Posted 3 months ago ago
I love dressing up my dogs as much as the next person - really, there’s nothing better than a dog in a Halloween costume or pawty hat.
But one thing we - as responsible pet owners - need to consider is if these oh-so-funny paw-drobes are sustainable.
Experts have predicted that the UK pet industry could be worth £2billion by 2023, and part of that includes doggy fashion.
Waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk is keen to remind owners to be more mindful when purchasing pet accessories, and have shared some tips to avoid those cute outfits heading straight to landfill after one wear.
It’s not just dressing up dogs in fancy dress that owners enjoy, says Mark, there’s a growing trend in people buying outfits to match with their dog.
In 2019, clothing company Missguided launched a ‘twinning’ pet clothing collection to match outfits to owners, which saw 20,000 visitors visit the range online in the first 48 hours.
“People buy these outfits for the perfect Instagram moment, but it’s not something that the dog wants to be plausibly running around in for much more than a photo,” says Hall. “With such a focus on sustainable fashion, we need to make sure this extends to four-legged fashion too.”
With hundreds of dog outfits available on the market, like this denim jacket from Matalan, BusinessWaste.co.uk asked pet owners about their most memorable pet dressing up experience.
Sarah, from Poole, said: “I’ve spent £100s on clothes for my westie Harry, he looks cute and he loves it. Once the outfit is on, he’s such a diva, especially in his cowboy booties. And he can’t go for a walk without his coat on, he’ll catch a chill.”
Nick, in Luton, commented: “I buy my dog Wesley a new reindeer costume every Christmas for the family photo. I’d reuse the one from the year before, but he always manages to poo in them. We even put him in a nappy one year to try and stop him ruining another outfit, but history found a way to repeat itself.”
Tracey, who lives in Wolverhampton, added: “By dressing up our staffy Buzz, our family isn’t limited to just enjoying a regular dog. The kids get to play with a spaceman, a dinosaur or even Pikachu. It’s so hard keeping them interested in things, but they’re never bored when they get to dress up the dog!”
So we’re all in agreement that dressed up dogs are adorable, but how can we do it in such a way that doesn’t cause as much harm to the environment?
Mark Hall said: “Seeing as most owners admit to only putting their pup into the outfit once, I’m surprised that a dog outfit rental business hasn’t taken off. here would be no waste as clothes can be washed and reused.”
There are plenty of ways dog clothes can be repurposed, as unwanted outfits can be donated to charity shops or to a local dog shelter as long as they are clean and in good repair.
Dog rescue centre volunteer, Jo, said: “We use the warmer clothes such as jumpers for pups who need them, but we also have a lot of fun using the fancy dress outfits for online campaigns and adoption adverts.
“We recently had a family come in to adopt a terrier we put up a picture of dressed up as Elvis. They found the photo hilarious and wanted to take him home.”
Hall says BusinessWaste.co.uk encourages swapping outfits with other pet owners, to reduce the amount of clothing being needlessly bought, therefore you can get more use out of the outfits with the added bonus of keeping your dog’s Instagram content fresh.