Why you'll hear the word 'regenerative' in 2023
Our Environment

Why you'll hear the word 'regenerative' in 2023

“We must learn to take care of the Earth instead of exploiting it and change our relationship with clothing at the same time,” said climate activist and influencer Summer Dean.

Also known as Climate Diva, Summer is an Insta-star known for her love of both environmentalism and fashion. Summer and her 54,000-strong Instagram following are testaments to the growing consumer demand for sustainable practices. With the popularity of timeless pieces crafted from regenerative materials that are built to last a lifetime and apparel that is resold, rented, and repaired — fast fashion is out. “I want to prove that you can be stylish without overconsuming and treating clothing as if it’s disposable. I get most of my clothes secondhand, and when I do buy anything new, I make sure it will be a staple in my closet,” she said. From organic to sustainable, the fashion industry has seen its fair share of movements and best practices – and Summer bets “regenerative” is the next big thing.

The word regenerative isn’t just for fashion – you can apply the practice to just about anything in life. While the term “regenerative agriculture” may be new to you, its methods are based on Indigenous land management that has been around for centuries. These methods include being adaptive to physical conditions and cultures locally, mimicking natural grazing patterns, and focusing on restoring biodiversity. It’s an approach that allows ecosystems to become more resilient against droughts and wildfires while allowing the soil to absorb a greater amount of carbon from the atmosphere. People care about how their consumer goods, like clothes and shoes, are made and the impact their purchases have on the planet and people. Given that increasingly unpredictable weather conditions are also affecting supply and disrupting fiber production, there really is no better time for brands to focus on regenerative agricultural practices. It’s one of the best options to build resilience — for brands, suppliers, farmers, and the planet.

Rob Buddo has owned and operated a regenerative ranch in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand all his life on the same land his family farmed for over 100 years. “We’re working with nature, I think that's the biggest thing,” Rob Sid. The UGG team has been working with Rob and others in the Savory Global Network, creating local solutions to land degradation through regenerative agriculture. The Savory Institute equips land managers with innovative tools and curricula and conducts research on the ecological, social, and financial outcomes associated with holistic management, and we partner with them to restore farmland through regenerative farming practices. It is Rob’s ranch where we source the hides for the Classic Mini Regenerate and new Tasman Regenerate.

Rob runs his ranch based around four key pillars: people, planet, profit, and progress. “We're thrown a whole lot of different stuff these days,” Rob said. “But we know how to deal with it. We have systems in place, but we've got to work with nature.” The “people” part of Rob’s pillars particularly resonates these days as we all realize our own impact on the Earth is just as important as the “planet” pillar. As a key part of regenerative practices, it benefits both nature and communities.

Many farmers in New Zealand, like Rob, already recognize the benefits of regenerative farming methods. Rob’s farm is part of Atkins Ranch, a group of over 170 family ranchers across New Zealand, recognized as industry leaders in innovation over the last 30 years.

It’s about “future-proofing” as Rob describes, not only as a business but for people and the planet alike.

“No good business is any good without good people. And good people come from a philosophy of everybody being looked after and treated well,” Rob says. “Our philosophy of farming is that we want it to be able to continue on through the generations.”

Although the fashion industry is at the beginning of this journey, from the farmer to the fashionista, it's clear that key players in the regenerative space share our ambitions for a nature-positive future. Regenerative agriculture may play a key role in that vision, and we’re investing in that vision through our products today and tomorrow.

Check out the new Tasman Regenerate here.

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