- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Footwear brand Ugg, part of Deckers Brands, has unveiled new long-term social and environmental sustainability commitments with the launch of a new ‘Feel Good’ platform dedicated to people and the planet.
Focused around three key pillars, environment, community and innovation, Ugg is looking to showcase transparency as well as accountability with what it is calling “ambitious” sustainability goals, projects and global partnerships.
Ugg, known for its sheepskin boots, is hoping that its ‘Feel Good’ platform allows its consumers to follow the brand’s actions as well as understand its environmental and social impacts to make sure the brand is “transparent, accountable, and both socially and environmentally progressive,” added the company.
“These are critical times when we must all play our part in delivering the United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement through a future which is sustainable and resilient,” said Dave Powers, president and chief executive of Deckers Brands in a statement. “We believe in transformative change – change that is only possible with a focused and transparent approach.”
When it comes to protecting the planet, Ugg has stated that it is taking steps to understand and minimise the environmental impact of business operations and is working with expert partners to implement projects that drive positive change in the world. This includes working through a partnership with nonprofit The Savory Institute to “protect and reverse environmental degradation” through regenerative farming practices.
In addition, the brand is working with “expert partners” to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and plans to set Science Based Targets by 2021.
In 2016, Ugg as part of Deckers Brands, joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with over 9,500 participating companies. As part of the UNGC commitments, the brand set targets relating to waste, water, materials, chemicals, climate and clean energy, and human rights and equality.
Ugg commits to sustainability framework with a focus on environment, community and innovation
The sheepskin footwear brand states that its ‘Feel Good’ platform is the “next step” in the brand’s effort to help make “the extent of human-driven impact on the planet widely recognised” and there is also a focus on putting people first. Ugg will do this it states by celebrating the importance of diversity, gender equality, female empowerment, and inclusion for all, using the UNGC Sustainable Development Goals #4, 5 and 10.
This will be highlighted by supporting HerProject, a collaborative initiative that creates partnerships with brands to enable workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality. Since 2016, Ugg has trained over 33,000 women through the initiative, and by 2027 it plans to enrich the lives of 100,000 women globally.
Ugg also supports the LGBTQ+ community with an all-gender capsule sold year-round. To complement this capsule, in 2020 Ugg donated 125,000 US dollars to GLAAD, a non-profit accelerating acceptance and advancing equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
For its final pillar, innovation, Ugg states that it is committed to “continually working to make its products better, both for consumers and the planet”. It states it will achieve this through seeking and using innovative materials and has set itself targets to increase its use of recycled, repurposed, regenerated (plant-based), renewable (bio-based), and certified fibres by 35 percent by 2027.
The brand’s most used textile fibre is re-purposed wool, which is harvested from sheepskin then woven into Uggpure proprietary technology. The company adds that Uggpure is a more responsible material because it reduces the use of virgin wool, uses less water, less energy, and emits less CO2 when compared to virgin market wool.
Innovation it adds is “the key to reducing fashion’s impact on the planet” and it will continue to push boundaries. The brand has already created Uggplush, its signature Uggpure wool combined with a percentage of Tencel lyocell woven into a recycled polyester backing. Ugg adds that it also has plans to increase its use of Tencel lyocell as it furthers the brand’s commitment to seeking more sustainable material alternatives whenever possible.
Andrea O’Donnell, president of Ugg and Koolaburra by Ugg of Deckers Brands, added: “California is an endless source of inspiration for us. We want to protect this place so our children and children’s children can be inspired by it. These are critical times when we must all play our part in building a more sustainable future.
“By launching our Feel Good site, we are documenting our commitment to people and the planet. We want to be transparent so that our community can hold us accountable and we hope to inspire others along the way.”
Images: courtesy of Ugg