Hand holding skeins of white prespun wool.

Honest: Our Materials and Our Commitment to Animal Welfare

Hand holding skeins of white prespun wool.

Honest: Our Materials and Our Commitment to Animal Welfare

Our materials

At UGG® we use a range of materials to create our products which we select based on their quality, comfort, and durability. Our brand heritage is centered around sheepskin, alongside wool, leather, suede and down – plus of course other materials such as rubber, cotton and even hemp. We are committed to making sure we source all of our materials as responsibly as possible, and this includes strictly regulating and monitoring animal welfare standards across our supply chain. In addition to this, we are completing lifecycle assessments of our key materials to understand their impacts, and where we can ensure we are making the best choices possible for the environment.

Lifecycle icons on background of bulk fabric materials.
Lifecycle icons on background of bulk fabric materials.

We are completing lifecycle assessments of our key materials to understand their impacts, and where we can ensure we are making the best choices possible for the environment.

Target, standards, partnership triangle infographic on grey background.

Targets, Standards, Partnerships

Our commitment

We want to bring transparency to the materials used in our products and share what we are doing to ensure the highest animal welfare standards are being upheld, as well as what we are doing to protect water resources and fight deforestation. We also want to be honest about challenges we face, and what we are doing to meet them – from setting targets to embarking on collaborative partnerships to make our supply chain as robust as possible. We are especially committed to constantly investing further into animal welfare and are building long-term partnerships across our supply chain to ensure standards across the global value chain are upheld and improved.

Animal Welfare

UGG is committed to empowering you with information on the materials that go into our products, in particular animal-based materials. Please take a moment to read about the standards we have for our suppliers and what we are doing to ensure our supply chain is as responsible as possible.

Rolls of white material.
Blue hued weaving loom.

100% of our suppliers are compliant with our Ethical Sourcing and Animal Welfare Policy.

Target, standards, partnership triangle infographic on grey background.

Targets, standards, partnership triangle infographic on grey background.

Our Requirements

UGG® only purchases animal materials from suppliers that comply with our strict ethical sourcing and animal welfare policy which you can find here. Our suppliers must verify their compliance with all applicable policies on an annual basis, and as of 2020, 100% of our suppliers are compliant with our Ethical Sourcing and Animal Welfare Policy.

For us, it is essential that the animal-based materials that make our products are sourced from animals that have been raised humanely using sound animal husbandry.

Box of different colored leather strips.

This means our suppliers are required to respect and uphold the Five Freedoms, an internationally accepted standard of welfare for livestock. This assures that animals are free from hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain, fear and distress, and are free to express most normal animal behaviours. We never accept hides that have come from animals who have been solely raised for their hide, or from animals who have been raised or slaughtered inhumanely. We also do not support the practice of transporting live animals overseas.

Blue hued piles of leather material.

We do not source animal hides outside of our permitted animal hides list so that we can ensure our animal-based materials are always food industry by-products, are never derived from endangered or vulnerable species, and are never sourced using renowned cruel methods. This means we never use exotic skins, domestic or feral cats and dogs, angora rabbit or rabbit hair, or endangered species.

We are also fur-free. This means that we do not use pelts or fur from wild or domestic animals that were killed solely for their hide (for example mink), and instead only use the by-products hides from animals that were raised for the food industry. Fur is considered the pelt of any animal killed only for its hide and does not include leather, sheepskin or shearling (which is classed as a hide with hair attached that is converted to leather), as defined by the Humane Society and the Fur Free Alliance.

Currently the animal-based materials we use are sheepskin, wool, leather, suede, and down. You can read about the strict standards we have for all of these materials below.

Five Freedoms infographic.

Five Freedoms:

  1. Free from Discomfort
  2. Free from Pain
  3. Free from Distress
  4. Free from Fear
  5. Free from Hunger
Five Freedoms infographic.

Five Freedoms:

  1. Free from Discomfort
  2. Free from Pain
  3. Free from Distress
  4. Free from Fear
  5. Free from Hunger

Our suppliers are required to respect and uphold the Five Freedoms, an internationally accepted standard of welfare for livestock.

Transparent banner on skein of aqua green yarn.

Transparent: Our Materials

Transparent banner on skein of aqua green yarn.

Transparent: Our Materials

Sheepskin title on grey sheepskin background.
Sheepskin title on grey sheepskin background.

Sheepskin

The Challenge

To assure animal welfare standards, we need to know where our animal-based materials come so that we can understand local animal welfare legislation, and even where and how the animals were raised.

What we are doing

In support of countries that regulate the treatment of animals, UGG® only sources sheepskin from the following countries: Australia, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and Spain. UGG® does not source sheepskin from sheep raised in the Middle East or North Africa or from other countries that do not have standards that regulate the treatment of animals.

