Hunting for Wellington Boots

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When I lived in Toronto, I flat out refused to give into the wellington boot trend. I had owned wellington boots in my life, like when I was a kid and spent a lot of time wading in creeks. But I have always maintained that wellington boots had not place in an urban setting.

However, I will admit that the rain in London forced me to rethink my position. After experienced a couple days of constant downpour this spring and very soaked shoes, I began to see the light (or the rain clouds). 

And thus began my hunt for an ethical option for wellington boots. 

My first find was Roma Boots...

Roma Boots, is the 'Toms Shoes' of wellington boots (though without as much publicity). For every pair of boots they sell, they donate a pair to orphan and street children. They also give 10% of their sales to orphans or street children.

Charity partnership one way companies work on being 'ethical' and its really great to see companies do it. But I don't think it replaces sourcing materials and labour in an ethical way. The website doesn't say anything about how things are manufactured either in terms of labour or environment production. 

Another consideration was that the company is located in the USA, and shipping it across to UK wasn't feasible, or very environmentally sound for that matter.

My second find was SeaSalt Cornwall...

So here we have a British-based company selling British-made boots. They have won the Queen's award for sustainable business (I'm assuming thats a big deal cause the Queen's involved?). Looking over their site, they have one of the most comprehensive overview of their environmental policy, ethical trading standards and social responsibility that I have ever seen publicly posted by a company. These wellington boots are also made of all natural rubber, which is way more ethical than using PVC or some type of plastic. 

But these didn't end up being my final choice. It was the style that put me off in the end. I just wasn't down with the pink. Or really any of the other kinda cutsey colours. We've already established I'm not a fan of the whole wellington boot looks. My enthusiasm for it goes even further down when it involves pictures of anchors or daffodils.

And I choose Ilse Jacobsen!

My final choose wasn't the most ethically certain. Ilse Jacobsen's boots are also made out of natural rubber. This means they have less of an impact when they are made and they can be recycled. They are also handmade, but in Slovakia. While handmade often has less environmental impact than an assembly line, its not necessarily better in terms of labour right. And I can't tell from anywhere on their website about their labour practises.

After much debate, I chose these boots. In the end, while these boots weren't the most ethically option, they were the closest one thing that met both my style and my ethical requirements. I mean, they are a doc martin-esque wellington boots. I will be splashing in at least environmentally friendly style this fall!


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