Splashing around: your ultimate guide to eco-friendly wellies

Girl in red eco friendly wellies

Splashing around: your ultimate guide to eco-friendly wellies

The wellington boot, we remember them fondly from muddy walks in parks when we were kids. But wellies aren’t limited to outdoor, muddy activities these days. Today, wellies are a fashion staple for every age group, from kids to seniors to fashionistas on Oxford Street.

Sadly, they haven’t always been the most sustainable item of footwear, but if you’re in search of eco-friendly wellies that don’t harm animals or the environment, you’ve clicked the right link.

With a saturated market, it can be overwhelming picking an ethically-responsible boot manufacturer. So here is everything you need to know about eco-friendly wellies and where you can get them.

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Why are eco-friendly Wellies an Essential for your Boot Rack?

Playing and walking outdoors is only fun when your feet are safe and warm. If your shoes aren’t made from a waterproof and durable material, you’ll soon have pretty wet and miserable feet.

With good-quality wellies, you can perform those challenging outdoor tasks with your pinkies warm and dry. These rogue-looking rubber boots keep your feet safe whether you’re working on a farm or strolling in a jungle.

Wellies have been around for centuries, owing to their durability and usefulness. But recently people have started to acknowledge that standard wellies aren’t very sustainable. They were traditionally either made from PVC or leather, both not-so-environmentally friendly materials.

Today, we see many manufacturers producing sustainable wellies that don’t strain the environment like their older counterparts.

But, how do you find the best sustainable and ethically made wellies when there are endless options on the market? Don’t worry, we got you. Skim through the following sections to be a smart eco-friendly shopper.

How are standard wellies made?

Green standard wellies
Photo by Sinitta Leunen from Pexels

Wellies were initially made from different kinds of leather to achieve a seamless look. Since original leather is quite durable, those wellies worked really well. However, with the arrival of modern shoe materials and increased leather prices, most manufacturers switched to PVC wellies in the last century.

The leather or PVC sheets used for making wellies were pressure-treated and bleached with different chemicals to achieve a smooth finish. All these chemical dying and pressure-treating methods weren’t sustainable and called for a solution.

How can wellies be sustainable?

With the rise of ethically-responsible brands, we’ve started to see sustainable wellies (and all other kinds of shoes) in the past two decades. Today, wellies can be made from natural substances that are biodegradable and (in some instances) recyclable.

Any welly manufacturer that uses naturally sourced rubber fibre to make wellies is doing a great job because now, you get to wear your favourite shoes without ruining the environment.

What should we look for to know if a wellie is eco-friendly?

Shopping is a hectic task for environmentally conscious people especially because of the amount of greenwashing prevalent in the market. It’s hard to know who to trust, and when the throwaway culture is on the rise, finding woke brands is indeed difficult. But luckily, you can do this with a quick checklist in hand.

If you want to purchase wellies with a clear conscience, here are a few points to look for in prospective brands:

1. Materials

Leather and PVC wellies are not sustainable or ethical. If you want cruelty-free and sustainable wellies, look for pairs made from natural rubber. Rubber is a natural material so obviously more environmentally friendly than those made from plastic. It it also a stronger material meaning that your wellies will last you longer.

2. Manufacturing Practices

Sometimes a brand uses sustainable materials, but its manufacturing practices don’t adhere to ethical standards. Looking into a prospective brand’s labour rules, codes of conduct and certifications can clear the picture. For more on certifications see our article Why is Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Important.

3. The Prospective Brand’s Sustainability policies

Top-tier sustainable brands take pride in declaring their sustainability and production guidelines. Read up on a manufacturer’s views on sustainability, circular fashion, and recycling to know its credibility. If it’s silent on the issue there could be a good reason why. 

4. Brand Transparency and Sustainability Indexes

Reliable brand rating indexes such as those from Good On You and Remake aim to categorize sustainable and ethical brands according to their manufacturing practices. Not all smaller brands are on the list but once you shortlist a few names, look up their ratings to see if they’re worth your money.

