Climate news these days is overwhelming: hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides, flooding. It can leave you wondering if its not just too late; if there is really anything we can do to help slow the effects of global warming. Honestly, we can't answer that question, but there are small steps individuals can take every day to help, if not heal the world, at least do less damage. One of those steps is to simply be mindful of the products we use—for ourselves, for our pets, and for our home. Choosing products free of toxins, products that have minimal impact on the earth, and brands we know to provide safe and equitable pay for workers isn't just good for the health of our pets, its good for the health of the planet. Thankfully there are more and more companies popping up to offer sustainable healthy options. These are just a few of our favorites.
"We want to make products that give our pets the quality they deserve and set new standards for cleaner pet products," say founders Sally Clarke and Michelle Arnau. This women-founded clean-beauty brand for pets uses quality, environmentally friendly, naturally-derived ingredients, free of harmful things like parabens, sulfates, silicone, talc, or dyes. They worked closely with a board-certified veterinary dermatologist to create gently formulated products for both fur coats and hair-care for non-shedders (think poodles, Shi-Tzus, and Yorkies). Rowan products leave your pets coat clean and sparkling without stripping the natural oils that help keep them healthy—leaving them with a fresh and clean coconut scent to boot.
JAX AND BONES
Jax and Bones is a Los Angeles-based luxury pet bed and accessories brand. Launched in 2004 by Tina Nguyen, this woman-owned company offers a gorgeous and stylish variety of luxury dog beds with designs to fit any decor. To prove their commitment to sustainability, they use only non-toxic foam and cushion inserts made of recycled plastic bottles, and upcycle by reusing scraps in their fabrics to create fun things like masks, handkerchiefs, and toys. We love the super cute compostable and biodegradable rope toys that are perfect for teething puppies. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their rope toys goes to animal rescue.
"High on style, low on paw print" is this brand's motto. Based in the Netherlands, Pawness offers a variety of products from vegan leather accessories to organic cotton towels. Inspired by her rescued dog Bo, creator Denise Crombag saw a need for stylish, ethically produced products in the marketplace. Pawness developed products which have a low environmental impact and are cruelty free. They pledge 10 percent of their profits to good dog causes. The puppy milestone cards printed on eco-friendly paper and packed in an organic cotton pouch make a great gift for new puppy parents.
West Paw leads the way in sustainability when it comes to pet products. Founded twenty-five years ago in Bozeman, Montana they have grown into an award=winning, certified B corp (the first for a pet product manufacturer). A founding member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition, and now a member of the American Council on Sustainability, West Paw boasts that over the years the company has saved "16 million pounds of plastic from going into landfills and oceans, guaranteeing local jobs, and delighting dogs and pet parents alike." In 2020 alone West Paw recycled seventy tons of material back into its Zogoflex line of nontoxic, rough and tumble chew toys. They also design everything from leashes to collars and beds for dogs of all sizes. The Quizle enrichment toy (made from BPA-, phthalate-, and latex-free Zogoflex) is a favorite around our house. Fill with treats, peanut butter or their favorite food, pop in the freezer for a few then give as a treat!
This Black-owned small business made headlines when founder Angela Medlin landed on the list of Oprah's favorite things in 2020, and for good reason. A former designer for Nike, Medlin creates pet products that are truly unique, from matching hoodies for you and your pup to customizable toys, all while maintaining a commitment to sustainability. Making products in small batches and sourcing locally with non-toxic, all-natural fibers like wool, bamboo, organic cotton, and vegetable-tanned leather allows her to cut down on both product and production waste. In addition, all House Dogge products are certified by Oeko-Tex, an independent sustainable certification program for textiles. A portion of every sale is donated to charity.
KIN + KIND
Kin + Kind carries a wide variety of pet- and planet-friendly supplements and grooming products. Of course they're veterinarian-formulated, and free of all the nasty stuff like parabens, phalates, peg, and stearates, and safe for pets with sensitive and allergy-prone skin. The brand even has a new line of veterinarian-approved CBD. Plus they love transparency, so you know exactly what is going onto or into your furry friend, as every ingredient used is listed on the package. Their Maximum Flea and Tick Protection Set (available in lavender or lemongrass) is our go-to for everyday year-round flea treatment. Oh and yes, they have products for cats too.
Awoo Pets is new on the scene, with a unique approach to repurposing pet products and sustainability. Their signature infinity leash can be used ten different ways and is made entirely of recycled nylon and other eco-friendly materials. Awoo has also implemented a "RePAWpose" program for their customers: get a discount on future orders by shipping your used items back instead of tossing them out, so that the materials can be recycled and used again. In addition they are careful to vet every manufacturer they work with to ensure proper working conditions and fair wages for humans.
Skouts Honor prides itself on being environmentally and socially responsible. All of their cleaning products are plant-based, biodegradable, and safe to use around pets and people. Their cleaning products contain a proprietary veggie-based surfactant, BioKore, that works to absorb, break down, and permanently remove stain and odors through osmosis. They pledge to give back by donating one day's worth of meals to a dog in need for every Skouts Honor product sold. We have been using the Pet Stain & Odor remover on all our pet oopsies for years. They even have a Got Skunked kit for the inevitable, unfortunate day your pup meets Pepe Le Pew. It includes a skunk odor removing probiotic shampoo and conditioner (choose yummy lavender, sweet honeysuckle, or a fragrance-free option) and a probiotic deodorizer.