How eco-friendly are wellies?

Every year I get caught out by the winter weather. Despite having the experience of thirty-something


winters, I’m still surprised when it snows. There’s been multiple occasions when I’ve ventured out in Converse trainers in a snow storm or on ice and fallen (literally) victim to their flimsy soles.

Not this year though. This Christmas instead of frittering my Christmas money away I decided to be prepared for winter by buying grown up things like wellies.

So I wanted to find out whether wellies are eco friendly, and it turns out they are, and they aren’t.

The main downside of wellies when it comes to how eco friendly they are is that they can’t be recycled. This is because it’s very hard to recycle textiles and most wellies are made out of a number of different materials.

Wellies are either made of man-made materials (such as PVC) or rubber, which is a natural material.

As rubber comes from a tree, rubber wellies are naturally more eco friendly than plastic wellies that are made from material derived from oil. Rubber wellies are much more durable than plastic wellies too, which means they’ll last much longer so you’ll need to buy fewer pairs.

Normally I’d spend about £10 on a pair of wellies from ShoeZone or somewhere similar, but this time I did a bit of research into where I could get a rubber pair that would last longer than one winter. I opted for a pair from the Norfolk company Gumleaf. Here’s the blurb from the website:

‘We are commited to all our boots being enviromentally green and sustainable with all our boots being made from a natural product – wood chip powers our factory therefore significantly reducing our carbon footprint.’

Hopefully the wood chip comes from sustainable forests – apparently the trees the council cut down on our street were turned to wood chip for biofuel, so I’m a little paranoid about these things.

I ordered the wellies and when they arrived I felt like they gave me an instant boost to my adultness – ethically made, practical wellies that will help me not fall on my ass walking down our big hill this winter.

They were in the sale reduced from £70 to £30 – surely a woman who spends £30 on a pair of wellies is the kind of woman who runs a successful cottage garden? I felt I should buy a spanial too and maybe something in tweed.

I instantly pictured myself standing between our beautiful raised beds in our back garden (which I’ll get round to digging one day), trug in hand, picking an abundance of home grown veggies while not freaking out about spiders and bugs.

Who knows if this will happen or not, but I’m hoping my wellies will last me a lifetime so I’ll have plenty of time to try. Provided the world doesn’t end in a climate disaster before then, of course.

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