How can I reuse or recycle … old wellies?

Wellington BootsAccording to something I read the other day, Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eaves hates all the wellington boots that are abandoned after the mud-fest that is the Glastonbury Festival these days. He apparently said: “I hate to see wellies being ditched. We really need to find a way of recycling them.”

…. So any suggestions?

(Photo by vierdrie)

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18 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … old wellies?”

  1. Sharon Sugrue says:

    The Lancashire based company below recycle old wellington boots.

  2. Use them to plant stuff in

  3. dancing girl says:

    Why can’t they be used again at next years festival? Just group them into sizes and pile them into great heaps. One pound or two a pair. Raise some money for charity or struggling local musicians.

  4. CheapNLazy says:

    Offer on your local Freecycle site!

  5. Amanda Kerik says:

    Offer them to your local foodbank – the poor need to wade through mud too!

  6. Helen Sím. says:

    I was surfing the internet and found a great Finnish website. Among other things I found this brilliant way of recycling boots. You don´t have to understand Swedish or Finnish just look at the pictures.
    If the boots upperpart has hole in it just cut the upperpart away and use that to make bag and use the lower part as some kind of slippers to use in the garden we call it “túttur” here in Iceland.
    Greetings Helen Sím.

  7. Gulia says:

    Cut off the top part and they can be worn as regular shoos.
    You can even decorate them.

    Place couple of big once by the door to scare away criminals.

    If you go into sea water only knee deep, because you are afraid of shark bites and jelly fish, or sharp stones, then wear them there, and offer to others.

    Fill them with water and keep in a big freezer, when its half empty. Filled freezer is more efficient.

    Line with plastic bag and ferment vegetables in them: cabbage, cucumbers, apples, etc.

    Store glass vases, vessels in them to prevent breakage.

    Attach long round handle to the front, and water your plants.

    Use as container for anything.

    Make hall somewhere on a willie and a pet rodent ore even cat will love it as a toy or a house.

    Make your garden scare crow happy by gifting it with a pair of willies.

    Make a collection of different foot prints willies create. To do this, paint the soles with ink, and make imprint on a paper. Gather pictures into an album, or frame and decorate the house.

  8. Gulia says:

    Poor warm water with Epsom salt into willies and soak your feet. You can even walk around, while soaking the feet.

  9. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    How superb, I am actually looking at a solution for this at the moment, on my Fashion and Brand Promtion course, at the University of Central Lancashire. I was unaware at the time that Michael Eaves had such a problem with the number of boots that were abandoned, however that has just strengthened my campaign. You see, the issue is not how to recycle the boot, it is how to create the boot so that it is not left behind – the answer is to create a sentimental attachment.

    I full welcome any feedback for my sketchbook and development work.

    Please see below:

    Proposal Product:
    The product is a pair of wellington boots, made from reclaimed plastic, and produced specifically for festival occasions. The boots have a clip-on pen attached, to encourage the wearer to get ‘festival friends’ to sign them with quirky messages, Facebook details, and mobile contact numbers etc. The wellington would have a coloured tread in correlation to the colour of the festival wristband that year, with a serrated number representing the year of the festival, for example: 09, 10, 11. A transparent pouch on the side of the boot will provide a safe place for the festivalgoer to slot in their ticket.

    The brand I am assigning my product to is high street casual wear retailer, River Island. Recent ventures have seen this brand run very festival-esque product lines. The company design the majority of their items themselves; consequently their products have unique appeal on the high street. Priced at £24.99, my product would fit in perfectly with the hip and modish festival lines that this retailer brings out. The product would be further endorsed by Glastonbury festival, increasing the hype surrounding the launch.

    The USP/ESP:
    The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the product is that it is a memento of the festival attended. This keepsake value links to the product’s Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP); the wearer will not want to part with the boots as they are mini chronicles of their festival experience.

    The product lifetime is increased by producing an item which people will come to feel attached to. Put simply, by promoting a sentimental connection, there will be less plastic in landfill sites. Moreover, the product is still recyclable for when the wearer eventually decides it is time to part with the relic.

