Being a dog owner can feel as if you are slinging money into a bottomless pit. Pet insurance, specialised dog food, smart feeders, memory beds and pet trackers and late night online cheer up shopping. After Christmas the clothes still fit my dogs, me not so much.
I’m an online shopper most of the time. My working day is spent grooming the dogs of Braintree Chelmsford Witham and Coggeshall. My free time is spent training and walking my dogs. I don’t spend my outdoor time shopping for my pooches. I’m on doggy play dates and trying to get my dog out to as any different experiences as possible. Note to self drive- through coffee shops are a terrible idea, with a large lively barking dog in the car. Having a German Shepherd stuffing a curious nose up the window of Starbucks and barking a hello, made the member of staff jump backwards. Not good.
Online shopping however from major retailers seems to bring with it a tidal wave of plastic waste and huge unecessary boxes. I love walking on the beach, so I’m not comfortable with adding to it’s pollution through cheap manufacturing and unecessary plastic. I don’t turn up to lunch parties with a spare tree for a spot of post- bite guerilla gardening wearing a Save the Whale T shirt and a pair of recyclabe crocs- but I still like to feel that if I am not saving the planet, I am at least not contributing too much to killing it. Least of all for my dog, an animal that I love.
So that brings us nicely into the world of eco-pet shopping. Yes it is a thing.No you do not have to be vegan to buy eco friendly products. So who are the retailers and what are they doing?
Eco Pup are fab when it comes to funky functional dog wear. Made in Canada ( and let’s face it they deal with a lot colder than last year’s ‘Beast from the East”) This eco savvy company have dog and cat wear made from recycled fleece and use organic printed fabric trim. They sell breathable bamboo hoodies for the pug thug in your life. I love them and at coats from 28 dollars, they are affordable. https://www.ecopupdogclothing.com/ They aren’t just cute designs at a decent price they are doing the following:
- we reuse packing boxes for large orders
- reuse plastic and cellophane bags for packaging
- all cardboard, paper and plastic packaging that cannot be reused is recycled
- orders are taken electronically
- we try to use email and the phone as much as possible instead of printing paper
- any bottles and cans we use are recycled
- all of our printer ink cartridges are mailed back to the manufacturer to be recycled
- all of our business cards and catalogs are printed on eco-friendly recycled paper
- Our hang tags are printed on eco-friendly cardstock with vegetable based soy inks. They withstand shipments and shelf life.
- our products are 100% eco-friendly by using certified organic, reclaimed and recycled fabrics
- we take public transit and carpool whenever possible
- we use biodegradable poop bags to clean up after our dogs
So for a clean conscience they rank pretty highly as far as mindful shopping goes.
Next up Funny Fur. Funny Fur have a lot more variety but a lot less to say about how they contribute to eco-economy.They do however raise money for animal resuce and shelters and have an eco friendly pet apparel section.
They have everything from cable knit sweaters to polka dot dog scarves. They have party dresses for Yorkshire terriers and are everything you might expect from an American Designer. Their clothes however are eco friendly and this business is based in Houston and proves that everything does indeed seem to be bigger in Texas. Away from the Stars and Stripes tank tops for dogs, they have some effortlessly stylish nautical designs that make me wish I had a Basset Hound called Claude. I am astounded by the choice at this store and what it has to offer. They even have dog strollers ( prams!!!) for dogs who for whatever reason can’t get around in the tradtional way. This is like the Willy Wonka’s of Dog Fashion. Everything you can imagine is sold at this store which feels like a Vegas Wedding and a beauty pageant went on a three day bender together. It is both sightly car crashy and terribly compelling. It’s not all bamboo hoodies and herbal ( silent H) chai, but it is a great balance of eco concious and outrageous.
Tomorrow we will look at some of the trail blazers in British Dog Fashion and how the eco mindful dog owner spends their hard earned wages.