They are manufactured using a light-weight, technical smart fabric called Dintex®, which features a thin membrane made from recycled water bottles that is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. These features provide advanced protection from the elements and increase the health and well-being of your dog.
Our jackets are designed with a highly reflective, 500 candle-power trim, increasing your dog’s visibility and safety when outside in the dark. The streamlined design has been vigorously tested to ensure a natural, functional, and comfortable fit, meant to be worn as your dog’s second skin in all weather conditions.
Buggsly™ Black Label is manufactured in Vancouver Canada and is launching on Kickstarter to raise capital for production. Your support in pledging to our campaign will guarantee your dog is the first to own the coolest dog jacket ever made and ensure your peace of mind in putting your dogs’ safety, comfort and style first.
WHERE DID OUR IDEA COME FROM?
Buggsly™ Black Label was founded by two dog owners–Michael Flint and Cassidy Morgan–who could not find a product that addressed the needs of their dog, Buggsly. We were looking for a product that would create a comfortable, functional, insulating barrier from the elements, without taking away from Buggsly's ability to be a dog. The qualities that we were looking for were:
- Stream-lined design
We started by spending hundreds of dollars on other brands' dog jackets, and found that they were not what we were looking for. There were some that were waterproof, but looked like a baggy poncho. Others were warm, but were cumbersome and heavy, so Buggsly was unable to play naturally with his friends at the dog park. Some of the jackets that we found even had hoods on them... Whoever thought hoods were a good idea on dog jackets was seriously mistaken. If the hood wasn't falling over Buggsly's eyes, it was being tugged on by other dogs at the dog park. The jackets that we did like did not fit properly, and hung like a cape from Buggsly's body. So, we had a choice to make. Buy jackets that did not fit and get them tailored, or make a jacket from scratch.
Michael has a wealth of operational knowledge from his lead roles in having successfully launched two men’s apparel brands, Ginch Gonch in 2003 and Equmen in 2009. Both brands were examples of being first to market with new innovative concepts and product ranges. Cassidy had a deep love for human fashion and design aesthetics. Pot of Platinum, his menswear fashion blog, has been going since June, 2010.
With our combined expertise, we felt that launching our own line of dog jackets would not only be fulfilling, but it would also be fun. And as any dog owner knows, the more time you can spend with your dog, the better. We had a lot of work to do to make the perfect jacket, but we knew what our goal was. To create a comfortable dog jacket with a minimalist design, with an emphasis on safety, functionality, comfort, and care for the environment, that could be worn as a dog's second skin.
In designing the best jacket possible for man's best friend, we knew that we had to start with what it was made from. We spent a month looking for the right fabric. Enter Dintex® 100% Thermoplastic Polyurethane. This is a 3-layer fabric with a thin membrane in the middle. This membrane allows water vapours (sweat, humidity, heat) to pass through, away from the body, but restricts the passage of water droplets and wind from the outside. This means it keeps the wearer's body dry while ensuring that internal temperatures are regulated. The inner layer feels like fleece, meaning the jacket is comfortable and minimizes skin irritation. See below for a graphical demonstration of how this technical fabric works. This is the kind of fabric that is usually found in high-end, human outerwear garments.
Our fabric is a member of the Repreve family. Repreve fabrics are made from recycled materials, one of which is recycled plastic water bottles. The process involves converting the bottles into chip form, removing additional liquid using a dryer, melting the chips into their liquid form, and then pressing the liquid through a super fine, shower-head like device to form the polyester yarn. Because polyester is made from oil, using recycled fabrics allows us to reduce our carbon paw print!
Once deciding on the fabric, we picked the 6 colours. Dintex® is a smart, technical fabric, that only normally comes in black and grey. We wanted Buggsly™ Black Label to be more inspired and fashion-forward, so we decided to invest in the minimum costs for fabric production (they required us to order a certain amount of fabric in each colour before they would dye it), and took our pick. Drawing inspiration from the human world, we chose some of the top fashion colours from the world's runways. Buggsly™ Black Label Dog Jackets come in Black, Acai, Carafe, Deep Linden Green, and Mykonos Blue.
This is where we really had fun. We started by meeting our pattern maker who lives in Coquitlam, BC.
Under our direction, she constructed the first prototype that can be seen in the picture below. We knew early on that we wanted Buggsly to be responsible for carrying his personal hygiene (otherwise known as "poop") bags, so we tested different variations of side pockets. The clamshell design (left image) was more streamlined than the flap style (centre image), and didn't require the addition of snap buttons or velcro, which helped us reduce the overall weight of the jacket. On the top of the jacket is a slit (right image) that we thought could be used with a harness. Because we wanted to keep the jacket waterproof from the top, we removed this in later prototypes. A loop can be seen forward of the harness hole, that we originally planned to use as a leash attachment. This impacted the overall streamlined design of the jacket, so it too was removed in later prototypes. When Buggsly wore the original prototype, it hung off him like a cape, the same as we had seen in other dog jackets. So, we installed two darts down the back of the jacket, which made it hug Buggsly's body, creating the streamlined design that we were looking for.
We went through three additional prototypes (pictured below, prototype number from left to right), and hundreds of hours playing with Buggsly outside for the purposes of product testing.
