UGG boots are made of shearling—yep, that’s skin with the fleece still attached, people! Every year, millions of sheep are castrated and parts of their tails are cut off often without any painkillers—before they’re finally slaughtered for their skin, which is what cheap UGG boots are made of. They endure all that cruelty just for a pair of boots.
It’s also considered “normal” in the Australian wool industry for approximately 3 million young lambs to die every spring.
Not only are wool and sheepskin items cruelly produced, they’re also bad for the environment. The Environmental Working Group found that sheep are the worst greenhouse-gas polluters—even worse than cows—which is why they’re often referred to as the “Humvees” of animals. Wool production also degrades land and pollutes the water supply.
Watch this viral video, viewed more than 25 million times:
Every purchase of UGG boots outlet and other wool products supports extreme animal abuse. If you want to keep your feet warm and snuggly without the cruelty, check out these comfy, stylish options instead:
1. The Malibu, available at Pammies Life
Pamela Anderson’s line of vegan boots includes four styles and multiple colors. Get your compassionate hands on a pair through the Pammies Life website.
2. Short Boot, available at PAWJ
PAWJ is a 100 percent vegan shop with a great selection of ultra-cozy boots. This style comes in four colors.
3. Marge Shearling Style Boots, available at Target
These fuzzy vegan numbers are also available in black.
4. Love Moschino Pull On Boot, available at UGGAU
These cruelty-free, bejeweled boots from Moschino’s diffusion line couldn’t get any cuter.
5. Milan Boot, available at MooShoes
The faux-fur upper on this pair is great for fending off the winter chill.
6. Vegan Shearling Mid Calf Boot, available at Fourever Funky
At such an affordable price, you should add these to your online shopping cart ASAP and never look back.
7. Myra Tall Boot, available at Payless
These vegan beauties by Airwalk are also available in brown with white trim.
8. Snug Boot, available at MooShoes
Featuring a thick cruelty-free fleece lining and water-resistant outer material, these boots are prepared for whatever winter may dish out.
In the mood for more boot shopping? Check out this list of additional UGGAU.
Cast your mind back to 2002 and, chances are, the predominant image that will pop into your mind is the UGG boot, otherwise known as the shoe version of a hangover.
It was a boot that gloried in being ugly, that left us all walking on the ankles, went soggy the second it rained and never recovered, but was so comfortable, we forgave it all those sins and determinedly carried on wearing them anyway (sometimes with mini skirts, which made absolutely no sense).
Well, that boot is back.
Last week, Alexa Chung announced her collaboration with the brand and, with that, sealed what the fashion world has been attempting to do for a good year now: she made UGGs viable again.
Now, for all the naysayers out there that remember 2002 and greet this with horror, I hear you.
Rebooting a shoe once known as ‘slag wellies’ hardly feels like a crowning moment for anyone. But this is where you are going wrong.
The return of the UGG outlet is actually good news for all of us, as half of Vogue’s editorial team has already discovered. How can you argue with Vogue? Answer: you can’t.
Sure, they may have lacked in obvious style, durability and any form of water-proofing, but that’s all changed with the launch of the UGG 2.0, which actually keeps water out, and a ‘luxe’ take on the classic that has a slimmer profile and promises to keep its shape. What is this if not magic and wizardry?
And let’s not forget that cheap UGGs are so far the only shoes to date that have managed to make wearing slippers to work legitimate, which is no small thing.
That’s basically why half the western world started wearing them in the first place and then didn’t take them off for the whole of 2002-2003.
You may scoff now, with your structured footwear that doesn’t collapse in on itself within a week of use, but come January and the New Year hangover, you’ll be grateful for that soft, fluffy lining that is capable of keeping the cold out like no other.
Besides, the return of the UGG UK is about more than just the boot itself anyway; it marks a bigger fashion movement that is going on this season: to bring back functional and wearable clothing that you might actually welcome putting on when you peel yourself out of bed in the morning.
See also the oversized everything, down-filled puffer jackets and sleeves so long they finish a good foot after your fingers do.
