It’s not always easy being the most popular. While ugg boots were the most searched fashion item on Black Friday 2013, the sudden surge in Internet traffic also revived an old controversy that has always plagued UGG Australia: that they allegedly skin animals alive and kill sheep just to make ugg boots.
This time, someone’s even gone as far as drawing up an online petition, complete with an attached video of Pink’s old PETA campaign against the Australian wool industry’s sheep mulesing and live export practices from seven years ago. As always with PETA, the video is filled with shocking images we deem too gruesome to share here on our blog, so just click the link to the petition if you’re up for watching it.
Just as Pink discovered (she later backtracked and said that she could’ve done a lot more research on her own prior to posting the PETA video), there is always two sides to a coin. UGG Australia, ready with their responses to this age-old controversy, said that they are, on record, against the practice of mulesing. They require their suppliers to comply to a strict set of ethical guidelines, they don’t kill sheep just for the skin alone, and they most certainly don’t skin sheep alive; they debunk plenty of other misconceptions in their response to the current outbreak of this issue.
No matter which side you are on, there’s really no getting around it: ugg boots are made of animal skin, as all real leather products are. It’s really up to you to decide whether to buy genuine sheepskin ugg boots from a company that has humane manufacturing practices or to go 100% vegan. Just please don’t ever buy fake ugg boots. Counterfeiting goes beyond making money off of a popular brand — it also almost always deals with dangerous working conditions, unregulated and possibly hazardous manufacturing materials, child labor, and other issues on top of animal welfare.
UGG Classic Tall Boots, $195 / Alternative Outfitters Classic Vegan Faux Shearling Boots, $48