Re-boot for the environment, Australia

In Australia, Bata’s gumboots, or wellingtons, as they are also known, come in 25 varieties with different colors, heights, and even thickness. Around 400,000 pairs are sold each year and used daily in wet surface settings like industrial kitchens and factories. But for Bata Australia, a gumboot purchase provides more than just quality foot protection. It is a contribution to a more sustainable future.

Several years ago, increasing concerns around climate change motivated Bata Australia to examine how it could make a greater impact with more environmentally conscious solutions. We joined the Australian Packaging Covenant, which initiated reductions in the company’s packaging waste and increased its use of recycled cardboard. We also took steps to use more recycled materials in our shoes and looked at opportunities to close the loop on product lifecycles.

Most shoes on the retail market are made from multiple materials, which makes recycling a challenge. Gumboots, on the other hand, are 99% PVC with only a thin nylon lining. After discussions with raw materials suppliers and significant testing, Bata’s bestselling gumboot was revamped. Today half of its material compound is formulated from recycled, flexible PVC. This is not only good for the environment, but also delivers an important reduction in material costs.

Soon when these well-worn shoes reach their end of use, they will be re-purposed for other applications: Bata is actively working with consumers and raw material suppliers to facilitate their nationwide recycling, rather than being sent to landfill. The worn product will be collected at point of purchase or consumption if used in an industrial application, then returned to the raw materials supplier for reprocessing. Afterwards, it will be supplied once more to Bata as a manufacturing compound in production processes, fulfilling a key ambition of a circular economy.

By 2020, half of the total Bata gumboots manufactured in Australia will contain 50% recycled PVC compound.


Tonnes of CO2 emissions saved


Cubic metres of materials saved from landfill