Casual observers could point out all these clothes can be hideously ugly too and that maybe that’s the real movement the UGG is a part of, but let’s ignore those dissenting voices and focus instead on the perks: fashion is being kind to us and giving us trends we actually want to wear, for once, and that’s something to be grateful for.
Court case pits American company against Australian manufacturer
American footwear giant Deckers has taken court action against local company Australian Leather for selling sheepskin boots called Ugg in the UK.
Ugg boots a local phenomenon since the 1970s
In Australia warm woolly Ugg boots outlet have been a winter staple since the 1970s. The sheepskin boots were warm and easy to slip into. The woolly boot has grown into fashionable footwear and a billion dollar industry around the world.
Local company Australian Leather argues that the name “Ugg” has its origins in Australia as a generic term for sheepskin boots and that Deckers should not have been allowed to claim a trade mark on a name that was already in use.
American company claims it has exclusive rights to “Ugg”
American company Deckers claims that it holds the trade mark to the name Ugg in the UK and many other countries. According to Deckers, this means that nobody else can use the name Ugg to sell sheepskin boots.
Was the US trade mark on Ugg based on a falsehood?
According to Australian Leather, the US trade mark application falsely claimed that the word “Ugg” had no prior significance in the footwear industry. The Australian company claims that the current trade mark on “Ugg” held by Deckers should be cancelled, pointing out that Australian-made cheap Ugg boots were exported to the US well before Deckers bought the US trade mark from an Australian entrepreneur in 1985.
Importance of protecting your intellectual property
The Ugg boots case revolves around the question of who has the trade mark rights to the word ‘Ugg’ in relation to sheepskin boots. The case demonstrates the importance of establishing trade mark protection in every jurisdiction in which a product is to be sold or distributed. It is crucial that trade mark protection is obtained early, so that would-be competitors do not have the opportunity to claim the trade mark for themselves.
The battle over the rights to “Ugg” is comparable to the battle over the right to use the term “champagne”. The French blocked the rest of the world from using the term on the basis that Champagne is a region of France. Consequently, we now have to label similar products as “sparkling wine”. It seems that Ugg boots are on the path to the same international legal battle.
If Australian Leather wins its case, the Ugg name may be available to all Australian footwear manufacturers to use when selling their products overseas.
Ironically, according to media reports, Deckers had been selling its boots stamped Ugg Australia, even though they are made in China.
It’s been one year since Deckers Brands purchased California-born sheepskin boot label Koolaburra — and it’s finally time for the big reveal.
Dubbed “the free-spirited little sister” to the Deckers-owned Ugg outlet brand, Koolaburra by Ugg is poised for its fall ’16 launch in several midtier department stores, including Kohl’s, DSW, Shoe Carnival and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse.
With 10 silhouettes ranging in price from $30 to under $100, Jen Somer, VP of Ugg Women & Lifestyle and GM of Koolaburra, said the fall ’16 collection of boots and slippers will feature many elements of the Ugg DNA but target a younger demographic. (Prior to the Deckers buy, the average price for Koolaburra boots was $200).
“Koolaburra will go after the 18-to-35-year-old demographic where as cheap Ugg targets the 28-to-40-year-olds,” Somer said.
Koolaburra’s ability to appeal to a younger demographic was one of the reasons the brand became an attractive buy for the company in 2015, according to Somer.
“The brand had that younger, fun vibe to it,” Somer said. “It was also founded in 1991 in Santa Barbara, so it had a contemporary California DNA — similar to the Ugg boots brand, which made it very complementary.”
In addition to being “street ready” with a durable sole, Somer said the 10 SKUs will merge a mix of materials such as suede and sheepskin.
The company will focus the bulk of its Koolaburra marketing in the social media realm, tapping bloggers and influencers for several campaigns starting in mid-September.
“Koola embodies the casual comfort at the foundation of Ugg reimagined in spirited styles designed for the next generation,” Somer said. “Our intention was to take the best-loved comfort of the iconic Classic Ugg boots and translate it into effortlessly chic iterations tailored for up-and-coming set.”
The brand’s e-commerce site launches on Sept. 1.
A collection of Koolaburra by Ugg sandals, wedges and sneakers is due out next spring.
