Wood pulp fluff and hemp-infused textiles take center stage in Ugg’s dual-gender Plant Power Collection.
Months after launching its Feel Good sustainability platform, the California-based lifestyle brand unveiled three new plant-based footwear designs Thursday.
The Fluff Sugar Platform and Fluff Sugar Sandal recreate the look and feel of Ugg’s Fluff franchise using plant-based, Tencel-branded lyocell. The fibers, Ugg said, derive from the wood pulp of trees grown in forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
The two Fluff Sugar silhouettes also feature SugarSole foam outsoles. The design replaces petroleum-based materials with sugarcane, a rainwater-dependent resource that removes CO2 from the atmosphere and does not require irrigation and has been popularized by footwear startup Allbirds.
The Neumel Natural adapts the look and feel of the brand’s Neumel chukka boot using plant-based materials. The shoe includes a 55 percent cotton, 45 percent hemp upper; a cozy lining made with Tencel-branded lyocell; and a handcrafted, small-batch sole made of Lactae Hevea latex harvested from the Hevea rubber tree.
Ugg says the Plant Power Collection is “just the beginning.” By 2027, it plans to increase its use of recycled, repurposed, plant-based, bio-based and certified fibers by 35 percent.
“At Ugg, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change,” Andrea O’Donnell, president, Ugg and Koolaburra by Ugg, said in a statement. “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 brand’s most-used textile fiber is repurposed wool. Harvested from signature Twinface sheepskin and then woven into UggPure proprietary technology, it uses less water and energy and emits less CO2 compared to virgin market wool, Ugg said.
Working with Lenzing, Ugg has combined its signature UggPure wool with Tencel lyocell woven into a recycled polyester backing. The material, called UggPlush, is part of a larger push to increase the use of Tencel lyocell, the brand said.
“Lenzing is proud to collaborate with Ugg on their UggPlush technology using Tencel-branded lyocell fibers,” Robert van de Kerkhof, chief commercial officer, Lenzing, said in a statement. “Our sustainable wood-based fibers are an excellent choice for the environment, and a natural choice for products that require comfort and breathability. We are committed to supporting brands like Ugg who have set sustainable commitments that support both people and the planet.”
Ugg is also taking steps to reduce packaging waste. Styles from the Plant Power Collection will ship in their own containers to eliminate further layers of postal packaging. Furthermore, material information will be printed directly onto the FSC-certified tissue paper rather than an insert card, decreasing the total amount of paper used.