When we created our company in 2019, the need for sustainable alternatives and concern for the environmental impact of what we all buy and use were
very hot topics. Which is why, right from the start, we built in a ‘common-sense’ approach to operating with environmental awareness and sustainability goals. We’re often asked about our products and approach to these topics, so here’s an open and honest explanation of how we go about things.
What’s important to us when creating our products
Nothing is more wasteful that a product that doesn’t do the job, because that encourages unnecessary use, or worse, gets thrown away. Our products do more than one thing really well. Take our ‘fragrant fur coat’ shampoo for example. This leaves coats clean and bright, but also smelling beautiful and in a healthy shiny condition. Every ingredient is carefully considered and researched to ensure it gives good performance as well as being mild and gentle for our dogs. A naturally mild effective low-suds formula means you don’t need to spend ages rinsing it out either. Our biodegradable paw-kit wipes are individually sealed because then you only open one when you need one, meaning less waste and fresh every time.
if we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got. We’re trying to solve the day-to-day problems of caring for your dog - but in new ways. A good example is our ‘No Rinse Charming’ Dry Shampoo; a genuinely waterless wash. Coming from the personal care industry, we know why dry shampoo for humans can be a much better product than wet-washing for lots of reasons. Surprisingly, one of the most damaging aspects of human products is not
what’s in them, how far they are transported, or how much is used, but the duration and temperature of your shower! Our Dry Shampoo avoids flushing anything down the drain, you don’t waste hot water and there’s no after-wash towels to launder. Its just a good clean simple natural dry powder shower on the run.
The mantra of ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ is one that we’ve taken to heart in many of our packaging choices. We are not yet able to package everything safely and effectively in re-usable packs, but where this is possible, we do. So for example our ‘paw balm’ and ‘paw-kit’ treat tins can be easily reused as handy places to keep
treats, keys, collartags, poobags.'
Local recycling systems are quite complex in the UK with different rules and methods in different parts of the country. But one thing tends to be very common: the high recoverability of metals. That’s why our ‘silver’ packs are made of lightweight aluminium. This material is easily separated, tends not to get contaminated and melts with less energy – unlike glass or plastic. Although it’s more expensive for us to buy, it’s a much better choice of packaging material from a recycling angle.
The closer we can get to nature with the ingredients that go into our formulations, the better. But confusingly, it’s not true that a 100% natural product is always the best choice. Natural ingredients often degrade quickly with sunlight or heat, or can react with their packaging, which causes unnecessary waste. Some may provoke reactions, even well-known ones like lavender. Other ingredients that are needed to create a high-quality product, like Vitamin E, are not available in natural forms. Then others like Palm Oil, are naturally produced but disastrous for the environment and should be avoided. Navigating the complex world of natural versus man-made ingredients is part of our expertise, keeping a focus on what’s good for your dog’s overall wellbeing, as well as sensible for the environment. Our products range from 94% to 100% natural; some are organic and most include botanicals to create a natural woody-grassy aroma. We aim to be as natural as possible, whilst
optimising performance on efficacy, quality and shelf-life.
As manufacturers, the choices we make on packaging are among the most important and impactful. It’s a responsibility we take seriously when we choose raw materials (cardboard, paper, aluminium, cellulose), as well as the final shapes and sizes of the finished products. That’s why our paw balm is great value and packaged in a very generous 75g ‘portion’ that will last months on a midsized dog, because that’s the maximum fill level we could achieve in the least amount of packaging. It’s then sold to shops in small cardboard boxes that removes the need for extra plastic-based packaging and are easy to fold down and recycle
We put the wellness of our dogs at the heart of everything we do – ‘because they’re woof it!’. We hope that like us, our customers find being a ‘pet parent’ is as entertaining and rewarding, as much as it is a responsibility. So whilst we know that our dogs (and cats!) deserve better petcare products, we try to make it easy and affordable to indulge them a little.
It’s a little pampering that doesn’t have to cost the earth – financially or ecologically – with a little extra effort put into sourcing, design and manufacturing our products. We extend this approach to our retail customers, wholesalers and suppliers too – because sustainability needs to happen ‘soup-to-nuts’ and we all need to hold each other responsible for the links in the chain.
The ‘sniffology’ – using fragrances sustainably
There’s a lot more about this in other blogs (LINKS), but our signature fragrance has sustainability built in too. Some companies use synthetic fragrances - designed to appeal to human noses with artificial smells like coconut, lemon or “baby powder” – but we use a 100% natural blend of specially selected oils derived only from actual plants. Since essential oils are incredibly powerful – even more so for dogs – we don’t have to use very much to be aromatherapeutically effective and attractive to humans as well.
Vegan Grooming Products
As well as being made with very high natural content, and in some cases organic ingredients, our grooming range is also formulated without animal products or derivatives. This makes the core product range Vegan-friendly. Examples where we have licked all the boxes….
- We use a natural plant based deodorant from Caribba made from enzymes in a sugar plant to help absorb nasty odours
- Quillaja Barks soap is a special natural soap which we use in our wash products for its mild gentle cleansing benefits
- Multana Mitti clay (fullers earth) in the dry shampoo is a renowned natural ingredient that helps deodorise and repels insects
- Shea butter, coconut, sweet almond and paw-paw are just some of the rich and nourishing and conditioning oils we use throughout our products
- Aloe vera leaf juice used in our cleansing wipes to help sooth and moisturise
Our Sustainability Values in Action
- We design products with minimal packaging and size them for usage efficiency. We buy high recycled content, that has high recycling recoverability. We always encourage re- use or re-cycling of our packaging and we never over-package something just to look better.
- We like to be local and prefer ingredients and materials that are readily available in the UK. We seek out nearby companies to work with, so that we can share a low-mileage ecosystem, avoid carbon emissions and contribute to each other’s successes.
- Because we use tiny quantities of exceptional quality essential oils – which have massive impact aroma-therapeutically – we avoid adding un-necessary synthetic ingredients
- Whilst we really love to meet people and pets, we don’t travel unless its unavoidable and we prefer to work smartly, using digital and virtual communications methods.
What do you like the most about our sustainability steps at Sniffe & Likkit?
What are you doing to be more sustainable in your life?
Let us know in the comments