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UGG accused of misleading marketing

Published: 26th Jan 2024

With pressure from PETA, Ugg may have to continue seeking more sustainable material alternatives, such as this upper that’s not made entirely from sheep wool. Image: Ugg Classic Cardi Cabled Knit.

Pressure group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has unleashed its fury by levelling accusations against Ugg.

Through a cease-and-desist letter addressed to Ugg, PETA called out the company for what it claims to be “misleading” clients with “marketing claims” aimed at assuring consumers that its animal-based hides, down, and wool are “humane.” This action compelled Ugg to remove specific marketing claims. Such a move by Ugg reveals the substantial influence that pressure groups like PETA wield over major players in the fashion industry.

PETA also argued that Ugg could not claim that its suppliers treat animals ‘humanely’ if they use hides from animals raised for the food industry.

Furthermore, PETA expressed concerns about Ugg’s sourcing practices in countries like the U.S., where federal laws lack regulation regarding animal care on farms. The legitimacy of certifications, such as the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), was also brought into question, citing instances of non-compliance in certified farms in Russia and Vietnam.

Ugg is not the sole target of PETA’s scrutiny; earlier this year, the organization also sent cease and desist letters to retailers Quince and Naadam over ‘humane’ claims, resulting in the removal of such claims from their websites.

The above information is derived from a news article found at Yahoo Lifestyle. According to the article Ugg responded to PETA’s accusations by saying “Our commitment to supporting animal welfare and ensuring the humane treatment of animals is an integral and transparent part of our brand philosophy. For an overview of our animal welfare policies, please visit our Ethical Sourcing & Animal Welfare Policy. “

The recent case involving PETA, Ugg, and other retailers like Quince and Naadam underscores the significant influence that pressure groups can have on both footwear manufacturers and retailers. It emphasizes the critical importance of transparency, adherence to ethical standards, and proactive engagement with stakeholders. While footwear companies in regions with less pressure group activity may experience less scrutiny, it is essential not to condone misleading advertising. The lessons learned from this matter can serve as a guide for the industry to navigate ethical considerations and maintain consumer trust. 

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