When PAW5 created its second canine feeding enrichment tool, it had big shoes to fill. Our first product, the Rock N’ Bowl, was not only a hit with dog owners but claims a zero-waste production process! We knew we wanted to develop an eco-friendly, 100% safe snuffle mat to engage dogs’ powerful sense of smell. And while we knew what we wanted to do, how we wanted to do it was where things got interesting…
When designing the Wooly: The Original Snuffle Mat, we knew we wanted to use up-cycled materials, but when we looked around the US we did not find a textile mill dedicated to utilizing scrap fabric. However, when we looked internationally we uncovered a like-minded gem that became the source of the Wooly, The Bua Bhat Factory in Thailand. Owned and operated by a wonderful woman named Wilai, PAW5 co-owner Dennis said this of her;
“What Wilai does better than anyone else in the world is find scrap fabric from the textile mills in Thailand – cut-offs that would normally go to landfill – and she creates amazing products from these scraps!”
This means that means that the Wooly is made of 100% up-cycled materials, down to every last noodle!
Another reason we chose The Bua Bhat factory was that Wilai has employed the women of her rural community for decades and pays a living wage, which is sadly unusual in Thailand. The workers are encouraged to complete projects from home to earn additional money and they even offer on-site child care, two other uncommon practices. In a community where life can be hard, we felt strongly that having the woman of The Bua Bhat Factory make the Wooly was an important way we could support a sustainable and community-focused business.
The final issue we needed to address was ensuring safety when using up-cycled textiles. We decided to put into place a testing process normally reserved for infant clothing for the scrap fabric to ensure there are no trace elements of formaldehyde, AZO Dye, heavy metal or other dangerous materials. If it doesn’t pass the test, it isn’t used in a Wooly. After all, our dogs are our babies and deserve the absolute best!
PAW5 knows that consumers are savvy and have a choice when it comes to the products they choose. We are proud that we can claim that each Wooly keeps over 2 lbs. of would-be-waste textiles out of landfills and are confident that this is meaningful to our PAW5 Tribe! Keep your eyes on the horizon for the next innovative and sustainable PAW5 product… oh yes, it’s coming!…