If your four-legged friends could talk, no doubt they’d say, “Make sure our collars are eco-friendly and cruelty-free!” And no worries. You can ease your loyal friends’ minds because today there are lots of cool eco and vegan dog collars to choose from.
VEGAN DOG COLLARS
At UniGuide, we’re working on making leather a thing of the past. And with so many alternative materials available that are just as durable as leather but do not harm animals in their making, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect, cruelty-free collar for your pup. In addition, the dog collars we present here have a lighter environmental footprint than leather collars or even non-leather collars that are made from materials like virgin nylon or other unsustainable materials.
Eco-friendly materials, like hemp, recycled plastic, and upcycled bicycle inner tubes are super strong and make great cruelty-free collars. And of course, all of the dog collars you’ll find on UniGuide are vegan.
Why are we so anti-leather?
Leather is not healthy for people, for animals, or our planet. Too many animals are killed every year so their skin can be used to make clothing, shoes, and accessories – and that includes pet accessories, such as leather dog collars, leashes, and harnesses. The life of an animal that is exploited for his or her skin is one of unimaginable and needless suffering. That kind of suffering has no place in our modern world. In addition, the process of turning animal skin into leather – called tanning – utilizes toxic chemicals that are harmful for workers as well as the environment.
So that’s why we say, ‘Ditch the leather collar and get one that’s cruelty-free!’ Your pup deserves to walk and play in cruelty-free style.
HEMP DOG COLLARS
Why Hemp Is a Great Material for Dog Collars
Hemp dog collars are hard to beat in terms of being sustainable, durable, and comfortable for your pup to wear. Hemp is one of the world’s strongest natural fibers, which means a well-made hemp dog collar will last through many romps, swims, and tugs from your dog’s pals.
In addition, dog collars made from hemp are naturally resistant to mold and mildew, and they’re anti-microbial too. But you can still throw them into the washing machine if need be. Hemp dog collars will soften over time, but they’ll still maintain their shape and strength. And if your dog is prone to allergies or skin sensitivity, a hemp collar is a great option because it’s hypoallergenic.
Hemp is considered a superstar sustainable material for a few reasons:
- It doesn’t require much water to grow, nor does it require pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides because it has a naturally strong resistance to pests.
- Because of its hardiness, it’s been used as an ecological way to clean up soil pollution and contamination. According to an article in the Huffington Post, “Using a process called phyto-remediation, hemp was used at Chernobyl to harmlessly extract toxins and pollutants from the soil and groundwater. Hemp actually absorbs CO2 while it grows through natural photosynthesis, making it carbon-negative from the get-go.”
- A super productive plant, hemp produces more fiber per acre than cotton or flax – the fiber used to make linen.
So, if you’re looking for an uber eco-friendly collar for your four-legged friend, you can’t go wrong with a hemp collar!
Here are brands we love that are making quality hemp dog collars:
Earthdog creates eco-friendly and vegan dog collars out of Earth-friendly and sustainable hemp. They offer a wide variety of colors and patterns, in 27 different styles. All of their collars are machine-washable and dryer-safe. And they’re all handmade in the USA
Planet Dog says we should all “think globally and act doggedly.” While they put a big emphasis on play and having fun with your pooch, Plant Dog is serious about their mission to make the world a better place. Since 2006, they’ve donated over $1.5 million dollars through their Planet Dog Foundation, which provides funds for the training, placement, and support of dogs who help people in need.
River Dog Hemp creates bright and colorful hemp dog collars in both solid and tie dyed patterns. Hemp is a hypoallergenic material, which makes it perfect for pooches have allergies or sensitive skin. All of their collars are machine-washable and made in the USA.
RECYCLED DOG COLLARS
This brings us to another great option for your four-legged pal, and that’s a recycled dog collar. As you’re probably aware, we have a serious plastic problem. There’s too much of it, and it doesn’t biodegrade. To date, we’ve produced 9.1 billion tons of plastics. The number is so enormous that it’s impossible to wrap your head around it, other than to say, plastic is everywhere. There’s now even plastic where people don’t generally go, like the middle of the ocean. We’re choking on plastic and so are our fellow species who don’t even use plastic.
