UGG is reducing its waste
Our Environment

UGG is reducing its waste

At UGG, we’re on a journey toward a more regenerative future. This is why our FEEL GOOD strategy is about giving back more than what we take from the planet.

As part of parent company Deckers Brands’ sustainability report, we outlined our approach to waste and how we’re planning to reduce it in our facilities and supply chain through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.

Waste has always been a matter of concern for us as a fashion brand. The majority of the Earth’s resources are finite. The outdated take-make-waste linear system is not viable in today’s world, as it assumes we will always have resources to “make.” We look at production in a circular way where materials stay in the loop for as long as possible, and if waste cannot be avoided, we strive to dispose of it in responsible ways. We must look at waste holistically by studying our direct waste generation and waste diversion, in addition to that of our supply chain partners.

Waste management in our supply chain

We manufacture primarily in Asia and are committed to doing our part to engage our global partners on proper waste management. Ten distinct rivers located in Asia and Africa are thought to carry about 93% of trash that is eventually found in our oceans. We monitor waste generation and waste diversion among certain supply chain partners and organize an annual beach cleanup in Asia-Pacific (APAC). Our teams in China and Vietnam monitor the majority of our Tier 1 factories and we monitor Tier 2 partners using our lifecycle assessment (LCA) tool.

Our waste reduction goals for 2030 include the following:

  • Reduce waste in our footwear’s midsoles and outsoles by 35% per pair
  • 25% waste reduction per square ft. per pair of leather used in production
  • 15% waste reduction per square ft. per pair of sheepskin used in production

We care about how much waste our partners produce and how it is discarded. We want them to use our two preferred waste diversion methods – closed-loop recycling and post-industrial recycling – wherever possible. Closed loop recycling is waste that is produced and then reused within a partner’s own operations, while post-industrial recycling is when our partners engage with a third-party recycling service that takes the waste produced to then be upcycled and/or downcycled. While we saw an increase in preferred waste diversion from our partners in 2021, with approximately one third of their waste being diverted in a preferred manner, we will continue working with our partners to identify more preferred waste management solutions where possible.

Waste management in Deckers Brands facilities

At our corporate offices, too, we take steps to eliminate single-use plastics and invest in technology to further reduce waste.

Our campus café is free of most single-use plastics, and we encourage employees to use their gifted stainless steel water bottles and coffee mugs. Our retail stores have also eliminated plastic bags, and we have made efforts to go beyond just our own four walls by encouraging our supply chain partners to follow suit and eliminate their own plastic bottle consumption.

In one year alone, our China and Vietnam offices – along with those supply chain partners participating in our reduction program – have eliminated over 69,000 bottles. We’re also committed to ensuring our state-of-the-art Moreno Valley Distribution Center becomes a zero-waste facility by 2027.

Finally, we’ve shifted to more virtual conferences that save environmental resources, and use 3D printing and design to reduce the number of samples manufactured and shipped.

Learn more about the Deckers Brands’ sustainability report here and the materials we use here.

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