5. Wellies’ Recyclability

When pure rubber is mixed with other synthetic fibres, it doesn’t remain recyclable or biodegradable. However some brands will take your wellies back and recycle them. Therefore, it’s smart to ensure that the wellies you’ll purchase are recyclable.

Flowery wellies
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

If a brand checks these five points on your list, you won’t regret purchasing wellies from it. And luckily, there are multiple brands providing a substitute for today’s irresponsible fashion horizon. Not sure where can you get ethically-made wellies? We got you!

Here are a few credible names making wellies that stay solid and look dashing:

our 12 favourite Eco-Friendly Welly Brands

Price Guide:

£: averaging £0-50
££: averaging £50-£100
£££: averaging £100-200
££££: averaging over £200

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1. matt & nat

Based: Canada
Ships to: UK, US, Canada, Europe 
Made in: China
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: one factory holds Social Accountability International – SA8000 certification which they are hoping to roll out, vegan, and cruelty-free production 

Matt & Nat is a good shoe brand making cruelty-free and vegan rain boots for adults of part of its 100% vegan shoe range. Check out their Romina Women’s Vegan Rain Boots made from recycled PVC or their Maria Rain Boots with fold over faux shearling.

For more on vegan shoes, see our guide. We also feature Matt & Nat in our guide to sustainable handbags here.

2. lakeland

Based: Canada
Ships to: UK, US, Canada, Europe
Made in: Sri Lanka
Price: £
Sustainability creds: One factory holds Social Accountability International – SA8000 certification, vegan, and cruelty-free production 

Since the material quality determines your wellies’ longevity, Lakeland uses FSC certified rubber to meet the highest quality standards. Lakeland delivers wellies across the globe to meet the increasing product demand. Lakeland wellies are vegan, cruelty-free, and durable – all positives packed together.

Available at Ethical Superstore.

3. kamik

Based: Canada
Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: USA and Canada
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: A reduced carbon footprint, circular fashion practices, long-lasting products, 70% rubber material

If you’re a fan of circular fashion and upcycling, look no further than Kamik. This shoe manufacturer is affordable, ethical, and sustainable. You won’t have to worry about environmental degradation while shopping from Kamik because it adheres to reliable sustainability practices. We love the CHLOE Rain Boot which comes in 6 colours.

Available in the UK from Amazon.

Girl in grey coat and environmentally friendly wellies
Photo by Danny Lines on Unsplash

4. stella mccartney x hunter

Based: UK
Ships to: Global Shipping
Made in: UK, China, Italy, USA and Africa
Price: ££££
Sustainability creds: scores 46 on remake, policy to prevent deforestation, organic materials.

If you’re ready to splurge on a good pair of wellies, Stella McCartney X Hunter is your place to be. This UK manufacturer uses organic material and aims to reduce its carbon footprint. The brand’s policy to prevent deforestation and using organic materials makes it a good contender for ethical wellies.

5. muddy puddles (kids only)

Muddy Puddles kids' eco friendly wellies

Based: Devon, UK
Ships to: UK
Made in: UK
Price: £
Sustainability creds: Handmade, durable wellies adhering to exceptional quality standards

Muddy puddles is another UK brand devoted to making wellies for kids. This manufacturer uses FSC certified rubber to ensure the wellies last. Muddy puddles has its manufacturing plant in the UK; rest assured, this brand follows ethical and sustainable practices.

