Bucking ‘Fast Fashion’ And Preventing Wastage

Dear pet lovers, has it ever occurred to you that hair shed by our dogs and cats can be spun into wool and woven to produce unique sweaters and scarfs?

To address issues of environmental pollution, over-culling and wastage brought about by bulk production in fast fashion, a social enterprise from Hong Kong, WOUF, is committed to the development of environmentally friendly materials that can be used to produce fabric. WOUF finds using dogs’ hair as fabric material has many advantages.

WOUF noted that studies conducted by Hong Kong Polytechnic University and North Carolina State University on dog wool – also known as chiengora – and dog hair fibre have found chiengora to be warmer than sheep’s wool and is the best water-resistant animal hair fibre. Chiengora is as soft as cashmere and has high utility value. In addition, one only needs to make good use of the shed hair from dogs to produce chiengora, and therefore it is 100% harmless to pets.

Currently, there are more than 350,000 registered dogs and over 350 pet shops in Hong Kong. Every year, each pet shop on average discards around 200kg of dog hair. Based on rough estimations, the amount of dog hair that is discarded every year can be used to produce up to 70,000 kg of material.

This year, DBS funded WOUF’s efforts to improve its chiengora blend weaving technology through its Social Enterprise Advancement Grant, so as to increase production quantity and quality. If you are a pet-owners who would like to purchase a unique, made-to-order chiengora product, please visit www.wouf.co for more information.

The DBS Social Enterprise Advancement Grant helps enhance the commercial and social efficiency of local social enterprises. Since last year, the grant has allocated HK$4,000,000 to fund 24 social enterprises.

This article was first appeared in Metro Daily and was contributed by contributed by Glendy Chu, Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited.

If you want to find more about socially conscious living in Asia, check out Asia For Good's social enterprise directory.

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