When it comes to purchasing new branded shoes, it is always useful to know what materials different brands choose to use. There are many high end and popular brands available that produce boots. One of the most popular companies is UGG.
This popular company creates shoes that are sought after, and are known for their quality and comfort. However, over the years, questions have arisen surrounding whether the materials used to create UGG boots are ethical.
In this article, we will be delving into the materials used in more detail, focusing on the quality, and their Animal Welfare Policy.
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UGG Company Background
While UGG was founded by an Australian surfer, called Brian Smith, interestingly, it began in Southern California. The brand has been established since 1978, and is very popular.
It is a brand that is particularly popular in surf shops, and is well-known for their boots, clothing items, and home accessories. UGG boots in particular were made popular by Pamela Anderson, who wore them in Baywatch.
What Are UGG Boots Made Of?
UGG boots are made using sheepskin, more specifically, shearling. Shearling is sheep skin that has the fleece of the sheep still attached. The fleeces that are used to create UGG boots are taken from the sheep industry in Australia in particular.
When it comes to the use of fleece in Australia, it is a large market, and many companies in addition to UGG choose to use real fur, and sheepskin. While the thought of wearing real fur and sheepskin is not something that is appealing to everyone, UGG do have a large following and customer base.
The materials used are known to be soft, comfortable, and of high quality. In addition to this, they are durable, which is why their boots are favored over many other brands. Other types of materials that are used include leather, suede, wool, cotton, and hemp. They also produce some vegan shoes too.
Are UGG Boots Ethically Made?
One of the biggest concerns that surround UGG boots is how ethical they are. This is an area of contention for many people, especially those that follow a vegan lifestyle.
When looking at the UGG website, they state that all the materials that are used are ethically sourced. They consistently monitor their animal welfare standards to ensure that they are following the correct policies.
In addition to this, UGG has always been open and honest about the materials that are used to ensure that their customers are comfortable and happy with the boots they are purchasing. They are also open and honest about any challenges that come with sourcing the materials used.
While animal welfare is important to this company, ultimately, they are still using animal by-products from the meat industry. Given this, these particular boots are not fully ethical, even if they are sourced in a more ethical way. However, UGG is committed to ensuring that they only purchase these materials from a supply chain that is responsible.
Their website states that the suppliers of the materials are purchased from ethical sources and their company and suppliers comply with the regulations needed. This is also checked on an annual basis, to ensure certainty. They ensure that the animals are kept in humane conditions, and are free from pain, discomfort, and distress.
When it comes to the slaughtering process, no wool is taken from mulesed sheep. The hides used are only from a select number of suppliers, and they do not use exotic skins. All the animals are not killed solely for their fur and are animals raised for use in the food industry.
While UGG complies with all the correct procedures for the majority of their boots, understandably, there are still many people that choose not to purchase their products. This is because even though the company is as ethical as possible, the act of wearing animal by-products is off putting for many people. Even though the fur and hide is a by-product of the meat industry, it is still not vegan.
UGG Plant Powered Collection
In recent years, UGG has created a Plant Powered Collection. These shoes are carbon neutral and made using plant-based materials. Given this, if you are someone that is interested in purchasing UGG shoes, but do not want to purchase anything that uses animal by-products, these could be a suitable alternative for you.
The shoes in the Plant Power Collection use materials such as TENCEL Lyocell, renewable sugarcane Hevea rubber, and natural hemp. These materials are all low emission, which is far better for the environment as a whole.
Some of the shoes included in this range are slippers, sandals, and hemp fiber boots. They are a great alternative, and the slippers in particular resemble the original UGG slipper designs. While this range is more limited, there is still a good amount of choice available.
This range emphasizes how UGG is committed to providing alternative shoes that are more responsibly sourced and are completely cruelty-free, and vegan. This allows them to be more responsible and inclusive as a company.
We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, UGG is committed to using different materials that are responsibly sourced.
However, when looking at their most famous shoes, the UGG boots, these are created using sheepskin and wool. While these materials are responsibly sourced, and do fall within the correct guidance and policies, they are not vegan.
While the materials are sourced more ethically using products from the meat industry, they cannot be fully cruelty-free given that animal products are being used. This is why many people choose not to purchase UGG boots out of choice.
However, they do follow the correct procedures, which is reassuring if you are looking for shoes that do use these materials. If you are looking to purchase UGG shoes that are vegan, then it is worth looking into their Plant Power range which features vegan products that have a low carbon footprint and are better for the environment on the whole.