Uggs are unique and popular fashion pieces in the footwear fashion industry due to their thick, cozy, and warm faux as well as durable synthetic rubber outsoles.
However, one controversy that has plagued the sheepskin boots for years is whether these chic boots are ethical. So, does UGG use real fur? I did some intensive research about this, and this is what I discovered!
Does UGG Use Real Fur In 2023?
UGG use real animal fur to make their Ugg boots. Uggs are made from twin-faced sheepskin leather with fleece attached to keep your feet warm during cold seasons. However, it’s worth noting that not all Uggs are made of real animal fur. UGG has a vegan shoe line in their collection that uses plant-based TENCEL Lyocell fibers instead of real fur.
To learn more about whether UGG uses real animal fur, what type of fur the footwear company uses, whether sheep are killed to make Uggs, and more, keep reading!
Does UGGs Use Real Animal Fur?
Like all leather products, most Uggs are made of real animal fur.
Typically, UGG, from which the Ugg boots derive their name, means a fleece-lined sheepskin boot in Australia and New Zealand.
These trendy winter footwear are made from twin-faced sheepskin with fleece attached on the inside for comfort and warmth, a synthetic outsole, and a suede or sheepskin leather tanned outer.
Thus, there’s no way to get around the fact that Uggs are made from real animal skin, no matter which side of the animal welfare activism scale you’re on.
However, according to UGG’s Animal Welfare FAQs, the footwear company ethically sources its sheepskin, suede, cotton, and wool from sheep farmers who solely rear their sheep for meat.
UGG also claims they only purchase their sheepskin from suppliers and tanneries that strictly comply with animal welfare and ethical sourcing policies.
As if that’s not enough, the US-based footwear company explains that their animal-based materials are sourced from sheep reared inhumane conditions.
What Type of Fur Does UGG Use?
Generally speaking, UGG mostly uses grade A merino fur to make their Uggs.
This footwear company claims that their hides are food industry by-products since they only source them from animals specifically reared for meat.
UGG’s animal welfare standards and policies list animals that the shoe company doesn’t use their skins when manufacturing Uggs.
For instance, UGG doesn’t use fur from vulnerable, endangered, or exotic animals such as cats, mink, dogs, alpaca, or angora rabbits when making their Uggs.
It’s essential to note that UGG only sources its sheepskin fur from Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and the United States since these countries have animal welfare standards.
Are Sheep Killed to Make UGGs?
According to UGG, sheep aren’t killed to make Uggs since the footwear company only uses sheepskin, which is a food industry by-product.
For instance, the meat industry buys animals from farmers, the tanneries purchase the hides from the meat processing facilities, and then UGG buys their sheepskin from these tanneries.
Thus, the sheep farmers receive approximately 98% of their sheep’s value by selling meat and the remaining 2% from the sheepskin.
But, according to PETA, millions of lambs’ tails are cut off, and male sheep are castrated often without painkillers before being slaughtered for their skins.
As if that’s not enough, sheep live in cramped conditions and are transported in overcrowded lorries for long-distance often without food.
It’s also pretty normal in Australia’s wool industry for approximately three million lambs to be slaughtered for their skins every spring.
These statistics have, in turn, placed UGG on the warpath of animal activists who claim that the shoe company kills sheep just for a pair of footwear.
On its part, UGG claims that it only buys its sheepskin from farmers who rear their sheep solely for meat and, therefore, their sheepskin is a by-product of the meat industry.
Nevertheless, no matter where your weight falls on the animal cruelty weighing scale, the fact remains that sheep die so that you can enjoy the warmth and comfort of your Uggs.
Are UGGs Cruelty-Free?
Ugg boots aren’t cruelty-free but sheepskin boots.
Most Uggs are made from sheepskin, a meat industry by-product since the skin is sourced from sheep reared and slaughtered for meat.
UGG claims to purchase its sheepskin from tanneries based in countries with strict animal welfare policies, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Spain, among other countries.
In their Animal Welfare FAQ, the footwear company states that the sheepskin they use to make Uggs complies with the laid-down ethical standards.
Nevertheless, PETA reports that the sheep from which the sheepskin used by UGG to manufacture their trendy chic boots is sourced are reared in miserable conditions.
These sheep are severely injured by cutting off their tails without anesthesia, abused, and raised in cramped pens.
Additionally, the rearing of sheep produces carbon emissions which, in turn, pollutes the environment and causes global warming.
Luckily, UGG has a vegan shoe line in their collection dubbed UGG Plant Power Collection, which doesn’t use real animal fur.
Are All UGGs Made of Real Fur?
Not all Uggs are made of real animal fur.
As stated earlier, UGG has an Ugg vegan shoe line in their collection made from plant-based materials, which includes the Ugg Fluff Sugar Sandals, Ugg Neumel Chukka, and Ugg Fluff Sugar Platform.
Vegan Uggs’ fluffy feeling comes from the plant-based TENCEL Lyocell cellulosic fibers made using wood pulp responsibly harvested from trees.
In addition, the shoes’ SugarSole foam outsoles are made from renewable sugarcane, reducing the dependency on fuels by replacing petroleum-based synthetic materials.
Besides vegan Uggs, many fake Uggs are made from cheap, low-quality synthetic fibers instead of real animal fur.
While these synthetic fibers may resemble real animal fur, they don’t mold around your feet, aren’t comfortable, and aren’t durable like real animal fur.
Thus, one effective way of determining whether your pair of Uggs is genuine is by looking at the quality of their fleece-lined interior since all genuine Uggs are made of real animal fur.
Avoid buying low-quality fake Ugg boots since they don’t offer a return on your investments.
If you intend to enjoy Ugg boots’ functionality, then investing your hard-earned cash in a genuine pair of sheepskin boots is advisable.
Genuine Uggs are made of real animal fur, responsible for the feet insulation and natural wicking properties that Uggs are renowned for.
Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that not all Uggs are made of real animal fur. UGG has a vegan line in its collection that you can purchase if you’re an animal welfare enthusiast.