LIGHTNING BOLT ORGANIC CATNIP TOY
This toy was made with 10 oz. organic cotton duck canvas, which is a textile best known for its use in heavy-duty workwear (think Carhartt, but eco-friendly). We use this fabric in many of our toys, because it is strong and resilient, but also has a smooth surface.
Our organic cotton canvas is milled in the Punjab state in northern India. The fabric is produced in a GOTS certified warehouse from GOTS certified cotton, but because the supplier is not certified (the process can be too expensive for smaller operations) we are not able to list it as GOTS certified, even though it certainly is.
The canvas we use is colored with GOTS certified, low-impact, fiber-reactive dye. Low-impact dyes require less water in the rinse process (due to their higher absorption rate) and are created without heavy metals. In addition, fiber-reactive dyes do not require toxic chemicals to fix to the fibers.
The organic catnip we use in all of our catnip stuffed toys is grown about seventy miles south of us in Rainier, Washington. The specific mixture we use is a potent blend of the leaves and flowers (aka bells) of the plant. When the bells are crushed by your kitty, they release a blast of essential catnip oil. Cats keep coming back to our toys, because the flower count is quite high, so it takes a long time to smash them all!
Organic or not, catnip is a very low maintenance crop - it tolerates poor soil and doesn't require much water. The plant is also a favorite amongst pollinators, especially bees.
Many brands use organic catnip, which is great! However, oftentimes, this is the only eco-friendly aspect of their products and they use greenwashing to appear more sustainable than they are - buyer beware!
All of our catnip-stuffed toys are actually a 50/50 blend of organic catnip and natural buckwheat hulls. The USA-grown hulls give our toys a nice, crinkly sound, which many cats love. Other brands use plastic-based fillers, but we decided biodegradable hulls are a much better option.
In addition to its common uses (mainly for flour), buckwheat is used as a natural weed control and it improves potassium levels in the soil. The plant is also considered a late season honey crop as bees are attracted to its flowers when other sources of nectar become scarce.
One more fun fact: buckwheat hulls are traditionally used to fill putuans or zafus, the round pillows that Zen Buddhists sit upon during meditation.
Currently, our buckwheat hulls are not organic, however, we are on track to make a change in the near future.
The thread used to create our damask woven labels are either 50% or 100% recycled polyester (aka rPET); the white background is 100% rPET and the colored thread is 50% rPET. Regardless of recycled content, the yarn is OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 Certified* (certificate number 17.0.11717) and the labels are made in Vietnam.
While using rPET is certainly a greener option that others, we are on the hunt for more sustainable labels, because, after all, recycled polyester is still plastic and these labels will eventually end up in a landfill.
*To learn more about OEKO-TEX® certification, please visit our FAQ page.
The GOTS certified, 3-ply organic cotton thread we use is formulated for denim, canvas, and upholstery fabrics. It is classified as a Tex 70 thread, which is more than double the weight of most other cat toys (Tex 30 is fairly standard).
The thread is colored with non-toxic, fiber-reactive dyes, which bond with the molecules in the cotton and actually become part of the fiber, so they won’t bleed off or leach out.
The cotton is grown in the Jhabua District of the Madhya Pradesh State in India on a handful of small, organic farms.