We can trace 100% of our sheepskins back to the tanneries and processing facilities, and 97% of our sheepskin is currently sourced from Leather Working Group Certified tanneries. Our goal is for this to be 100% by 2022.

Although all our hides are sourced as by-products from food producers and then purchased directly from tanneries, we want to ensure that responsible standards have been upheld right back to farm level. For this reason we are putting additional partnerships and systems in place to strengthen our supply chain relationships back to the farms where the sheep are raised and enhance traceability throughout our supply chain.

As with all our animal-based materials, we ensure that we only use sheepskin that is a by-product of the food industry and that animal welfare standards based on the Five Freedoms are upheld.

Grey Sheepskin Infographic.

97% of our sheepskin is currently sourced from Leather Working Group Certified tanneries.

Grey Sheepskin Infographic.

97% of our sheepskin is currently sourced from Leather Working Group Certified tanneries.

What we are doing

In support of countries that regulate the treatment of animals, UGG® only sources sheepskin from the following countries: Australia, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and Spain. UGG® does not source sheepskin from sheep raised in the Middle East or North Africa or from other countries that do not have standards that regulate the treatment of animals.

We can trace 100% of our sheepskins back to the tanneries and processing facilities, and 97% of our sheepskin is currently sourced from Leather Working Group Certified tanneries. Our goal is for this to be 100% by 2022.

Although all our hides are sourced as by-products from food producers and then purchased directly from tanneries, we want to ensure that responsible standards have been upheld right back to farm level. For this reason we are putting additional partnerships and systems in place to strengthen our supply chain relationships back to the farms where the sheep are raised and enhance traceability throughout our supply chain.

As with all our animal-based materials, we ensure that we only use sheepskin that is a by-product of the food industry and that animal welfare standards based on the Five Freedoms are upheld.

Black Quote Graphic.

We ensure that we only use sheepskin that is a by-product of the food industry.

Wool title on grey tuft of unprocessed wool.
Wool title on grey tuft of unprocessed wool.

Wool

The Challenge

Particularly relevant to merino sheep, the practice of mulesing (where the hindquarters of merino sheep are cut to prevent flystrike), poses a challenge for animal welfare. This means we require assurance that mulesing is not present in our supply chain, which means that traceability is a must.

What we are doing

We became a founding member of the Responsible Wool Standard International Working Group in 2015. We joined other brands, animal welfare groups, farmers and supply chain members along with the Textile Exchange to develop the Responsible Wool Standard – a global standard to protect animal welfare, influence best practices, ensure traceability, and ultimately give consumers clear and trustworthy information which can help guide their buying preferences.

UGG is now a leader in the use of preferred wool, having been ranked by Textile Exchange as the top user of preferred wool against 111 other global brands.

We have banned the use of wool sourced from mulesed sheep, and will only accept Merino wool from Australia from certified non-mulesed or ceased-mulesed wool sourcing.

We almost exclusively use repurposed wool shorn from the by-product hides we have already sourced, instead of virgin wool. This means almost all of the wool in our footwear is shorn from hides which are food industry by-products, so we are getting all we can from existing materials. UGGpure™ is a proprietary technology we developed using repurposed wool on a textile backing, and this can be found lining many of our boots.

We still need to source a small amount of virgin wool (less than 2% of all the wool we use), and we have a target that 100% of our virgin wool will come from RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified sources by 2022. This will mean that all of our wool is traceable, the welfare of the sheep has been upheld according to the Five Freedoms, and the land on which they graze is preserved through responsible farming practices.

Infographic on background of dark brown strings of wool.

Less than 2% of all the wool we use is virgin wool

UGG Pure logo on dark gray background.

UGGpure® is a proprietary technology we developed using repurposed wool on a textile backing, and this can be found lining many of our boots.

Infographic on background of dark brown strings of wool.

Less than 2% of all the wool we use is virgin wool

UGG Pure logo on dark gray background.

UGGpure® is a proprietary technology we developed using repurposed wool on a textile backing, and this can be found lining many of our boots.

What we are doing

We became a founding member of the Responsible Wool Standard International Working Group in 2015. We joined other brands, animal welfare groups, farmers and supply chain members along with the Textile Exchange to develop the Responsible Wool Standard – a global standard to protect animal welfare, influence best practices, ensure traceability, and ultimately give consumers clear and trustworthy information which can help guide their buying preferences.

UGG is now a leader in the use of preferred wool, having been ranked by Textile Exchange as the top user of preferred wool against 111 other global brands.

We have banned the use of wool sourced from mulesed sheep, and will only accept Merino wool from Australia from certified non-mulesed or ceased-mulesed wool sourcing.

