Lean green canine fashion machine

So we all agree that we consume a shed load of plastic in our daily lives, we love our dogs and love being outdoors. We want to treat our environment with respect some of us are using biodegradable waste bags.  Increasingly people are turning away from mass produced dog fashion and the plastic fantastic coats made in China, are not sitting so comfortably on the smart dog owner’s conscience.  Lets face it, along with reindeer alice bands, natty Christmas tank tops and squeaky plastic novelty Santas, we have just about enough of landfill fodder gifts for our pets.

Winter leaves our dogs susceptible to the cold if they have sparse coats, are recuperating or just need an extra layer. The perils of internet shopping for our dogs mainly lies in sizing- just like for humans.  If the Spaniel coat you bought looks fit for a Chihuahua on a hunger strike then you are not alone. Most companies will give an indication of breed size and from there you are kind of winging it. Going to a smaller or bespoke company gives you the option to send in your dogs measurements, which takes the disappointment out of the gamble of online choices. Then of course there is the issue of ethically sourced fashion.

We love http://www.red&ginger.co.uk  for sustainability, low waste and their crazy ability to upcyle clothes into the cutest outfits for your dog to hit the park. Before Lisa had her paws on the beating heart of  unique dog clothes, she worked in fashion and lived her former life as a stylist. It  is no surprise that the energy and creativity honed in the human world has been repackaged, upcycled and lovingly crafted into one off pieces that fuse vintage and contemporary style. You can help mirror your dog’s personality by commissioning a one off piece or choose from her versatile range.  I’d rather buy a figment of someone’s blood sweat and creative tears, than buy from a sweat shop and fast forward to landfill.The best of their sale items include a fully reversible dog jacket for £12


Now back to those plastic santa dog toys. Not only has there been a huge controversy  around dog safety with plastic and rubber toys, we might be more than a little weary of the interminable squeaker symphony. For this reason  whilst shopping around I came across http://https://www.greenandwilds.co.uk/eco-dog-toys/ they sell durable jute toys.


These are refreshingly simple. Long lasting and so far have  passed the teeth test of Moses, my teething German Shepherd- part dog, part baby landshark. Four layers of jute are sewn together and their products are sustainable and 100 percent biodegradable. When the toy comes to the end of its life, the dog can simply bury it in the garden. They are the brown rice of the eco-dog toy world there is something exciting about their scaled-down functionality. No matter how “safe” it is deemed, I’d rather my dog wasn’t wolfing down layers of paint on novelty items . I feel rather sorry for the mangled face of Postman Pat on the squeaker I bought in a fit of misplaced nostalgia. I also live in dread that he brings it to the door on the day my post is delivered!


Even better than not buying new plastic is of course using old plastic. Hair of the Dog  love the lupine collars made from recycled plastic bottles that have a thick long lasting durable weave. http://https://barksandbunnies.co.uk/products/lupine-eco-collar?variant=12196760387651

In the next post  we will look at reducing the miles of delivery by going local. Essex and Suffolk are teaming with canine craft artisans. From dog fashion to soothing organic dog products we  take an impartial   peep  at the top ten in the region, guaranteed to get your dogs tail wagging.















Veganuary: Transatlantic Eco Dog Fashion.

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.






New Year Resolutions:leading the way forward.

You and your dog have made it into the New Year, he has probably had to accommodate guests and disruption to his routine. On the run up to Christmas, long walks or playing in the park might have taken a back seat.

  1. FUN: Re-establish fun with your dog. This might be by setting aside time each day to play with your dog and give your significant canine some undivided attention. This will strengthen the bond as you break out into fun, rather than asking your dog for obedience all the time. Its telling your dog, I’m great to be around and can be used to teach your dogs some boundaries, in a fun context.
  2. De-Stress and Get Organised Book in your vet visits and grooming appointments in advance, how many times do we forget to pick up the wormer or leave their coats a little longer than is comfortable. All dogs need a good de-shed in Winter.Having a clearer schedule makes life easier for you and your dog. When you are dashing around last minute your dog feels the stress.
  3. Education: Call your vets and ask if they have any extra classes or workshops? Lots of vets these days are running everything for socialisation puppy parties, to raw feeding master- classes. If you have concerns about your dog, get to the vet for his health, the groomer for his coat and nails and a trainer for his behaviour.
  4.  Mental Agility: Blast his mind with new games, it’s the fastest way to tire him out. Mental stimulation will have your dog snoring before you can say bull mastiff. Teach him a new trick, play hide and seek, train him to bring you different toys. ( For more ideas contact our dog  trainer Emma. )
  5. Sport If your dog is in good health, it might be an idea to take a new sport with him or her. Try Cani- Cross, extreme frisbee, fly ball, to name but a few.
  6. Compete inTracking– join a local tracking or field event group to really work your dog’s mind. It requires obedience skills and dog and significant other get a huge sense of achievement.
  7. Diva’s Unleashed: Fun Dog Shows– Your dog doesn’t have to be a brain box like the dog in the Littlest Hobo- there are loads of fun dog shows in Essex and surrounding areas, where your dog can win a rosette just for being beautiful. Dog Diva’s welcome ( We suggest a spruce up at the dog groomer’s first- to make sure your dog is smelling his or her best. )  Fun Dog shows are great for socialisation and a good platform for those hoping to take their dog to the next level.

Wishing you a truly pawesome New Year from Hair of the Dog, Dog Grooming and Training, Cherry Lane Garden Centre Braintree Essex. Call 07539605752 or wizz us a message on Facebook @hairofthedogcoggeshall.