Why bamboo? Why is it turning up in so many different products? Bamboo has several qualities that make it unique and desirable.
Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial, odor resistant, fast growing (a stalk can grow 7 feet in 6 weeks!), bio-degradable, and strong and durable when made into a fiber (or a floor for that matter!). It’s also very soft and smooth to the touch, making it a popular fabric for clothing, bedding, and dog collars. Bamboo also wicks moisture from the skin and is the fastest frying natural fiber on earth, so it’s great for people who work out- or dogs that swim! The anti-bacterial and odor-resistant properties of the fiber are particularly good for pet collars (no smell, no rashes) and for under garments like sox and long johns.
Is bamboo a pretty niche market? Or do you see it steadily growing in popularity among consumer and retailer interest?
As bamboo fiber becomes more readily available, I expect to see it as a standard in clothing and bedding. The bamboo plant grows up to 7 feet in 6 weeks, it requires no pesticides or fertilizers to grow, and it is easily grown in swampy areas- so it does not require prime farm land for the crop. Cotton, on the other hand, does require both pesticides and fertilizers to grow, and the cotton plant drains the soil of nutrients, whereas bamboo adds nutrients to the soil.
As our world becomes more crowded and farm land to grow food becomes premium space, it makes sense that bamboo will become more popular. Also, bamboo clothing is simple to care for, is silky smooth and soft as well as durable, and the fiber takes dyes beautifully.
You make a whole slew of bamboo-based products—t-shirts, dog and cat collars, harnesses, leashes and toys. I’m particularly interested in your Saving the Earth line of collars. Can you give me the benefits and features of that line?
We don’t make the t-shirts anymore. We discontinued them. The Saving the Earth line has the same benefits as all the lines. All our products are made with 100% organic bamboo webbing- which we hold the patent on. The Save the Earth collection is a printed bamboo ribbon sewn over the strong bamboo webbing. There can be a difference in bamboo fabric. There is organic bamboo, which is minimally processed and woven into fabric. This is a natural off white color and the color can vary a bit depending on the lot of bamboo used. Then there is bamboo viscose. This fabric is bleach white in its natural form, and tends to be stiff. Bamboo viscose is made with second rate bamboo- the fibers that were discarded in making the organic bamboo. These fibers are bleached and processed and the result is a non eco friendly fiber still labeled as bamboo. Our bamboo is the first run organic bamboo- which is eco friendly.
The difference between our Saving the Earth collection and our other collections is that with the Saving the Earth collection, we give 5% of the profits to a specific cause which is depicted on the design. For example Eco Dog goes to help save trees and conserve our forests, and Love Dog supports Spay and neuter programs and shelter pet adoptions. Every design has a cause. Our regular collections also give 5%, but we choose where it goes (and most often it goes to spay and neuter programs and shelter pet adoptions because of my passion for helping to save pets).
You donate five percent of your profits to environmental causes. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
For the Saving the Earth collection, 5% of profits go to specific causes like organizations working to promote Solar Power and make it more available (our Solar Power Pooch collection), or cleaning up our oceans (our Making Waves Collection), or helping to save endangered wildlife (Save the Pack design). But all our products give 5% of the profits to a cause. The only way to change our world is to take action and do what we can as individuals to help make changes for the better. In creating Wagging Green, my goal was to be able to empower the consumer to help make a difference by making a choice of which design- and therefore which cause- to support.
How do you see Bamboo changing thibgs for the better?
Positive change is all about education, and what can be more positive than a collar that is not only anti-bacterial and odor resistant (great for those large, hairy dogs!), but is also soft and comfortable, durable and strong AND helps to reduce the carbon footprint we make every day. It’s a win-win. We help save the earth, and our dogs get a comfortable, stylish collar!
What about the Pandas, don't they eat Bamboo?
There are over 200 different types of bamboo, and the types used to make fabric are NOT the same kinds that Panda bears eat. I’ve had that question and comment before from people. I once had a woman walk by our booth at a trade show and loudly state how horrible bamboo was because it was starving the panda bears! LOL! It’s all about education when a new type of product hits the market.