UGG SETS AMBITIOUS RESTORATION PLAN FOR EARTH DAY
22 April 2021
“Our house is on fire.”
Greta Thunberg uttered this line in 2018 and repeated it again in 2019 at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Fast forward to 2021, and we think Greta would still be saying it.
In a world where we need 1.6 planets per year to support our demands on the Earth’s ecosystems, we cannot sit back and do business as usual.
The stakes are clear: if global warming continues to increase at its current rate, the planet will experience rising sea levels, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, heightened poverty, and thousands of species under threat of extinction.
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth. It is about not only reducing humanity’s footprint, but also about restoring some of the damage that has been done.
It is crucial for us to all go beyond minimizing our own impact, making systemic changes and shifts to restore the planet.
UGG cannot simply protect – we must actively restore the Earth, its ecosystems, and the livelihood of its inhabitants.
Doing our part to restore our planet is a core ambition for UGG. We have done a lot of work to understand where we are, and are now using this Earth Day to make four pledges on our journey towards a more sustainable future.
1. WORKING TO RESTORE OUR LAND.
UGG is investing in the regeneration of 200,000 acres of land in 2021, with a goal of 1,000,000 acres within five years. We are also establishing a grant that will provide holistic solutions to promote soil health and biodiversity, with a goal of transitioning the Australian sheepskin industry to regenerative.
But what does regenerative mean?
Land is the lifeforce of our planet. It is used to house and feed us, and is the source of all of the materials that products are made from – but it is in danger. Due to intensive farming, including the overuse of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals, the health of ecosystems and the world’s topsoil is rapidly deteriorating. We need to take action to repair the damage that has been done.
Regenerative agriculture ensures proper land management which leads to an increase of biodiversity and carbon sequestration opportunities.
Healthy soil plays a key role in storing carbon. When a plant grows, it takes in carbon, converting it into carbohydrates. It pumps some of this through the roots to feed microorganisms, which then turn into soil. This process, in essence, takes carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in the soil. This can result in vast amounts of carbon being captured and stored.
2. WORKING TO RESTORE UGG CLASSICS.
UGG is proud to announce our first-ever repair program, which will launch by the end of 2021.
Why is waste an issue?
Waste is an ongoing challenge across the fashion industry, including footwear. Around 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year. One solution is to buy less, but buy better.
UGG products have always been made to last, using high-quality materials and durable production methods. As a global brand, we know the importance of making sure that our footwear is loved for as long as possible and has the lowest environmental impact it can. On average, our customers wear their Classics for years, and we want to extend this lifespan even further – restoring your favorite shoes to like-new condition.
Alongside this, UGG has been working with its suppliers to minimize the waste generated in our supply chain, and has a target to reduce waste from midsole and outsole production by 35% by 2027.
3. WORKING TO RESTORE OUR FORESTS
UGG is partnering with Canopy to ensure that 100% of our wood-based products will be from responsible sources.
Why do fashion and footwear brands need to protect forests?
According to the UN, forest conservation could provide up to 30% of the solution to climate change because trees store carbon from the atmosphere. However, trees are being cut down at an alarming rate for materials.
They are also important ecosystems home to both people and animals. Without forests, communities and species can be displaced, and our climate will continue to degenerate.
Fashion is a culpable recipient of wood pulp that is sometimes sourced from unsustainably managed forests, including ancient and endangered woodlands. It can end up in paper and card packaging, as well as fibers, like viscose.
In efforts to ensure that none of our products or packaging contribute to the loss of ancient and endangered forests, we are proud to partner with Canopy, an organization dedicated to responsible sourcing, tree planting, stewardship, education, and advocacy.
4. WORKING TO RESTORE TRANSPARENCY.
UGG has joined the Apparel Transparency Pledge – demonstrating our commitment to being open about where our products are made and by who.
Why is transparency important?
According to the Transparency Pledge, a lack of transparency can cost lives and hides poor and exploitative working conditions for workers.
While transparency does not fix all social issues within the fashion supply chain, it is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Transparency is a key part of brands taking more responsibility for the people behind their products, as it gives them visibility over where the products are coming from.
At UGG, we work with our suppliers directly. By joining this initiative, we are supporting our ongoing efforts to ensure social standards within our supply chain. To find out more about how we work with our suppliers, see here.
We are proud to have joined the Apparel Transparency Pledge to promote a standard for supply chain disclosure in the garment and footwear industry. This means our website will publish 100% of our Tier-1 suppliers (these are the suppliers who make our products). This list will be updated on a regular basis and include key details like the number of employees at each site, location, and types of products made. You can find this information here.
Find out more
UGG is committed to driving change as part of our FEEL GOOD sustainability strategy, and we encourage you to read more about our environmental targets and goals here.