No matter how great your idea is, starting a new business is hard work.
No one knows this better than Brian Smith, founder of Ugg Australia and author of “The Birth Of A Brand,” who worked tirelessly for years to make the now ubiquitous sheepskin boot part of American culture.
Though Uggs can be found in every mall in America these days, they didn’t start out as a hit. After ordering his first samples in 1979, Smith spent months traveling door to door pitching the boots to surf shops and selling them out of a van at surf competitions.
By the mid ’80s, the trend caught on, elevating Smith’s idea from a small business to a multimillion-dollar company. He ended up selling the business to footwear company Deckers in 1995 for an estimated $14.6 million, but Ugg is still thriving and can still be found at most major retailers today.
Smith recently shared some of his business insights at the 2016 Small Business Summit and in an interview with Business Insider. Smith says these six key characteristics define successful entrepreneurs.
Smith ran into several major obstacles while building cheap Ugg Boots, including the fact that it was only popular in the winter and that Americans didn’t understand the durability of sheepskin in any weather, making it a hard sell as a winter shoe. But his lack of prior knowledge is what kept him going. “Had I known about all these barriers and roadblocks, I would have given up,” he says. “The ignorance is what made it happen.” Going in blind forces entrepreneurs to believe in their product no matter what hardships they come up against.
They have perseverance.
If you truly believe in an idea — and you stick with it — eventually other people will believe in it, too. “Perseverance is what you need because there’s a tipping point, and if you can make it to that period, everything else sort of flows,” Smith says.
When Uggs didn’t catch on at first, Smith had an easy out: He could sell off his remaining inventory and cut his losses. Instead, he committed himself, personally pitching Uggs sale to surf shops and working odd jobs during the off-season to keep himself afloat. Soon enough, he reached the tipping point, and Ugg caught on as a national brand.
They know their audience.
In an effort to appeal to the same wide audience that department stores commanded, Smith created glamorous magazine advertisements featuring models frolicking in cheap Uggs. However, after several months, the ads had failed to gain traction, so Smith asked his surf buddies for feedback. Their thoughts: “Those ads are so fake! Those models can’t surf!” Smith realized his ads weren’t appealing to his core audience, and he started featuring up-and-coming surfers in the boots, using pictures he took himself for the ads. Within two months, sales climbed from $30,000 to $400,000.
They start small.
Getting as many people as possible to see and buy your product is a logical way to gain success. However, it’s impossible to immediately appeal to a mainstream market — you have to start with a small audience and grow outward from there.
Smith started out pedaling his boots to major retailers, such as Nordstrom, in hopes of reaching a mainstream audience. However, he failed to realize that he needed to get them in the smaller, niche surf shops first since his product was originally targeted specifically at surfers. Once the shoes started gaining popularity with an authentic surfer audience, they started to catch on with those outside the surf crowd as well.
They love what they do.
Above all else, Smith believes a genuine passion for the work is what makes an entrepreneur successful. “If you love it, no matter what happens, you’ll get through it,” he says. “You have to really love what you’re doing and know that there’s a potential for it. That’s what keeps you true to the mission.”
In the mid ’80s, Smith brought on new investors, with each holding equal shares of the company. Smith soon realized that with his now reduced 25% equity stake, he had lost control of the business. Still, he stuck with Ugg outlet, and began working as a salesman, slowly earning more and more through commission and eventually returning to the corporate level. Because he truly believed in his product, he was willing to do whatever it took to make the company successful.
They know when to step back.
Smith’s No. 1 rule for entrepreneurs is to love what you do, which means stepping back when it comes to the tasks that remove the joy from a project. Yes, every entrepreneur will be faced with unglamorous tasks they don’t want to take care of, but it’s important to know the difference between little annoyances and major responsibilities. For Smith, this meant delegating administrative work and focusing on his strengths in sales.
Instead of forcing himself to fill a role he’s not meant for, he passes it on. Even though it might be difficult to hand off part of your pet project to someone else, successful entrepreneurs recognize when they aren’t the best person for the job and pass it on to whoever that may be.