With the launch of the new eco-friendly Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout we wanted to find out more about this revolutionary new rug, so who better to ask than the experts at Horseware Ireland, themselves. Here is what the rug designers at Horseware Ireland had to say about the new Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Rug.
The Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout Rug is the first environmentally friendly Amigo horse rug, what was the driving force behind this Rug?
At Horseware Ireland, our commitment to operate sustainably and being kind to our planet remains at the forefront of everything we do. As we continue to develop solutions to protect the environment our horses live in, we are delighted to launch our first sustainable horse rug that aligns with our sustainability goals by giving consumer waste a second life.
The Amigo AmECO 12 Plus is the first Horseware turnout that is constructed from a recycled fabric called rPET which is fully made from post-consumer waste plastic bottles.
Our aim for 2021 is to recycle 1 Million plastic bottles and we are looking forward to seeing our consumer helping us to achieve this.
Was it challenging breaking away from the traditional horse rug design that we all know?
We are very proud that the Amigo AmECO 12 Turnout offers the design features and quality standards that all Horseware Ireland products are known for. As always during the development process of every new product by Horseware Ireland, quality and durability is key. We know our end consumers’ focus is to buy less but buy better.
The strength and durability of our 1200D rPET are fully comparable to standard polyester fabrics but in an eco-friendly and sustainable solution. These strength properties create a durable, tough, and robust turnout, created for longevity. Further, this product features all unique design elements, the Horseware Amigo turnout collection is known for such as its patented Disc front closure with Surefit Neck Design, dual leg arches & three cross surcingles.
What is rPET fabric and why is it better for the environment?
rPET stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or recycled PET. PET is a material that is primarily used to manufacture plastic bottles and packaging. Post-consumer waste plastic bottles are collected and recycled, creating rPET material, giving waste a second life.
Billions of plastic bottles are being disposed in landfills & oceans every year polluting the earth. We are giving this consumer waste a second life by offering a sustainable horse rug.
Further, the actual production process creating the rPET fabric uses less water, fewer chemicals & produces less CO2 than the production of virgin Polyester yarns.
How do you create your recycled fabric?
- Plastic bottles are collected and recycled
- The bottles are then processed into flakes
- Flakes are melted and yarn is spun
- The yarn is woven into fabric and rPET is created
- rPET fabric is cut and sewn to create the Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout.
Do you get the same quality in a recycled rug?
At Horseware, quality and durability are key. We are very proud that the Amigo AmECO 12 Turnout offers the design features and quality standards and that all Horseware Ireland products are known for. The strength and durability of our 1200D rPET are fully comparable to standard polyester fabrics but in an eco-friendly and sustainable solution. These strength properties create a durable, tough, and robust turnout, created for longevity.
From plastic bottle to horse rug, how long does the process take?
From concept to launch the development process took about 18months. As with all new products the Horseware team aim to ensure lasting performance and durability. In working to create the Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout the process encapsulates fabric development and review, internal and external testing of the fabric properties before moving on to field testing where prototypes of the rug are tested across several different global locations on a variety of horses in various climates and conditions. All Horseware products must pass the field-testing process to ensure the functionality of the product be it a new feature or fabric. Unlike developing products for humans, horses cannot give us direct feedback and often are wearing turnouts for extended periods of time so real-life field testing combined with laboratory reviews of new product elements such as the rPET fabrics of the Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout ensure we know how this product will perform when used by our customers. (Disclaimer – while we conduct expansive tests ahead of any product launch all horses are different and we as their owners need to bear this in mind when choosing new products to use.)
Does rPET insulation offer the same warmth and insulation as the traditional filling?
We have worked to develop all rPET elements of the Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout Rug to perform to the same standards as virgin polyester elements of our Amigo Bravo Turnout range which means you can expect the same heat retention levels from the rPET insulation as our traditional fibre filling and the same strength properties as our standard 1200D polyester is offered by our new rPET 1200D outer. We wanted to offer our customers a sustainable choice without compromising on the standards Horseware is known and loved for and through our extensive development period, we believe we have achieved this in the AmECO turnout.
Can we expect to see any more environmentally friendly products in the future?
We are proud to launch our Eco collection – a collection of horse products made from eco-friendly fabrics with strong sustainability credentials. Later this year, we will launch our first natural eco-fabric blanket, made from certified organic cotton and natural hemp.
The thermobonded fibrefill we use in our Rambo rugs is made from 80% recycled content.
Our entire clothing collection is created using REPREVE® fill made from recycled bottles.
Our Eco Tech Jacket is made from a recycled nylon outer, that is made from fishline. The fleece lining in the Eco Tech jacket is made from recycled plastic bottles.
All our technical clothing items from the SS21 clothing collection are made from 95% recycled polyester too.