UGGs: expensive trend, animal cruelty or just plain UGG-ly?

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Walking to class on campus, going to the mall, or shopping at Wal-Mart, it is inevitable to see girl after girl sporting their beloved UGG boots. I am not sure when this trend began, but it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

If anything, the boots’ popularity continues to grow and monopolize our society. Even infants, who are too young to walk, are already becoming victims to these overpriced moon boots because their mothers want them to “fit in” and “look cool.”

But what makes these boots so popular? It can’t be the style, because they are simple and boring. It can’t be the price, because they are too costly for the quality. I am not sure what the big draw is towards them, and I feel like I am the only one that feels this way.

“Uggs” are a unisex style of sheepskin boot that Australia and New Zealand lay claim to creating as early as the 1920s. In 1978, Brian Smith founded the UGG brand in Southern California, bringing the footwear to America. It exploded in the 1980s, and has been popular since. Even though teenagers are large consumers of these boots, they have slowly, but surely, reached all age groups ranging from babies to elders.

But this popular trend is neither fashionable, nor beneficial for society.

Fashion is a very important part of our society. The media teaches us that no person, especially a girl, wants to be behind on the latest trends, even if it means spending unnecessary money for “UGG-ly” boots. Many people feel pressured, whether they realize it or not, to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Unfortunately, that is just the type of world that we live in today.

These brand-name boots typically cost over $100 dollars, and sometimes more than $200. But this overpriced trend is not just a concern for your wallet.

They are also a concern for the animal cruelty that goes into producing these sheep-skinned boots. Instead of simply shearing these animals of their coats, they are being skinned. The materials are made of sheepskin, meaning that innocent Merino sheep have to sacrifice their lives so girls around the world can sport the hideous footwear. Every year, millions of these sheep have no choice but to give up their skin to be a part of a silly trend.

While I do understand that these chunky, sheepskin boots may be practical for staying warm in cold weather, there are other ways to keep your feet warm and dry in the winter without buying these boots.

There are many other brands of boots offered and available out there today that does the exact same job as the UGG boots, but are a much better option that are less expensive, and are not cruel to animals. The best alternative to UGG boots is the Classic Faux Shearling Vegan boots. For those who still like the same style and appearance of the UGG boots, these are a viable option. They cut the price by more than one hundred dollars and they are also friendly to the animals.

A second option is the Reneeze Women Mid-Calf boots, which have the same wallet and animal friendly qualities as the first pair of alternatives. These also come in a variety of colors. Both of these can be found on Amazon.com; who doesn’t love the convenience of online shopping?

But, if either of those options still do not meet your requirements, it’s always important to keep an open mind. Plenty of department stores, even warehouses like Sam’s and Costco, offer great alternatives to the trendy, harmful UGG boots.

I have survived in our society thus far without ever owning a pair of UGG boots, and I plan to keep it that way. In the past, I have had friends who have argued with me that UGG boots are “more comfortable” or “look nicer” than my knock off brand from Sam’s Club, but I refuse to believe them. A brand name on the back of a pair of shoes is not going to run my life, ruin my bank account or hurt the animals.

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