Hey, dog parents: These pup essentials are design-forward and leave a small carbon pawprint 

Local company Wanderruff specializes in collars, harnesses and leashes

Credit: Wanderruff. Paul Irwin and Anisa Musmary, founders of Wanderruff, with their dog, Norman

Local company Wanderruff specializes in collars, harnesses and leashes

Your dog may not be able to tell you, but they care about the environment, too. After all, they love swimming in lakes, zooming through hiking trails and making new friends at the park.

At least that’s what Norman would say. The Golden Retriever is chief canine officer of Wanderruff, a Vancouver-headquartered company specializing in dog accessories. Co-founder Anisa Musmary says her struggle to find minimalistic, eco-friendly products for her dog was the catalyst for the business, which she and her partner, Paul Irwin, launched last August.  

By using recycled materials to make design-forward essentials for furbabies, Wanderruff aims to reassure conscious consumers. “We have massive sustainable goals that we’d love to reach, and our mission is to become more sustainable,” Musmary says. “But we’re very aware of our limitations not only as a company but within the manufacturing processes. We’re all still learning and innovating, and there’s a long way to go.” 

Wanderruff, a proud member of 1% for the Planet, makes its accessories from post-consumer plastic waste that would usually end up in the landfill. The recyclable material is washed, broken down into small plastic chips and then melted into thread. Wanderruff then uses that thread in the webbing for all of its products, which include collars, harnesses and leashes—everything you’d need to take your pup for a walk.

“Although right now it’s just the webbing, we’re looking for other materials to use that recycle other elements,” Musmary explains. “We’d love one day to have a fully sustainable product.” 

READ MORE: A look inside Ecologyst’s new sustainable manufacturing facility in Victoria 

As with many businesses that started during the pandemic, production hasn’t been a walk in the park for Wanderruff, especially when it comes to finding Canadian manufacturers that can work with recycled materials.

But Musmary sees COVID as a chance for companies to become more aware in their values. “I think the pandemic has allowed us all to take a step back and look at how we’re living and make better choices for not only ourselves but also for the planet that we live in,” she says. “It’s given us the opportunity to make those changes and try to live better lives.” 

It’s good to know that when it comes to saving the planet, there are dogs like Norman who simply won’t roll over.