Every four minutes, eight seabirds and 760 marine mammals die from plastic pollution in the ocean – and these are just the ones we know about. (Sea Turtle Conservancy and Ocean Crusaders.) In fact, the most prevalent form of pollution found in our oceans and on our beaches is plastic bottles and plastic bags. (Huffington Post, Ocean Conservatory.)
What do we do with all of this plastic?
First, we need to stop producing and using so much plastic. Second, we need to use natural, sustainable materials and bioplastics, which biodegrade more easily instead of petroleum-based plastic. And third, we need to figure out what to do with all of the plastic we’ve already created!
This is where recycled dog collars come in.
Will we save the planet by giving all of our dogs recycled dog collars? Probably not. But will we help make a dent in the plastic pollution problem? Yes. Right now, according to the EPA, we only recycle about 9-10% of plastics. This is why at UniGuide, we are bullish on recycled plastic!
But it’s important to keep in mind that even when you recycle plastic into something useful, like a dog collar, you still have to figure out what to do with the recycled dog collar when you’re done using it. How to properly re-purpose, recycle, or dispose of products when we’re done with them is a topic we want to explore further at UniGuide in collaboration with the product vendors we promote on the site.
Because plastic is such a long-lasting material, it tends to create durable products even when it’s recycled. The recycled plastic dog collars we feature here are tough enough to stand up for years of use, including lots of rolls in the grass, ocean swims, and buddy dog tugging.
Here are some great brands that make recycled dog collars:
Dutch Dog Amsterdam creates eco-friendly dog collars from recycled PET plastic. The colorful, vibrant designs pay tribute to famous works of art by Van Gogh, Monet, and others. Every style has a matching leash. And they’re machine washable.
Lupine was founded in 1990 in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Since they started operations, they’ve donated a portion of their revenue to organizations and causes around the U.S., including their local Humane Society. Their line of eco dog collars are made with recycled plastic bottles. Lupine collars are super durable.
Dublin Dog Co. makes eco-friendly, vegan, and recycled dog collars with their “Eco-Lucks” line. Made from recycled plastic, every Eco-Lucks dog collar keeps 1.5 plastic bottles out of landfills and the ocean.
Petz Best carries lines of dog collars that are made with organic cotton and recycled polyester.
UPCYCLED DOG COLLARS
In addition to recycled dog collars, upcycled dog collars can be a great option for your pup. But first…
What’s the difference between a recycled dog collar and an upcycled dog collar?
Increasingly, we are distinguishing between recycled and upcycled on UniGuide because there’s a difference in the meaning of the two terms. (Though you might find the term “recycled” applied to items that are actually “upcycled” on UniGuide. We do this if a product maker uses the term to describe their products or simply because consumers are more familiar with the term “recycled.”)
The difference between the recycled dog collars and the upcycled dog collars on UniGuide is that the recycled collars are made from materials, usually PET plastic from water bottles, that go through a process whereby they are altered in a meaningful way (usually through an industrial process) before being converted into materials to make the collars.
While each product maker is unique, most of the recycled dog collars on UniGuide are made from plastic water bottles that are ground down into flakes or tiny pellets, which are then melted down and spun into a fiber that is woven to create the collars. Because it’s a manufacturing process, recycling can be energy intensive, but it’s generally agreed today that it’s environmentally beneficial to recycle plastics.
Upcycled dog collars, on the other hand, are collars that are made from previously used materials that do not undergo such an intensive transformation. Materials such as used fire hoses, fire fighter clothing, and bicycle inner tubes are simply cut down, sized, and sewn into durable dog collars. What makes upcycled products especially cool is that you can often tell what they were in their past life, before reaching the next phase in the product evolution.