Eco-Friendly Pet Products and what this means to us
Operating as close to zero waste as I can, every product to the packaging they are shipped in is made with the environment in mind. I take my sustainability initiatives very seriously and consider educating my pride members and social followers all part of what makes my brand what it is. Here we have a planet first mindset and will never sacrifice quality or sustainability over cost and convenience. If you’ve ever had an interest in what the terms I use actually mean, then you’ve come to the right place.
100% Upcycled Fabric
All of my products are made from upcycled textiles. This is my effort to divert unwanted textiles from the landfill. Textile waste is the 2nd highest amount of waste that our planet produces, and 95% of that could be reused or recycled. On top of this the textile industry is the most polluting industry in the world. It is a major contributor to water pollution, plastic pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here is where my textiles come from and why I consider them to be up-cycled.
most of my fabric comes from buying 2nd hand. If products in thrift stores do not move, they get bundled and then shipped overseas to underprivileged countries where they can be either re-sold or thrown away – the bulk of which ends up thrown away. Did you know that 85% of donated textiles end up in the landfill either in our country or around the world
Remnant & Dead stock
These are textile industry terms. Deadstock fabric is the leftover rolls that the big fashion industry giants haven’t used, before going to landfill they resell it to smaller retailers. Remnant fabric is the leftover fabric (usually 1 meter in length) that is left on a fabric bolt that the last person to purchase didn’t use. Instead of putting this little piece of fabric back on the shelf it gets thrown into a bin sorted by fabric type. If either of the deadstock or remnant fabric doesn’t sell then it usually ends up in the landfill.
I work with local zero waste stores and groups to offer a local solution for unwanted sheets and bedding
The twill/bull demin lining that I use to reinforce the corners, zipper pocket and top layer of my bed shells is made of new fabric. I have not been able to find a consistent source of this product in deadstock – I support a local Canadian business and choose an unbleached version of the product.
The #3 zippers used for Poopie Pouches are upcycled or deadstock. The pulls are generally the same, but if I have more zipper tape than pulls I will purchase new pulls to utilize the tape from a local small Canadian business. The #5 zippers used on my pet bed shells I can not currently find in deadstock. However, I am supporting another small Canadian business.
The branded tags that I use on most of my products are made from finely woven, undyed, GOTS certified 100% organic cotton. The tags currently used on my snuggle sacks are real suede. Once depleted I will be switching to a vegan-friendly cork.
100% Recycled Thread
All of my products are sewing using 100% recycled (rPET) polyester thread. This thread is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Just 1 plastic bottle produces 1,000 yards (10 spools) of sewing thread.
But you might say “Kylie, there are natural threads like cotton. Why don’t you use that?” Good question, yes there are alternatives, but us humans have created a huge problem with the amount of plastic water bottles that still exist on our planet. Just because you recycle your plastic water bottle, doesn’t actually mean that it gets recycled. If there isn’t a buyer for that plastic recycling; surprise! It goes to the landfill. By supporting a business that creates this thread I create a demand for it to be made, and for bottles to actually be recycled, because humans can’t stop using them.
All-natural and sustainable Kapok fibre filling
Kapok is an all-natural fibre extracted from the seedpod of the Kapok (Ceiba) tree. These trees grow naturally in hot rainforest climates such as Indonesia and are not harmed in the harvesting of the seedpods, making kapok a sustainable resource. The seed pods drop to the rainforest floor and are collected by hand by locals; keeping the rainforest safe and undestroyed. There is no spraying of pesticides, insecticides and no artificial watering. Almost no work is required to turn the raw material into bedding fiber: it’s manually picked clean, spun, and sent to us! Meaning your purchase of kapok is helping to preserve the life of the tree and encourage local economies in Indonesia.
My Kapok meets all of the requirements to be certified organic (There is no spraying of pesticides, insecticides and no artificial watering), however it is not officially certified Organic at this time. There are significant costs involved with having that fancy emblem put on your product. These costs are passed directly on to the consumer. One of the requirements to acquire the GOTS Certified organic certification is purchasing over 20 tons at a time – that is is shit tone of Kapok! I have requested this from my supplier and it is something they are considering doing in the next year or so. But as a small business, this is not obtainable for me at this time.
Learn more about the unique properties and history of Kapok.
