No, the classic Ugg boots are not vegan. They are made from sheepskin, leather, fur, suede, and/or wool. None of these materials are suitable for vegans to wear.
In recent years, UGG has begun to become more aware of the importance of sustainability and of reducing carbon emissions.
As veganism grows in popularity too, the company is branching out into more animal-friendly products in order to entice this corner of the market.
They do not currently offer a vegan alternative to the classic UGG boot, but there are some products that vegans can purchase.
We can safely assume that in the coming years, UGG will begin to expand its range to incorporate vegan alternatives to its classic products. In the meantime, we have rounded up some vegan alternatives for you.
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Why can’t vegans wear Uggs?
Veganism is a lifestyle that strives to avoid any products gained as part of the exploitation of animals.
Many people know that this means vegans do not consume meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey. Veganism extends past this into all areas of your life.
This means that vegans do not wear or use products made from leather, silk, wool, suede, fur, or sheepskin. All of these products require animals to produce, and so do not align with vegan morals.
UGG materials and animal welfare
In the product descriptions on the UGG website, they say that the materials used are of the best quality. The sheepskin is described as grade A and twin-faced.
The upper wrap is made from rich leather. Uggs come with 2 interchangeable soles, one leather, and one wool.
UGG states that they attempt to uphold high-quality standards when it comes to the materials used in their products.
They only purchase materials from suppliers who have complied with the Ethical Sourcing and Animal Welfare policy. The suppliers must re-agree to this policy on an annual basis.
The suppliers must comply with the Five Freedoms, which is an international livestock welfare standard.
These ensure that any animals are not hungry, thirsty, in discomfort or pain, and not feeling fearful or distressed. It also allows the animals freedom to engage in normal activities.
UGG has a strict policy against raising animals just for their hides, inhumane slaughter, live animals being transported across the sea, and mulesing.
This is the practice of removing strips of skin from around the anal area of the sheep. This is believed to help prevent the sheep from getting a parasitic infection known as flystrike.
It is a cruel and painful procedure that can lead to further health problems for the sheep.
UGG tries to be sustainable by sourcing its materials. They use hides from animals that have been raised for meat, making the pelts a by-product. None of their furs ever comes from endangered or vulnerable species.
Does UGG sell any vegan products?
UGG has recently released a new product range, called Plant Power. These are a plant-based range made from low-impact and repurposed materials to reduce the environmental impact.
They are made to minimize emissions and keep the products close to carbon neutral. This is in an attempt to combat climate change on an industrial level.
They do not use any animal-derived materials, making these shoes suitable for vegans.
There is a range of sugar sandals, made with a SugarSole. This uses renewable sugarcane to create a foam structure for the sole of the shoe. This is a rapidly growing plant and only really needs rainwater to grow.
As it grows, sugarcane removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The material allows UGG to replace ethylene from petroleum, therefore reducing the dependency on fossil fuels.
For every pound of ethylene replaced by this sugarcane material, 1.6 pounds of carbon dioxide is absorbed.
The fluff on this range of sandals is made from a material called Tencel Lyocell. This is a soft material that is constructed from cellulosic fibers from responsibly harvested trees.
The processes used to produce this plush material are incredibly sustainable. Over 99% of the water and solvent used in the production process are recycled, making the manufacturing very environmentally friendly.
The other part of this collection is the Neumel Natural range. The lining of these shoes is made from the Lyocell material.
The wood used to make this plush fabric is from trees certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
This ensures that the impacts of deforestation are as minimized as possible.
The soles of Neumel Natural shoes are Lactae Hevea. These are handmade from the refined Hevea milk, from the Hevea rubber tree. The main body of these shoes is made from a blend of 45% hemp and 55% cotton.
What are some vegan alternatives to the classic UGG boot?
There are many companies that make shoes to mimic the look and feel of UGG boots. The company PAWJ California makes a range of UGG style boots from synthetic materials.
They have a range of color options ranging from the classic UGG style chestnut to black, brown, and gray. The company was established to improve animal treatment without having to compromise on the finished product.
Every shoe made by PAWJ uses high-quality synthetic and faux furs to make them environmentally friendly and 100% cruelty-free.
Vegetarian Shoes is a European company that makes a wide range of 100% vegan shoes. They have 2 ranges: Snug and Snugge boots, both of which closely mimic the look and feel of traditional UGG boots.
They have a faux fur lining and the body of the shoe is made from a very breathable imitation suede.
The company Bearpaw also makes some cruelty-free versions of UGG slippers and boots. Not all of their products are suitable for vegans, so be aware of this when looking through their website.
When you search for the term vegan you are greeted with 22 results of imitation UGG products. They are made from 100% microsuede with a faux fur lining.
- COMFORTABLE HIGH-QUALITY MATERIAL - Our BEARPAW Elle Short Women's 8-inch classic suede boot features a slimmed down construction with the great fit BEARPAW is known for.
- COZY SHEEPSKIN & WOOL BLEND LINING: Our 8-inch shaft height Women's Elle Short Slip On Boot features a sheepskin and wool blend lining that regulates body temperature to keep your feet warm. The sheepskin comfort footbed provides additional softness and reduces foot fatigue.
- DURABLE OUTSOLE FOR INDOOR & OUTDOOR USE: The BEARPAW Elle Short's durable lightweight blown rubber outsole makes this women's boot the perfect indoor/outdoor choice.
- NEVERWET TECHNOLOGY: Treated with NeverWet® technology that is designed to withstand up to 40 wash cycles and still provide strong water resistance. This added protection against the elements is perfect for rainy or snowy days!