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Aussie casual footwear UGG unveiled The Plant Power Collection, a vegan and sustainable shoe line that foregoes animal fur for carbon-neutral materials such as Hevea rubber, renewable sugarcane, and natural hemp, and we’re loving it
The Fluff Sugar Platform and Fluff Sugar Sandal feature a SugarSole outsole developed from sugarcane, a renewable crop that is dependent only on rainwater and that helps to reduce CO2 from the environment. This even limits the use of fossil fuels as it offers a sustainable replacement to petroleum-based materials.
The fluff is creating using plant-based TENCEL Lyocell obtained from wood pulp sourced from responsibly harvested trees, which is then transformed into regenerated cellulosic fibers. The trees grow sustainably on farms certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The collection also features a unisex Neumel Natural lined with wood pulp and with soles made from LACTAE HEVEA, a latex harvested from the Hevea rubber tree. The uppers were developed from a blend of 45% hemp and 55% cotton.
UGG president Andrea O’Donnell said that the company is committed to do their part to tackle climate change. “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.”
The new collection was made in a factory that supports HERproject, a collaborative initiative that aims to educate and empower lower-income women across the UGG supply chain. The company says it has already trained over 33,000 women and plans to extend that to 100,000 by 2027 thanks to the program.
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 our journey towards a more sustainable futureAndrea O’Donnell, president, UGG
Going forward, the company says it will increase its use of recycled, repurposed, plant-based, renewable (bio-based), and certified fibers by 35% by the year 2027.
Sustainable footwear is gaining momentum, with several brands announcing new products and shoe lines with a range of material innovation. For instance, Swiss clothing behemoth H&M recently joined forces with footwear firm Good News to launch a collection that is created out of banana fiber and vegan grape leather.
Another company, REI Co-op debuted its first outdoor footwear line that showcases biobased and recycled materials in its shoes. In Finland, Rens Original has pioneered a leftover coffee shop, whereby grounded upcycled ground beans are transformed into eco sneakers and in London.
Lead image courtesy of UGG.