Sometimes less is more.  For your wallet and the planet.  We’ve always said that if our clients buy just one or two properly fitting dog coats from us, coats which will go on to last for several years and survive multiple washings and muddy walks, that’s a good result for everyone.  We want to play our part in reducing textile waste, textile overproduction, and over-consumption. Read on to find out more…

Doing the best for your dog

The excitement of having a new dog in your home is huge.  You want to make their life as good as possible, and give them everything they need.  We’ve done that.  At the start we bought a lot of coats and other kit when we first brought Sunny home.  None of the coats really fitted well (they were too short or too loose). The impossibility of getting a coat for our standard dachshund off the peg which fitted him well led us to setting up Barkmatic, and now we make bespoke dog coats for dachshunds all over the world.

Buy less, buy better for you & your dachshund

I’ve been prompted to write this post about dog coats by my resolution for 2024, which is to buy no new clothes this year.  Yes, you read that correctly, and I know it’s going to be a challenge.  Before I became an anthropologist and did research on textile markets I used to work in fashion as a buyer, and I still love clothes and accessories. These days I buy a lot of my clothes and accessories on Vestiaire, but beyond giving new life to other people’s clothes I still buy too many entirely-new clothes.  Deleting my Zara app back in December is already helping me to be more thoughtful and less impulsive about what I buy. 

How is this relevant to dog coats for dachshunds? My drive to bring no new clothes into my wardrobe this year fits entirely with our ethos at Barkmatic: buy less but buy better.  This means choosing good quality, well-fitting dog coats that are longer-lasting.  Buy only those dog coats and accessories that you love and which are going to work hard for you and your dachshund.  

Buy one dog coat that fits - reduce the buy and discard cycle

If you live with a dachshund and you want to keep them warm and dry, you can both buy less and buy better if you choose a custom-fit coat like the ones we make at Barkmatic.  Spending one hundred euros (or less) on one dachshund coat that fits your dog well, has to be better than taking a shot with a series of cheap mass produced dog coats that never fit and end up in landfill or being incinerated, or a couple of big brand coats that don’t fit and just sit in a drawer.  Reading comment after comment online under a listing for a twenty euro dog coat ordered direct from China (many of these coats didn’t fit the buyers’ dachshunds) made me want to cry. Our buy and discard approach to clothing is going to cost us all in the end.  

¨Buy better, buy less¨ means that we consume fewer virgin materials, and reduce the impact of shipping and the use of packaging materials.  We can extend the life of clothes (canine and human) by appreciating and enjoying those we already have, and by mending and patching garments (our lovely colleagues at Wondercoat now offer this service for their harnesses and coats).  Choose higher quality garments that last much longer, and recycle or repurpose dog coats when they are no longer needed. There are groups online where owners can resell Equafleece coats that have been outgrown by their dog, squeezing more use out of a polyester garment that can otherwise live forever in landfill. Each step we take helps to mitigate the environmental impact of the global garment industry.

Buy from small producers

From what we know, and the other makers we like, we believe that choosing dog coats from small brands is likely to result in small-batch production and bespoke or made-to-order garments and accessories.  Small producers are more likely to use batch ends of high quality fabric lines, which results in careful stewardship of cloth and significantly less textile waste. Here at Barkmatic we often buy relatively small end-lengths of high performance technical textiles for example, from specialist suppliers online, because a 1000m minimum order is both out of our reach and not our scale of operation. 

Happy dog walking, and best wishes from the Barkmatic team!