Packaged just for you, with the environment in mind.
You’ll be happy to know that our packaging is made from eco-friendly materials and is either 100% recyclable or home compostable and will contain zero virgin plastic. What you order will determine the packaging that your product is shipped in. Here are more details on what I use.
Boxes are primarily used to ship stuffed beds and Kapok top-ups. The boxes I use are 100% post consumer waste kraft paper board, just flatten them and either reuse them for the next time you need to ship or wrap something! There are so many uses for card bord boxes, I even had one customer use their packaging as a nesting box for their hen! You can also list boxes as free moving supplies in your local community facebook group, or place them in the blue bin.
Kraft paper liner
is used to to protect our products shipped in boxes, it acts as a second layer for protection in the delivery of your product. The paper liner I use is 100% post consumer waste kraft paper. You can reuse it for wrapping gifts, coloring sheets for crafts with mini humans, or even list it with your boxes as free moving supplies in your local community facebook group, or place it in the blue bin.
are used to get your product delivered to the right address and are applied to any product that is not being shipped Canadian letter mail. I use direct thermal labels that feature a release liner that is made from 100% post-consumer recycled content and are curbside recyclable. The labels themselves are recyclable with a recycle-friendly adhesive and are processed chlorine-free (PCF) and BPA free.
Kraft paper mailers
are primarily used to ship poopie pouches, large bed shells and large snuggle sacks. The smaller paper mailers I use are 100% post consumer waste kraft paper board. The larger white ones I actually purchased second hand from the thrift store and have been going through a large stack, they are made from kraft paper board. You can easily reuse paper mailers for the next time you need to ship something or place them in the blue bin.
are primarily used to ship small and medium bed shells and snuggle sacks. The compostable mailers I use are plant based made from corn-based biopolymers, composts in 6 months (180 days) and is certified for both home and commercial compost leaving no harmful residues behind. If you don’t have a home compost, you can look at local options for communal compost sites, or somewhere you can drop off items for commercial composting. These are not currently accepted in Ontario’s green bin municipal compost system.
is primarily used to ship toys, kitty kicker bundles, thicker snuggle sacks, or orders with multiple items. Any packaging that I receive from suppliers I save to be re-used. Packaging can be re-used multiple times before it needs to be recycled or worst case thrown away. The package may not look “pretty” but it does the job, so please excuse its appearance. This is the only instance that you will receive packaging from me that contains plastic, as much as I try to avoid suppliers sending me materials in poly mailers it still happens. But giving the mailer a second life is the best outcome in this instance. I encourage you to give these mailers a third life and re-used them the next time you need to ship something. Otherwise depending on the mailer it may be accepted in your blue bin, or worse case the garbage.
are used for local pick up and at markets and events. They are kraft paper bags made from 100% post consumer waste and have a string handle. Re-use these as gift wrapping or store in the car the next time you forget your reusable bags when your shopping. Otherwise they can happily be recycled in the blue bin.
are used to seal products in tissue paper or kraft paper liner. The paper is FSC certified, acid free, printed using soy-based inks, and uses a non toxic adhesive (see our tissue paper above for further definition). Simply remove the sticker from your paper and recycle or compost either at home, or search your local area for a commercial facility.
is used to wrap poopie pouches, kitty kickers, bed shells, and snuggle sacks. The tissue paper that I use is made from 30% post consumer recycled materials; the rest is from new acid-free pulp. The paper is FSC certified meaning that the paper products that make up the tissue paper are sourced from a forest and supply chain that is managed responsibly and sustainably. The paper is also acid, lignin and sulfur free, and printed using soy-based inks made from soy-beans which are a renewable resource and benefit from not leaving behind petroleum based inks when decomposing. Finally, soy inks have low levels of VOCs, reducing air pollution during the drying process. In short our tissue is 100% recyclable and compostable! So pick a bin, blue or green and know that it won’t leave behind any chemicals when decomposing.
is used to seal the top of our boxes. The tape is plastic free and made from white kraft paper and backed by fiberglass strands for strength and durability; it also uses a water activated adhesive that bonds with the card board. The tape is fully recyclable and can be left on the boxes and recycled with them in your blue bin.
