Plant Power Material Innovations
11 March 2021
- Our Innovation stories
Seeking and using innovative, alternative materials that are long-lasting, versatile, and low-impact is a key part of our commitment to make our products better both for you and our planet.
It is through thoughtful material choices and innovation that we have been able to minimize the footprint of the materials used in each product from Plant Power – our first collection made with carbon neutral, plant-based materials.
“Plant Power is our latest footwear collection purposely designed with our environmental footprint in mind,” said Andrea O’Donnell, President, UGG® & Koolaburra by UGG® of Deckers Brands. “Made with carbon neutral, plant-based materials, Fluff Sugar and Neumel Natural allow you to feel good in more ways than one.”
Through Plant Power, we have recreated the iconic look and feel of the UGG® Fluff Franchise and our bestselling Neumel using responsibly-sourced materials. In designing the capsule, we first assessed the impacts of the materials that we used, prioritizing materials with a lower carbon footprint. To achieve carbon neutral materials, we then offset the small amount of emissions associated with each of these materials, resulting in net zero emissions.
We have measured the impact of these alternative materials against conventional materials that could have otherwise been used.
Discover the material innovations of Plant Power:
Plant Power replicates the iconic feeling of the UGG® Fluff Franchise using plant-based TENCEL™ Lyocell, which is also used for the cozy lining of our Neumel Natural.
TENCEL™ Lyocell is a branded regenerated cellulosic fiber developed by Lenzing. TENCEL™ replaces conventional regenerated cellulosic fibers such as viscose and rayon. TENCEL™ Lyocell is responsibly harvested wood, pulped and processed into a regenerated cellulosic fibers. These trees are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), two leading organizations promoting sustainable forest management and combatting issues around deforestation and endangered woodlands.
TENCEL™ Lyocell pulp is manufactured through a closed-loop system, where 99.7% of the chemistry used in the process are recovered and reused.
Our Fluff Sugar Platform and Fluff Sugar Sandal feature a SugarSole™ outsole, a foam composition which reduces our dependency on fossil fuels by replacing conventional materials with renewable biobased content.
SugarSole™ is made using swift-growing, rainwater-fed, renewable sugarcane. Ethylene is extracted from the sugarcane, which is then converted into EVA, ready to be made into soles. Through using sugarcane as a source for the Ethylene, it provides a more sustainable alternative to petroleum based, non-renewable materials often used in conventional footwear.
As well as providing an alternative to fossil fuels, sugarcane captures CO2 from the atmosphere and sequesters carbon.
For our Neumel Natural, we use LACTAE HEVEA® soles, which are handmade soles created in small batches.
LACTAE HEVEA® is the result of the refinement of Hevea milk, which is harvested from the Hevea rubber tree. Far from weakening the tree, the process of extracting the milk helps the tree to flourish, with the tree regenerating itself where it has previously been tapped into to release the natural rubber.
No natural forests are cut down during the process. After around 25 years of extracting milk, the tree is felled, and a new tree is planted.
The upper of our Neumel Natural is made from an environmentally-preferred blend of 45% hemp and 55% responsibly-sourced cotton. Hemp fiber provides a natural alternative to synthetics like polyester, which is a petroleum-based fiber.
The Plant Power Collection contains a small amount of Recycled PET in the footbed and midsole wrap for the Fluff Sugar style.
Recycled PET is solely there to provide strength in areas where it is needed. Our priority is to make quality products that stand the test of time while minimizing our impact. Through the use of recycled PET, we are achieving both.
At UGG, we are committed to increasing the use of recycled, repurposed, regenerated (plant-based), renewable (bio-based), and certified or preferred natural fibres by 35% among all material categories by 2027.
Read more about our approach to materials here.