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These events and organizations allow you to do good and get what you need.
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Aside from creating adorable apparel, some pet clothing companies strive to positively affect pets. “More and more we are seeing pet fashion come to the forefront of charity efforts,” said Laurren Darr, founder of the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals.
Pet charities want to raise money in ways that are fun and creative. “They want more than a note that says, ‘Hey, can you give to us?’ This leads to innovative events around pet fashion,” Laurren explained. In general, pet fashion companies tend to go with these three popular event types:
Whether there’s a full-on runway or a bunch of dogs parading about a small room, pet fashion shows are a huge trend used by pet charities. Some grand-scale pet fashion shows even get worldwide media attention, such as the New York Pet Fashion Show, which not only features human models but also trained dog models.
Many pet fashion companies and charities hold costume contests in an effort to raise funds for animals.
One of the more unconventional event types, pet weddings are rising in popularity. Laurren has attended a few pet weddings; one after New York Fashion Week had about 100 people in attendance.
With such events, either the modeled garments get donated to the charity or the event itself inspires donations. “It becomes a win-win for everyone,” Laurren said. “Designers get to put their fashions in front of people, and organizations are able to raise money, too.”
But charitable efforts don’t stop at events. Many manufacturers, including the following three pet clothing companies, give to others thanks to your purchase.
Power Paws, the name for the company’s nonslip dog socks, give traction to senior dogs and those with medical conditions, such as hip dysplasia or arthritis, and protect paws from hot asphalt or cold snow. “We have been giving back since Day One,” said Lorraine Walston, CEO of Woodrow Wear. “We give over 200 sets a year to rescues across the country. We donate to groups having fundraisers to support animals.” The company also donates returned items (where the socks might have been worn for a few minutes) to senior pet groups, rescues, and shelters.
Truly one-of-a-kind pet fashion, Lollypups’ fair-trade garments are hand-knit and crocheted by female artisans in Peru. “(When I was) starting up, I took a trip to Lima, Peru, to work with artisans,” said JoAnn Lieberman, founder and designer of Lollypups Designer Petwear. “The workshops were located in a poor village, and I was struck by the number of stray dogs. It brought the problem of homeless animals to my attention.”
Back home, she began volunteering at a local shelter and launched Lollypups. “I participate in adoption events, donate products for auction, and donate part of my proceeds to various adoption organizations,” JoAnn said. Made from 100 percent alpaca and pure pima cotton, Lollypups’ sweaters make a statement with unique patterns and pops of color.
With knits that are not only cozy but also super cute, this social goods company gives animal charities creative ways to increase funds. Groups can sign up as a charity partner, instantly promote CharityPaws apparel, and earn 20 percent of every sale via a unique URL. Organizations can also become featured partners, earning a 40 percent donation on every item sold and pay-per-click marketing for increased visibility. Lastly, pet charities can order shirts and have them customized with their own logo, so they can sell promotional items.￼￼
Caitlin Ultimo is a freelance writer, editor, and digital content strategist. She specializes in lifestyle writing, with a focus on pets, health, nutrition, food, family, and travel.
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