US Customs Invoice sleeves
are used to protect the customs invoice on any orders dispatched to the USA. This document is required with our new trade agreement (USTR) updated in 2019. This little piece of paper is vital to your package successfully crossing the border, and if not protected properly it can result in delays or extra fees. As such I protect this document in a resealable plastic sleeve. However this plastic is actually being re-used! I originally gained a whole bunch of these sleeves by supporting a local artist when I bought christmas cards in 2019, and I found a great re-use for them! Once you receive your package successfully you can recycle this sleeve in the blue bin.
Ram Board Tape
is used to seal the bottom of our boxes and also stick on shipping labels. This tape is plastic free and made from kraft paper made from 95% post-consumer recycled content. This tape is fully recyclable and can be left on the boxes and recycled with them in your blue bin.
is used for packing slips, thank you cards, retail tags, business cards and promotional materials. The paper I use is made from 100% post consumer waste, has the smallest environmental footprint of all office paper in North America. It’s FSC certified, Ancient Forest Friendly, Rainforest Alliance Friendly, element chlorine free, and process chlorine free. What’s even cooler is that the mill creating the paper is powered using bio-gas energy – also called garbage gas. Methane is captured from the decomposition of waste in a nearby landfill to prevent its release into the air, then it’s purified and compressed, and transported in a dedicated 8-mile pipeline to fulfill 93% of the paper mill’s thermal energy. Not only is biogas a renewable energy, it reduces the mills CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons, or the equivalent of 23,400 compact cars annually.
Operating as close to zero waste as I can
Every piece of material that I use gets made into something else. With any businesses when you are creating something, there is bound to be waste – it’s what you do with it that determines if it actually ends up as waste. The remnant fabric from my bed shells and snuggle sacks gets turned into other products like smaller snuggle sacks, poopie pouches and kitty kickers. And the scrap fabric from those products, along with the off cuts of my thread get used to stuff kitty kickers or shelter beds. The off cuts of the zippers on my bed shells get used for the zippers on my poopie pouches. The backer paper from my embroidery stabilizer and stickers get used as the crinkle noise in my kitty kickers. The thread spools that are left over I donate to school and craft programs.
I will admit though that there are some pieces of waste that I have yet to figure out. For example the plastic bags that my Kapok is shipped in, and the large amount of shrink wrap used to compress it down to save immensely on shipping costs – is well garbage. At the end of the day, my bin for garbage is the smallest container I have in the shop and that is something I can be proud of.
Instead of purchasing mass produced display shelves and racking we used FSC certified lumber to create our shelf system that we take to markets and shows. The rest of our display materials have been great second hand finds – we even found an old steamer luggage trunk from the 1900’s, it’s always a piece that I get asked about!
Did you know that the internet is one of the world’s largest polluters? Consuming enormous amounts of energy, data centers hold millions of large servers that are running 24/7. Ensuring that these data centers do not overheat and fail, they are blasted with arctic temperature air conditioning. In fact 40% of all of the energy used to power the internet is used to keep those servers from overheating. Today, data centers account for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, that is as much as the airline industry! This is why I chose to partner with a green hosting provider; for every bit of amperage that my website pulls from the grid, they match 3 times that in the form of renewable energy – back into the grid. Cool right?
For every eco-friendly pet bed shell or snuggle sack sold, we proudly plant one tree in Ontario with our reforestation partner One Tree Planted. We care deeply about the planet and creating a business that gives back to nature. Former Fibres is honoured to support reforestation as part of our commitment to sustainability. Together with our pride members we’ve planted a total of 247 trees – and still going! We also give our customers the option to double their impact by adding a tree onto their purchase, you can never have enough trees.
Shelter Bed Program
My business all started as a charitable gift to my Dad and creating beds for shelters. In this spirit I continue to support shelters and not-for-profit charities with the Shelter Bed Program. This program uses donations of pillow cases, old beds that are slightly damaged or old versions of my products and saves them from the waste stream. I clean and repair the returned items and then use local volunteer groups like Girl Guides to help me stuff the shells with scrap fabric that my business creates as well as other local makers that have asked to donate their scrap fabric. The end result is a bed that is comfortable for pets waiting to be adopted and easy to clean by the foster or shelters that care for them – and also my Daddy is proud of me.
If you know of OR are a not-for-profit program in need of beds for their furry friends, feel free to reach out to me. I am always looking for programs that will accept my products and need assistance.