How should I dispose of my collar?
When your leather collar reaches the end of its usable life, please remove the polyester rope core and the brass fittings. The collar can then be disposed of in the compost. The brass hardware should be given to a scrap metal merchant and the rope recycled with similar plastics. (I have tried using non-synthetic alternatives as cores, but unfortunately they are too moisture retaining and don't perform well)
My dog has passed away and I wish to bury the collar with him/her
There is nothing wrong with doing this. Just remove the non-biodegradable parts as above. The leather and thread are natural materials and will biodegrade.
How should I dispose of my alpaca item?
When your alpaca garment or soft furnishing wears out, return it to the earth by stuffing it into your compost bin. All my alpaca blends are made from natural plant and animal fibres, including bamboo, linen, ramie (made from nettles), and various types of silk, all of which are biodegradable. The only synthetic fibre that probably won't degrade that is occasionally used is the metallic stuff in the sparkly blends, however, this is used in tiny amounts.
Where do the materials come from?
From as close to hand as I can find without compromising on quality. The alpaca fleece all comes from my own alpacas. Leather is a byproduct of meat farming as well as a wonderful material and the leather for my collars comes from an Italian tannery that uses traditional methods that cause minimal pollution and sources the hides from cattle in EC countries where there is a reasonable basic standard of welfare. Plant fibres have to be sourced from countries where the plants naturally grow, but I try to use plants produced from crops that are are as undemanding on the environment as possible. Silk is a natural product produced by the pupae of moths mainly by small businesses in developing countries. I try to use eri silk where possible because it comes in attractive natural colours and the silk can be collected after the moth has pupated, or the pupa can be eaten and provide a source of quality protein to people in the countries where it's farmed. I don't consider killing pupae for silk to have a huge welfare debt, as the moths only live a day or so in order to breed if they pupate, and are predated on in the wild. The kind of silk used in the blends is listed in the description. Unfortunately with the world population in its current state, nothing is truly sustainable. All we can do is try to favour less damaging options that don't compromise on quality of life, and choose to have fewer children in the hope that the children who are born will be able to enjoy a similar quality of life with a more sustainable number of people.