UGG is taking another step towards its sustainability goals.
The Southern California-based brand launched the Classic Mini Regenerate boots, an evolved version of the Classic Boot style. The new shoe, available for adults and children starting today, are crafted with materials sourced from Atkins Ranch, a ranch known for its sustainability actions – Atkins works to help restore soil, encourage wildlife diversity, capture carbon in the ground, and preserve the land for future generations.
The release reflects the brand’s efforts to promote sustainability in the footwear industry in partnership with Savory Institute’s Land to Market Program. UGG, which is part of Deckers’ portfolio, has vowed to help restore one million acres of grassland into regenerative farmland by 2025.
“For us, it was simply the right thing to do. Humanity depends on soil so it is imperative to do what we can to ensure healthy soil,” Brooke Beshai, Senior Director of Sustainability and Compliance at Deckers, and Nicks Ericsson, Senior Director of Brand Purpose, Sustainability, and DEI at Deckers, exclusively told FN. “We strive to increase the use of preferred materials in our products and for us that means looking to increase our use of recycled, renewable, natural, or regenerative materials.”
The Classic Mini Regenerate features a new sole made from sugarcane and sheepskin sourced from farms that practice regenerative agriculture. “When we think about designing a product, we always want to be asking ourselves if we can do it better. UGG is known for our premium sheepskin products and given our position we recognized we could use our scale as a force for good. Regenerative leathers were available on the market, but regenerative sheepskin really wasn’t. We wanted to use our scale as a force for good with the vision of supporting the evolution of the Australian sheepskin industry, where most of our sheepskin for UGG is sourced,” they explained.
The SugarSole™ offers the same cushioning and traction as the brand’s signature Treadlite™ outsole. The new boots are made with low-impact materials, making them carbon-neutral. Beshai and Ericsson confirm UGG will use the same technology in more products in the near future: “We are rolling out our sugarcane SugarSole™ outsole across most of our styles in future seasons, starting in AW22 with all new seasonal classic boots, expanding into more classics, slippers, and sandals for SS23. Our aim is to make this one of our most used outsoles across our line going forward since it is such a great alternative to reduce our reliance on petroleum-based products.”
The Classic Mini Regenerate retails for $160. Taking their sustainability efforts a step further, UGG will donate $6 per pair from the total purchase of every Classic Mini Regenerate sold in UGG retail stores and on Ugg.com to the Savory Institute. The organization supports regenerative farming solutions, ecosystem protection, and reversing environmental degradation initiatives.
The brand tapped model and land protector Quannah ChasingHorse to be the face of the collection. “Quannah is a great ambassador for the brand and our Regenerative efforts because of her activism as a land protector but also because of her passion and voice within sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
UGG has also invited Lenise Omeasoo to design a one-of-a-kind pair of boots following the regenerative agriculture theme, that will be on display at UGG Fifth Avenue flagship in New York City until Nov. 9.
Since UGG announced its 5-year sustainability plan, the consumers’ reaction couldn’t be better. Beshai and Ericsson believe this proves they are on the right path – “We have seen a very positive reaction from consumers to our sustainability efforts so far. We realize we are still on a journey and want to make sure our consumers understand this. We have learned a lot from early sustainability capsules like our Plant Power Collection where we saw great consumer response and sales for fashion forward plant-based products, these innovations helped lead the way to convert more outsoles to SugarSole™ as well as use more plant-based materials in our products, such as the use of Tencel Lyocell in our proprietary UGGplush™ material, also used across a wide variety of styles. When we announced our Regenerative targets and teased our first product drop back in Earth Day, we had a large amount of UGG loyalists sign up for the pre-sale of the product, so we know there is interest from our consumers for these types of initiatives.”