The Ugly Side of UGGs

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

SheepUGGs: You either love ’em or think they are the, er, ugliest footwear ever made. But there is pain involved in the production of every pair. UGGs are made from wool and leather—in other words, from the body parts of sheep.

Australia produces most of the world’s merino wool supply. Merino sheep are bred for their extra-wrinkly skin, which allows them to produce more wool all over their bodies. But those wrinkles also attract flies, who lay eggs in between the moist folds. The resulting maggots begin to eat the sheep alive.

As if that weren’t hideous enough, to “fix” this problem many farmers do something called “mulesing,” a cruel procedure in which chunks of skin and flesh are cut from the sheep’s backside so that the wound will scar over and eliminate the wrinkles. Mulesing is often done without painkillers, and it leaves raw wounds that often become infected and actually attract more flies.

While UGGs use wool lining, the outside uses the inside of a sheep’s coat: leather and suede, which are not fabric but skin. Caring consumers should take note that some faux UGGs have been found to contain the skin of raccoon dogs, most likely obtained from Chinese fur farms.

Caring consumers will stick to buying stylish, cruelty-free alternatives such as Stella McCartney boots or Juicy Boots. Please, join the many other people who refuse to buy anything made of wool, leather, or fur.

Posted by Claire Miller