    River Island staff would be involved in the launch of the product. The sales assistant in the Greeting Zone of the River Island Store would welcome customers – inviting them to sign her wellingtons. As the rota rotates a different person (with unsigned wellies) would be in this zone, encouraging new customers to sign his/her boots and so on and so forth.
    With festival fever around, the excitement to get the latest gear would be immeasurable. The staff would dress in stereotypical ‘hippy’ gear, wearing outlandish headbands, ditsy dresses and leggings to complement the boots. This is about creating an image, and giving the customers a snapshot of what the product looks like in situ. By creating interaction between customers/product/people/ the likelihood of sales would be intensified.
    A further trading ploy is to offer the customers a service whereby if they were to trade last year’s wellingtons in for recycling, they would receive a 20% discount off this year’s wellington. This would guarantee sales, year on year.

    Market Level:
    My product would be predominantly focussed on penetrating the teenage demographic, who fall into socio economic group E. This is those who are reliant on the state, however, my primary customer would be students with subsidy from Student Loan Company (SLC) and Education Maintence Allowance (EMA), therefore my customer has disposable income to spend on Glastonbury, and consequently the Glastonbury Signature Boots.

    Please let me know what you think, contact me via:

  10. gordon thompson says:

    i am looking for a company that recycles or reuses used safety boots and shoes these are predominantly leather with a steel toe cap and rubber or manmade sole as a company you can imagine we have quite a few and at present they go to landfill

  11. Anna says:


    I am looking for someone to supply an organic childrenswear brand with some of our designs for recycled wellie boots, does anyone know of any wellie manufacturers??


    • gemma says:

      Hi Anna did you have any luck with this? I know your message was from 2009! Would love to hear back from you, as I am in a similar situation. would be great to chat :)

      Gemma X

  12. Olia says:

    Arrange the willies around the flower bed, fill with sand. You have unique border.

  13. Sarah says:

    I have old wellies that have split and I have been looking for a way to recycle them. I thought you might like to know that the British Heart Foundation charity shops are able to recycle them. When you take them to the shop just let them know they are to be recycled and not sold!

    • Beth says:

      Oh, thanks for this one. I’ve got lots of wellies that leak and have been holding onto them as I don’t want to send them to landfill. BHF will get a visit from me tomorrow! ((:

  14. The “Welly Road Gets the Boot in!” 2012 project is to make a community focus for Wellington Road (Oxton, Wirral, Merseyside). Neighbours, businesses and local organisations are being encouraged to join in creating planters from donated recycled Wellington Boots to go outside local businesses and individual houses on the street to beautify Wellington Road and integrate all aspects of the neighbourhood.

    The planters are being created by the community from Wellington boots donated by request to the Green Community Shop and Centre (GCS&C) and requests on Freecycle. Wooden structures are being created from recycled pallets by The Cornerstone Vocational Training Centre for the shops for each of the businesses plus Birkenhead School and the Green Community Centre & Shop. Each house will be offered the opportunity to plant a pair of welly boots to display on their property and those unable to plant themselves will have wellys planted for them (if they want to be involved). The boots will be planted by the neighbours, members of the Green Community Shop and Centre in Oxton Village, Birkenhead Woodcraft Folk who meet in Christ Church at the botttom of Christchurch Road in Oxton, the children of Birkenhead School, local businesses and will also draw on the artistic skills of Wirral based arts network- With These Hands. The project would initially be opened in time for the Sunday of the Secret Gardens of Oxton in May 2012. The planters will not be removed at the end of the festival and can remain in situ. The plants where possible will be chosen to reflect the nature of the business (ie grasses for the hairdressers and herbs for the Coffee shop)

    Wellington Road and surrounding streets have suffered a number of burglaries earlier this year and this project is being supported by Merseyside Police Property Act Fund and Your Wirral to improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood. Neighbours and business will create a community bond by working together on this project, through having a mutual goal to beautify the street. If the householders, tenants and businesses are familiar with their immediate neighbours, it is easier to be aware when activities appear to be out of the ordinary and also to know who to contact it you suspect something is wrong. The Green Community Shop and Centre will become a collection point for wellies, donated plants and a place for volunteers to sign up to help with the project. Birkenhead school have offered assistance with providing space for the neighbours to plant the wellies, as well as collecting welly boots.

    The grant money is being used to purchase plants and soil from the Wirral autistic society’s Garden Centre at Bromborough Pool, and the creation of planters/tiered platforms by Cornerstone Vocational Training in Birkenhead (the wooden structures to support the Wellington boots outside the businesses). They are committed to working with young people 14 -19 years of age offering a range of vocational courses designed to develop confidence, self esteem along side vocational skills.

  15. Anonymous says:

    shred them and use them in your garden instead of stones or wood chip


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