The Best Way To Recycle Old Wellington Boots

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RECYCLE

WELLINGTON

BOOTS

IMAGE COURTESY BARBOUR

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Recycle Wellies When Damaged

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Recycle Wellies When Not Damaged

Where would dog and country walkers be without our beloved wellies? Winter is a time that all country dwellers and dog walkers reach for their wellies due to the mud and saturated wet ground experienced up and down the UK.

Wellies – the shortened name for wellington boots – in the US referred to rubber boots or galoshes – underwent a revival during the 1980’s when manufacturers started using brightly coloured rubber as well as the famed garden green and black styles that had presided for decades. The rubber fabric being used underwent new manufacturing and styling techniques bringing a whole fresh look and appeal to new generations of wellie boot wearers.

Made generally from different thicknesses of rubber and rubber compounds, with differing finishing techniques applied and moulded foot shape, the wellie has become in a very short space of time a new fashion disposable item with fresh colour palettes and design finishes appearing every fashion season.

Further developments included handcrafting, waterproofing, matt and shiny finishes, linings with a selection of soft fabrics, elastic side gussets for better fit, tread patterns providing the wellington boot consumer even more choice and price range.

The wellie became a neccesity to be worn at mud soaked music festival sites championed by world famous Kate Moss

However, the wellington boot these days is not particularly environmentally friendly made of numerous compounds, where recycling becomes “challenging”.

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Wellies are seen everywhere, equestrian pursuits, shooting, fishing, outdoor activities, walking, picnics and gardening.

1. How do you dispose of damaged wellies?

Local Recycle Bins – You want to put them in your local recycling bin – check with Recycle Now for the nearest location and advice.

Give to your local charity who may be able to sell the ‘better’ designer wellington boot brands even though they are damaged. Check for your nearest charity shop listing online yell.com and that includes a search online for ‘pet charities’ who would be delighted to receive your donations.

Covid-19 has restricted donations, including when charity shops may be open, so call them and check they can take your donations and if they require you to pack them in any special way. Charities may have restrictions on selling children’s wellington boots, so do ring in advance.

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Watch the video by Hunter – How they make their designer boots

Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a pair of Green Wellington boots from Hunter. Image courtesy Getty Images.

Two special recycling initiatives put in place by retailers

Larger retail companies have recycling targets and sustainability issues to comply with legally, so retail businesses should be offering their customers the opportunity to re-cycle their wellies. Sadly, only two companies have policies in place.

Hunter Boots – whose premium boots range in price up to £350.00 offer the opportunity for you to pop into their London store to recycle your boots or arrange a free pickup by their designated courier to be transported to a Cheshire depot for designated recycling into special rubber chippings, used for example, equestrian tracks. This is a ground breaking initiative for wellington boot retailers offering recycling to the consumer but we have to question whether this is worth the carbon footprint left by a courier company.

Joules famed for more than 30 years selling their pretty country prints offer the opportunity for you to take your old wellington boots back into their stores where they will dispose.

Other Companies offer textile and shoe initiatives but not wellie boot initiatives. For example, Hennes, offer a drop in-store policy to recycle your unwanted textiles but not wellies, companies such as Cotswold Outdoor only recycle trainers, Marks and Spencer offer their Shwopping service but doesn’t include wellies. Upmarket Barbour, MuckBoot and Le Chameau seem to have no policy in place.

Keep your damaged wellies and #upcycle

Try restyling them if you can. Make ankle boots out of full length wellington boots where there is no damage to the sole easily, with sharp cutting knives. There are numerous features online discussing how to upcycle wellies depending on the restrictive damage and how to upcycle wellington boots, even making planters for your garden.

2. How do you recycle wearable wellies?

If your wellies are clean and wearable, with no damage then there’s several ways to recycle.

Friends, family and relatives may be grateful of the boots or keep as a spare pair of wellies for when friends may visit, needing to use a pair of boots for impromptu walks. Ask them!

Charity shops can have limited space and may only take these donated items infrequently, so it’s best to call ahead and find out what their current space allocation is like, rather than turning up at their premises and being rejected. Unfortunately, most cannot re-sell children’s wellies.

Giving your wellington boots away by using a free web platform such as Freecycle and ilovefreegle, and Gumtree. We are sure that any free item offered will be snapped up by grateful dog walking pet owners.

Selling your wellington boots to a dedicated resale platform such as Born Again Boots who buy and sell secondhand designer wellington boots.

For other resale websites for upmarket, designer welling boots try Vestiaire Collective, HEWI, Preloved, and then there’s also eBay, Facebook, Shpock, Vinted offering large market places to sell.

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