6. vivobarefoot

Based: UK
Ships to: Worldwide 
Made in: China, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Portugal
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: Certified B Corp, Revivo e-commerce marketplace for refurbished barefoot shoes, vegan collection

If you’re concerned about fossil fuel wastage and environmental degradation, Vivobarefoot is your buddy. This UK-based brand doesn’t sell wellies per se but its Fulham II Juniors for kids are a great alternative. 

kids and adult in wellies
Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

7. evercreatures

Based: UK
Ships to: Worldwide 
Made in: China 
Price: £
Sustainability creds: Handmade, vegan wellies made from naturally-sourced rubber 

When durability and comfort with funky designs are what you want, you need a brand like Evercreatures. We love their price range too. They have tall, short, and ankle wellies, and even clog wellies. Their designs come in ranges for women, men and children.

Also available at Amazon.

8. Gumleaf

Based: Warwickshire, UK
Ships to: UK and beyond
Made in: Austria
Price: ££-£££
Sustainability creds: Hand made in Austria, wood chip fuel, and naturally sourced rubber fibre.

Gumleaf is a UK-based manufacturer making environmentally friendly wellies. Since Gumleaf promises to use 75% pure rubber to make wellies and discarded wood chips to power its manufacturing plant, it’s safe from the environment’s perspective.

Gumleaf is a mid-tier sustainable brand with fair-enough sustainability ratings and a broad product range to assist your shopping.

Also available at Amazon.

9. We love frugi (Kids only)

Based: Cornwall, UK
Ships to: Worldwide 
Made in: China, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey
Price: £
Sustainability creds: GOTS and Organic Content Standard 100 certifications by the Soil Association.

When finding a sustainable brand selling kids wellies gets difficult, Welovefrugi enters the scene. Welovefrugi is awarded the GOTS and Organic Content Standard 100 certifications by the Soil Association for its excellent sustainability standards.

This brand’s code of conduct and adherence to labour laws make it a good pick for woke buyers. And since Welovefrugi is an affordable name, you won’t have to think twice before purchasing from it.

Girl in eco friendly wellies in autum leaves
Photo by Toby Osborn on Unsplash

10. squelch (for kids)

Based: Northeast UK
Ships to: UK
Made in: China 
Price: £
Sustainability creds: 100% eco-friendly packaging, recyclable shoe material, handmade products that result in reduced carbon emissions.

Finding eco-friendly wellies for kids with a cool design isn’t a tough job when we have Squelch. Their wellies are see through and they sell a range of funky welly socks meaning your kids can change their style easily. This shoe manufacturer ensures eco-friendly product packaging, sustainable manufacturing, and an affordable price range. The manufacturer’s ethical standards are evident from its mission to reduce its carbon footprint.
Also available at Amazon.

11. will’s vegan

Based: UK
Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Italy and Portugal 
Price: £££
Sustainability creds: Uses recycled rubber, listed by PETA as a vegan manufacturer, ethically-made products, complies to EU unemployment, health & safety, and discrimination laws.

Will’s Vegan is listed by PETA as a vegan manufacturer providing ethically-made products. Will’s Vegan complies to EU unemployment, health & safety, and discrimination laws, which shows its credibility. While they don’t sell wellies as such, we love their stylish WVSport Country Boots which come in an insulated version too.

12. thesus outdoors

Based in: Canada
Delivers to: Worldwide 
Made in: Canada
Price: £££
Sustainability creds: handmade, low water and chemical wastage, recyclable rubber manufacturing.

Another brand is winning the sustainability race with its smart manufacturing. Thesus makes handmade wellies while ensuring low water and chemical wastage in its plants. This brand’s rubber shoes are recyclable and durable, so you’ll enjoy good value for money. If you need good-quality sustainable wellies, Thesus is a good option.

Summing Up

Sustainable fashion is smart fashion. If you’re considerate of the environment while shopping, you can bring a positive change to your surroundings. Great wellies are one fashion staple you can add to your collection. From working in the garden to running errands on a snowy day, good-quality wellies never go wrong.

We hope this quick guide assists you in your shopping for eco-friendly wellies that look good and don’t strain your budget either. The brands in our list are all reliable; shop from the one that suits your requirements the best and slay your eco-friendly wellies. We wish you luck!

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