Ugg Boots – Where they come from

I bought a pair of Ugg boots a few years back at Big 5 for less than $30 to keep my feet warm.

I didn’t consider where the boots were made, and I never intended wearing them to go shopping or outside. Since I work at home and save money by leaving the heat off on cold days, my feet get cold so it made sense to wear a pair. (I just Googled Big 5 and saw Uggs on sale for $39 a pair).

Uggs do not appear designed for outdoors, yet I see many young American women looking sharp shopping in Ugg boots. It seems to be the latest fad.

Curious, I did a bit of research to learn more about this popular fad.

I learned from Business Gather.com “Make no mistake about it: Ugg boots are not just for girls. Sure, they may look cute and snuggly, but with football quarterback Tom Brady on board as the brand’s new spokesperson, Ugg boots are poised to attract hoards of manly men all around the world.”

Then I wanted to know where Ugg boots came from and what it costs to make a pair.

I discovered this video on YouTube of a factory in China where the material and labor come together to make Uggs. The conclusion of the description below the video says, “These boots are the most cheap and excellent quality boots in the world.”

The New York Times recently reported “The salaries of factory workers in China are still low compared to those in the United States and Europe: the hourly wage in southern China is only about 75 cents an hour.”

Chinese factory workers often work overtime as long as sixteen hours a day for six days weeks.

However, in 2009, the US federal minimum hourly wage was $7.25, which pays about $15,000 a year for a full time job not counting hidden benefits, which don’t exist in China.

In China, the Ugg factory workers in that video are probably earning less than $3,700 (US) annually and working twice the hours to keep those Ugg prices down so American women and men may buy a cheap pair to look stylish while shopping.


This is a video explaining how to detect fake Ugg boots

After I watched this video, I checked the Ugg boots I bought from Big 5.  They were fake. Does that mean they weren’t made in China?

Who makes a profit from the real Ugg boots? Deckers Outdoor Corporation holds the Ugg trademark in more than 100 countries worldwide and reported sales of 689 million US dollars under the Ugg brand in 2008 and sales were up in 2009. Source: Source: Wiki.Ugg Boots

How many Americans would be willing to pay four or five times the price for a pair of Ugg boots so those low paying minimum wage jobs would come to the US?

Then, how many Americans are willing to work for the federal minimum wage without benefits? Not many since there are about eleven million illegal aliens in the US working those jobs.

So, if you live in the US, next time you hear political ads or someone bashing China for stealing jobs from Americans, look in a mirror.

Update:  After I wrote this post and up-loaded it, The Walking Company sent me an e-mail advertising “Zealand” slippers (another “Ugg” type product) on sale at 70% off.  Instead of paying $65 a pair, I paid less than $20. I stocked up and bought four pair and was surprised when the shipment arrived to discover that the “Zealand” product line is made in China instead of New Zealand.

Discover The India, China battle to eliminate poverty and illiteracy

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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5 Responses to Ugg Boots – Where they come from

  1. Elaine says:

    I bought a pair of ugg boots and lost a button and I need 1 button and can not find where I can purchase one. This is terrible that no store that carrys uggs know where you can purchase at. Please if you have a number or email please contact me

    • All I can do is suggest you visit the Walking Store if there is one near your home.

      http://www.thewalkingcompany.com/

      Hopefully, The Walking Store—with over 200 stores nationwide—may be able to help you. The customer service number is 1.800.642.9265

      I looked up your IP address and it says you are located in Monroe, Louisiana 71203

      It seems the nearest store is in Memphis, TN located in the Wolfchase Galleria about 223 miles from your home. Maybe you should call the toll-free number and see if that helps.

  2. Dan says:

    As father of two daughters, I speak with some authority when I say that I doubt the boots you bought for $39 were UGGS. More likely, they were fake UGGS, or Fuggs. Think the real thing are made in Australia and they do cost about five times what you paid.

    • I did see from my research that Ugg’s are also made in Australia but (correct me if I’m wrong) those Ugg’s are not trademarked by Deckers Outdoor Corporation, which holds the Ugg trademark in about a 100 countries except in Australia and New Zealand. I recall that I also read something about a trademark lawsuit going on over that issue too.

      The question would be, if Deckers Corp owns the right to the “Ugg” trademark and that company wins in court, what will Australia and New Zealand call their brand of Ugg?

    • To be honest, I’ve been looking at the “Uggs” sold by the Walking Company. I was just checking out the ADS and the UGG Original Sundance costs about $225 a pair. The ones from New Zealand don’t say UGG on the display AD. The Original Sundance says it is an UGG (registered for) Australia. The pricey pairs seem to all come from Australia.

      The “UGG Australia” (a slipper for men without the high tops) that I’m interested in costs about $90.

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