UGG Introduces New Material Innovations with Plant Power

UGG showcases its latest material innovations with the launch of Plant Power.

UGG® has this week debuted its new Plant Power Collection with support from Eco-Age. The new capsule collection reinvents three of UGG’s classic footwear styles with carbon-neutral, plant-based materials, as part of the brand’s commitments to reduce its impact on people and planet.

In designing the capsule, UGG first assessed the impacts of the materials used, prioritising those with a lower carbon footprint, before offsetting the small amount of emissions associated with each of the materials to achieve carbon neutrality.

The resulting designs replicate the iconic look and feel of the brand’s popular fluff franchise and best-selling Neumel chukka, but minimise the impact through the use of thoughtful material innovations such as TENCEL™ branded lyocell fibre, natural hemp fibre, HEVEA rubber, and SugarSole™ foam derived from renewable sugarcane.

The Fluff Sugar Platform and Fluff Sugar Sandal feature SugarSole™ foam outsoles –  a foam composition derived from sugarcane that reduces the dependency on fossil fuels by replacing conventional petroleum based materials commonly used in footwear with a renewable bio-based alternative.  Sugarcane is a fast-growing, rainwater-dependent resource that captures CO2 from the atmosphere and sequesters carbon, and does not require irrigation.   

The iconic UGG® fluff is made with plant-based TENCEL™-branded lyocell fibres, made of wood pulp sourced from responsibly harvested trees converted into regenerated cellulosic fibres through a closed loop system. The trees are grown on sustainably run farms that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), two leading organisations promoting sustainable forest management. 

The Collection’s all gender Neumel Natural adapts the look and feel of the brand’s best-selling Neumel chukka with TENCEL™ Lyocell lining. Its handcrafted, small-batch soles are made of LACTAE HEVEA® latex – the result of the refinement of Hevea milk, which is harvested from the Hevea rubber tree. This process of extracting the milk helps the tree to flourish, as it regenerates itself where it has been tapped to release the natural rubber.  The Neumel Natural’s upper is woven from a blend of 55% cotton and 45% hemp.

“At UGG, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change,” said Andrea O’Donnell, President, UGG® & Koolaburra by UGG® of Deckers Brands. “Our design team took inspiration from our iconic styles and created new silhouettes made from carbon-neutral, plant-based materials. The resulting Plant Power Collection tells a story about what is possible, and it is an exciting step in on our journey towards a more sustainable future.”

All of the products in the Plant Power Collection were made in a factory that supports HERproject – a collaborative initiative that works to educate and empower women in the brand’s supply chain.

Packaging has also been considered, and UGG will ship styles from the Plant Power Collection in their own containers to eliminate further layers of postal packaging. Material information will be printed directly onto the FSC-certified tissue paper rather than an insert card, to reduce the total amount of paper used. Through efforts like these to reduce and adapt its packaging, UGG has so far saved over 1,716,603 trees.

Plant Power builds on FEEL GOOD., UGG’s sustainability platform, which was launched in October 2020 with support from Eco-Age to articulate its long-term goals and commitment to people and the planet. UGG is continually working to make its products better for both consumers and the planet by seeking and using innovative materials, and has targets to increase its use of recycled, repurposed, regenerated (plant-based), renewable (bio-based), and certified fibres by 35% by 2027.  The brand’s most used textile fibre is repurposed wool, which is harvested from signature Twinface sheepskin then woven into UGGpure proprietary technology. UGGpure is a more responsible material because it reduces the use of virgin wool, uses less water, less energy, and emits less CO2 when compared to virgin market wool. 

UGG has also created UGGplush, which combines the brand’s signature UGGpure wool with TENCEL™ Lyocell woven into a recycled polyester backing. The brand plans to increase the use of TENCEL™ Lyocell as it furthers its commitment to continue to increase the use of more sustainable materials whenever possible.