When you take rain boots – or wellintons, depending on where in the world you reside – with you, it has to be a very deliberate choice. They are big, bulky, and difficult to pack, so if you’re packing them to take on a trip, you’d better be absolutely sure it’s worth the trouble.
Barcelona-based designer Estel Alcaraz thought of a better way to handle waterproof footwear one day when she arrived home soaked to the bone by a rainstorm. She spied a plastic water bottle that had been smashed and was intrigued by the way it took up about one-fifth of its original size once it was no longer being used.
Alcaraz figured that the same principle could be applied to her wellies. Also made of plastic, they should be able to smush down into a far more compact size. She designed Sardines, the rain boots that can be rolled up and stuffed into a small bag.
Sardines look and perform like traditional wellies, but are far more flexible. When they are being worn, a band bearing the product name wraps around the user’s calf. When rolled up, this band becomes the closure that holds each boot in the rolled-up position.
Each pair of Sardines comes in a small, three-sided wrapper that is even smaller than a standard shoe box. The boots are made from only one material: thermoplastic polyurethane, which is recyclable. It was important to the designer that the product be environmentally friendly as well as simple to transport.