Over the next six months, we saw our initial prototype transform into the Buggsly™ Black Label Dog Jacket.
THE BUGGSLY™ BLACK LABEL DOG JACKET
This dog jacket has been our baby, and our baby's baby (insert pet-parenting factor here) for the last six months. We started our journey with the goal of creating a functional jacket with a minimalist design that could be worn as a dog's second skin.
A streamlined, asymmetrical design, meaning there are less buckles and other fastening material, accounting for a lighter jacket.
Dintex® fabric - Waterproof, windproof, breathable, 100% made from recycled materials
500 candle-power reflective accents throughout the jacket design, allowing for high visibility in any lighting condition
Available in six colours: Linden Green, Carafe, Samba Red, Black, Mykonos Blue, and Acai (from top to bottom)
PRODUCTION - OUR ASK
Once we had chosen our fabric and materials, colours, and perfected our design, we had to decide how we would role out our production of our dog jackets. In keeping with our beliefs of creating a sustainable brand, one that is eco-friendly and as locally sourced as possible, we decided that we wanted to produce locally. We found a factory, located minutes from Downtown Vancouver, that is already manufacturing products for other sustainable, local brands.
Producing locally has many great advantages. Being minutes away from our office, we are able to meet with the factory regularly to discuss anything from how certain design elements impact the workers' ability to commercially produce our product, to expanding our product line (Dapper Dog Bow Ties) with learned insights on the factory's expertise. We manage our own warehouse so we are able to control the shipment of our products direct to consumers, meaning there is less chance of an order going missing and we are able to get the products into our customers hands sooner. Our carbon paw print is also reduced as less energy is spent shipping components and final products around the globe.
All of these advantages also come at a cost. This is where you come in! We require $12,500 in order to meet our production minimums (the minimum amount of jackets that we need to presell is 500 so that the factory will agree to go into business with us). If we don't reach this goal, we will be unable to produce locally, meaning less of our company will be under our control, and our planet will be more severely impacted by the shipment of goods to and from overseas.
We have already invested in the fabric and materials needed to go into production, and are only waiting on a successful Kickstarter Project. So please take the time to donate to our Project, even if it is only the minimum amount. Please take the time to share our Project with your family, friends, and social media channels, and anyone else who you know to be a dog lover. We know that we have an incredible product, and are very excited to help you and your four-legged companion "Put Your Best Paw Forward".
The jackets are our babies, but we are really excited about our other rewards too. Here's a preview of what you can expect:
Everybody Poops! Dog Poop Bags by Buggsly™ These poop bags are made from recycled materials and are 100% biodegradable in the presence of soil, moisture, oxygen, or heat, and will convert to water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. Our poop bags are produced in Vancouver BC
Dapper Dog Bow Ties by Buggsly™ Each bow tie is hand made from recycled, end of the roll fabrics or hard to find vintage fabrics dating back to 1950. By using vintage and recycled fabrics, we help keep fabric waste out of our landfills and bring back to life beautiful, treasured fabrics that have been in the care of fabric collectors for many years. It also means that each style is finite and only available in a limited quantity, never to be repeated. We give each item its own exclusive number and inventory card to account for its place in our collection's history. We will be providing the full catalogue once our Project is successfully funded, and the styles will be offered on a first "back", first serve basis. Our bow ties are made in Vancouver, BC.
Risks and challenges
We only have one chance to make a first impression and with Buggsly™ we intend to Put our Best Paw Forward!
We have planned extensively to minimize the associated risks and challenges of launching a new business. Michael’s experiences with having been a part of 2 very quick to grow, start-up ventures in Ginch Gonch and Equmen, play a big role in how we will execute to under promise and over deliver on all expectations.
A key investment on our part was in already purchasing our fabrics in our 6 fashion colours, Black, Samba Red, Deep Lichen Green, Acai, Carafe and Mykonos Blue. Having the fabric on hand and ready to fulfill orders on demand was very important to us.
We have already factored in capacity planning with our manufacturing partner here in Vancouver and we have additional contingency capacity in place, in the event that we exceed our launch targets.
No matter what, each and every customer, that supports Buggsly™ Black Label on Kickstarter, will receive their order as a first priority.
Solid supply chain management is a cornerstone responsibility in building a brand. Our focus on domestic sourcing and local production will allow us to adapt as required.
Organic, sustainable growth is a fundamental operational management policy at Buggsly™ Black Label. We are not only intent of putting out the very best products and services, we are passionate about owning our business, which is different than the business owning us.
Each phase within the business plan will be evaluated against operational milestones, cashflow, existing manpower versus the potential requirement of strategic hiring and discussed internally with Buggsly’s board of directors and finance partners.
With each opportunity we will take the position of dating first, before getting married to an idea or opportunity. This will allow us to demonstrate the business case, identify production and commercialization efficiencies, highlight risk management, and in confirming hard costs and market demand for the product or service.
Should there be contributing factors that are outside of our planning and control, we will work diligently to put a contingency in place and ensure that we are directly communicating with our supporters as to what the roadblock is and what we are doing to course correct the challenge. Customer service and the integrity in which it is delivered are ingrained in our business philosophy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)