We almost exclusively use repurposed wool shorn from the by-product hides we have already sourced, instead of virgin wool. This means almost all of the wool in our footwear is shorn from hides which are food industry by-products, so we are getting all we can from existing materials. UGGpure™ is a proprietary technology we developed using repurposed wool on a textile backing, and this can be found lining many of our boots.

We still need to source a small amount of virgin wool (less than 2% of all the wool we use), and we have a target that 100% of our virgin wool will come from RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified sources by 2022. This will mean that all of our wool is traceable, the welfare of the sheep has been upheld according to the Five Freedoms, and the land on which they graze is preserved through responsible farming practices.

Black quote graphic.

UGG is now a leader in the use of preferred wool, having been ranked by Textile Exchange as the top user of preferred wool against 111 other global brands.

Textile Exchange Logo.
Leather and Suede title on strips of orange and brown leather and suede
Leather and Suede title on strips of orange and brown leather and suede

Leather and Suede

The Challenge

As with all animal-based materials, traceability is a key challenge, but particularly for bovine leather which comes from countries around the world in huge quantities, with varying animal welfare and environmental regulations and risks including deforestation.

What we are doing

For us it is essential that our leather materials are derived from responsible sources in relation to both animal welfare and the environment. As we are concerned about the threat of deforestation, we require all tanneries supplying finished leather (cattle hides) to have a Leather Working Group certification and a level “A” rating in traceability. This ensures that the hides are not originating from farms involved in illegal deforestation.

We are also part of the Leather Working Group’s Animal Welfare Group. This group prioritizes efforts around traceability, slaughter protocols, assurance schemes and risk mapping.

We can currently trace 100% of our leather to country of origin, and 93% to processing facility. We are working to constantly increase this number with the ambition of assuring full traceability of our supply chain.

To protect the future of leather we are also embarking on a regenerative farming partnership with Savory Institute to support responsible and restorative land stewardship during the raising of livestock. The Savory Institute helps farmers move towards restorative solutions that can help heal the land and increase resistance to climate change by regenerating topsoil, improving the water cycle and enriching the ecosystem by increasing biodiversity.

Infographic on background of lether and suede.

We can currently trace 100% of our leather to country of origin, and 93% to processing facility.

Infographic on background of lether and suede.

We can currently trace 100% of our leather to country of origin, and 93% to processing facility.

What we are doing

For us it is essential that our leather materials are derived from responsible sources in relation to both animal welfare and the environment. As we are concerned about the threat of deforestation, we require all tanneries supplying finished leather (cattle hides) to have a Leather Working Group certification and a level “A” rating in traceability. This ensures that the hides are not originating from farms involved in illegal deforestation.

We are also part of the Leather Working Group’s Animal Welfare Group. This group prioritizes efforts around traceability, slaughter protocols, assurance schemes and risk mapping.

We can currently trace 100% of our leather to country of origin, and 93% to processing facility. We are working to constantly increase this number with the ambition of assuring full traceability of our supply chain.

To protect the future of leather we are also embarking on a regenerative farming partnership with Savory Institute to support responsible and restorative land stewardship during the raising of livestock. The Savory Institute helps farmers move towards restorative solutions that can help heal the land and increase resistance to climate change by regenerating topsoil, improving the water cycle and enriching the ecosystem by increasing biodiversity.

Black Quote Graphic.

We are also part of the Leather Working Group’s Animal Welfare Group. This group prioritizes efforts around traceability, slaughter protocols, assurance schemes and risk mapping.

Leather Working Group Logo.
Down title on bed of brown down feathers.
Down title on bed of brown down feathers.

Down

The Challenge

The down industry has been linked to inhumane farming methods including live-plucking and force-feeding, so it’s incredibly important to make sure any down we use is responsibly sourced. For this reason we have strict requirements for our suppliers of down, which we use as insulation in some of our jackets and coats.

What we are doing

All down sourced by UGG must be RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified, which means our down is sourced from suppliers who commit to upholding the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, and it is sourced without live-plucking and force-feeding. This means that like all of our other animal-based materials, it is a by-product of the food industry.

We had aimed to reach 100% RDS certified down by 2022, but managed to achieve our target 2 years ahead of schedule.

100% infographic on background of sea blue down feathers.
100% infographic on background of sea blue down feathers.

100% infographic on background of sea blue down feathers.

What we are doing

All down sourced by UGG must be RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified, which means our down is sourced from suppliers who commit to upholding the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, and it is sourced without live-plucking and force-feeding. This means that like all of our other animal-based materials, it is a by-product of the food industry.

We had aimed to reach 100% RDS certified down by 2022, but managed to achieve our target 2 years ahead of schedule.