What better footwear to go with the DIY IKEA raincoat we featured last week than these upcycled rain boots? (They even come in the same shade of ultramarine—sartorial kismet!) Conceived by Waste for Life by Louie Rigano, a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design, the sturdy and surprisingly chic galoshes are fabricated from plastic bags collected by cartoneros, or impoverished Argentineans who make their living collecting trash in Buenos Aires.
The process, which involves hot-pressing layers of plastic bags with a stiff interfacing such as cheesecloth, was designed to be easily replicable so the cartoneros could make and sell the boots to generate income. And since plastic is inherently water-resistant, cranking out rain boots from rounded up trash is not only extremely economical but also practical.
The boots were designed to be easily replicable for Argentinean trash collectors to make and sell.
You can even make your own using the template that Rigano has provided. For fused-plastic-bag neophytes, Etsy’s step-by-step tutorial demonstrates how to create flat sheets using an iron and some freezer paper.