Spats – original rubber boots™ are designed in Dalston, east London, by Talk about the Weather Ltd. Our vision is to revive classic vintage outdoor wear with a contemporary twist, using the most sustainable materials available.
The evolution of SPATS
The company was founded in 2010 by two old friends Imogen O'Rorke and Harriet Worboys. We started selling 2-tone classic Spats boots (originally made in India with a high % of natural keralan rubber) on a stall on Broadway Market, east London. They sold like hotcakes and we soon we were soon taking wholesale orders from all over the country and from overseas. That meant we had to scale up quickly, but at the same time, unknown to us, the family-run factory in Calcutta was going bust. So in 2013, we rather reluctantly moved production to the far east in order to fulfil orders from our growing book of customers.
Fast forward to 2018, when Imogen decided to overhaul the supply chain and relaunch the SPATS brand with sustainability at its core. This was after reading a shocking Global Witness report which suggested that "Rubber is the new palm oil". Rubber prices had been historically low for 10 years, but the planet and the rubber tappers who worked on the plantations were paying the price.
Then began a long and arduous journey to find the right production partners who shared our values and most importantly, who were prepared to source sustainable rubber when there was a glut of cheap, irresponsibly-farmed rubber. After scouring the globe and visiting several factories, and with help from the Fair Rubber Association, we found just two.
Imogen, the founder, in Epping Forest.
HANDMADE WITH LOVE - LOVE THE RAIN
With new eco SPATS, we’ve kept the features you loved, but upgraded them to be as sustainable and comfortable as humanly possible. This year, we will be making SPATS in Slovakia with 80% natural rubber (that's the highest possible percentage for the longest product life and flexibility) sourced from VFCS/PEFC certified, slash-and-burn-free plantations in Vietnam. Our European partner is ethically-audited factory that employs highly-skilled craftsmen. We've also eliminated any harmful chemicals, dyes or animal-derived products.
And we've made some other design improvements: we have new lasts which are more tailored to the foot and ankle, so SPATS feel more like shoes to wear than wellington boots. We've also added comfort insoles to the range, are made by Ortholite who use recycled "eco foam" from rubber off-cuts.
We won't be going back to the fast-fashion, seasonal model either. Our new designs are built to last, year-round and season agnostic. We reduce waste wherever possible, making in smaller batches, recycling up to 10% of the rubber in production, repurposing rejects by donating the useable boots to charities like the Mama Foundation and Water for Africa. We repair our boots where possible at no charge and accept end-of-life boots back for recycling.
We hope you can join us on the next leg of our journey to sustainability....
For wholesale enquiries or if you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Print House in Dalston has been the home of Spats boots since 2010