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One of fashion's most exciting (and sustainable) aspects is its cyclical nature. Anything that comes back into style can be safely retrieved from the bottom of your closet. Those low-rise jeans you left in 2001? Back! The side part that Gen-Z denounced in 2018? Back! The UGG boots that your mom never purchased for you in 2010? They're back, too, this time in a trendy slipper style.
However, as a company, UGG is not vegan because of its use of shearling, leather, and wool. Although UGG has stated on its website that it uses "repurposed wool and produced fibers" and "sheepskin from regenerative farms," sheepskin is still sheepskin.
Here are some vegan alternatives that won't break the bank, hurt the environment, or harm animals.
Why are UGG slippers harmful?
When UGG boots were first released, many podiatrists noticed a trend called "UGG Boot Syndrome," where clients would come in with "muscles, ligaments and tendons being overstretched and strained" due to the shoes having little to no arch support. Constantly wearing UGGS could lead to further damage to your feet, says Talaria Podiatrist, and even give you plantar fasciitis.
PETA has long been vocal about the harm that UGG boots and similar pieces of apparel cause to animals. UGG boots are made from shearling, which is, according to PETA, "the skin and coat of a sheep or lamb who was shorn shortly before slaughter—the skin is tanned with the wool still on it."
Wool industries are particularly heinous, as sheep do not actually need to be shorn to live happy lives, and humans have selectively bred them to overproduce wool. Wool shearers are often under pressure to move as quickly as possible, disregarding the comfort and happiness of the animals.
Although UGG has a statement on its website denouncing animal cruelty, the company claims to "only use fur which is a byproduct of the meat industry." The meat industry, to no one's surprise, is equally harmful to animals and the environment.
As of 2023, UGG has some vegan products, but most of its inventory is still not vegan.
Here are some vegan UGG slipper dupes.
Thankfully, many companies have risen to the challenge of creating vegan versions of cozy slippers you'll want to wear all winter long. Check out these five options for the perfect UGG slipper dupe that will make you want to say goodbye to sheepskin forever.
Pawj Mini Boot
Companies like Pawj California have risen to the task of creating stylish, cozy, and comfy vegan slippers you'll rock long after the trend cycle changes. The Pawj Mini Boot is a vegan alternative to UGGs you'll love.
Oncewild UGG Vegan Classic Slipper
According to their website, Oncewild is an Australian company focused on ethical fashion. The company only uses faux fur and synthetic products, and its Oncewild UGG Vegan Classic Slipper will surely be a hit in any household.
Cloud Wide Width Slippers
Arula's Cloud Wide Width Slippers are everything you'd love in a UGG slipper, except vegan, and available in wide shoe sizes. Arula's use of synthetic suede and faux fur will make you say, "ahh!"
CODIE Faux Shearling Natural Slippers
Steve Madden has come into the spotlight for having affordable yet stylish shoes, and its CODIE Faux Shearling Natural slippers are no different. Made entirely with faux shearling and synthetics, you won't want to miss this fluffy white alternative to UGG before it sells out again.
Tazmin Aztec Detail Faux Fur Lining Platform Slipper in Chestnut Faux Suede
So close you might not even notice, EGO's Tazmin Aztec Detail Faux Fur Lining Platform Slipper In Chestnut Faux Suede is the perfect vegan dupe for UGG slippers.