said the study by the economic-development group had been “a long time coming,” and the state’s swift call to action and immediate 20 percent increase in plastic thingy production would ensure that no Virginia shoelaces go tipless for the next half century.
The Virginia study comes nearly two months after a similar report called for increased exports of the metal doo-dads that hold erasers into place on pencils, saying such demand was necessary to fill the trade gap caused by high imports of the whatchamacallits on the back-end parts of hammers.