Project Blu is making sustainable pet care products a new norm. The UK-based pet care brand transforms “ocean-bound” plastic and used clothes to create 100% recycled fabric and fillings for use in cat beds, dog beds, collars and leashes, and dog toys.
The circular business model aims not just to maximise its environmental benefit by using recycled materials in the design of its pet products but to also help reduce poverty in the process, given that work Project Blu works with “some of the world’s poorest local coastal communities in India and the Philippines to collect plastic waste from oceans, rivers, beaches and landfill”.
Project Blu aims to inspire and educate consumers about the dangers of plastic, polyester and remnants of the fast-fashion industry. Their philosophy is to drive consumers to more sustainable products that are designed to last.
The recycled material used in Project Blu’s range begins life as plastic which is flaked to pieces before being washed, broken down and filtered and to remove any impurities, before being rebuilt into a high quality recycled polyester fibre for use in products that are made to last. The pet products are then manufactured in Tuscany, Italy.
Project Blu says it has upcycled over one million plastic bottles since May 2019 into hard-wearing pet products. For instance, an extra-large Adriatic eco dog bed from the Project Blu range prevents 150 plastic bottles from polluting the natural environment, while a Danube eco cat bed makes use of 49 plastic bottles in the manufacturing process.
Once consumers have had full use of their products, Project Blu help consumers donate their products to local animal shelters or provide assistance on how they can be effectively recycled.
Project Blu was founded by Geryn Evans with a view to creating a sustainable pet accessory company that “upholds only the highest standards: in product quality, wellbeing for the people that create them, and sustainability for the planet that selflessly helps all of us”.
The desire to set up a sustainable pet care company came from Geryn Evans’ own search for eco-friendly products for his dog, Ralph. After trying out different eco-friendly pet products for Ralph, Geryn Evans noticed that there were a limited amount of dog companies that seemed to truly care about the welfare of the planet and the people that created their products. In his opinion, the companies that did care didn’t create products that could withstand the usual wear and tear that comes hand in hand with the lifestyle of a pet.
Growing up in the Welsh countryside and recently becoming a father, the Project Blu founder understands the importance of the environment, and the simple fact that “unless we change our actions, it won’t be around for many generations to come”.
Geryn Evans said: “Our natural environment is threatened by an unprecedented number of challenges. These include global warming, ocean plastic, water shortages and pollution to the land, air and waterways. Project Blu operates a circular and holistic business model to help combat this global problem.
“There is no simple fix for the complex threats that harm our natural environment. The existing recycling system is a failure. Without action and awareness we will create irreparable damage that will affect future generations.
“Our mission is to break the cycle by offering innovative sustainable designs that are built to last. It is our ambition to make plastic (and other polluting materials) so valuable they are recycled instead of thrown away. 80% of ocean waste originates from the World’s poorest nations. We work with local communities to reduce pollution and help alleviate poverty.”
Project Blu makes a donation from every sale to the Plastic Bank, an organisation that builds and activates recycling infrastructure in the world’s poorest regions. Ocean-bound plastic is collected and returned for cash, digital currency, healthcare, school tuition and more.
In light of the covid-19 outbreak, Project Blu has decided to temporarily turn its resources away from manufacturing pet products into manufacturing face masks, providing some relief to local production companies in Florence, where Project Blu’s manufacturing facility is based. It is currently manufacturing 4,500 masks a day for the wider Italian community.
Image Source: Project Blu Facebook page
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com