What do plastic bottles & horses have in common? Sustainable rugs.

AMIGO AMECO 12 PLUS TURNOUT

What do plastic bottles & horses have in common? Sustainable rugs.

With this year’s release of Horseware Ireland’s Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout, a new bar has been set for integrating sustainability into quality horse products.

To learn more about this new sustainably crafted rug, we interviewed Horseware’s Product Innovation Manager, Clare Silke, & highly achieved Irish eventer and product field tester, Sam Watson, for some behind the scenes insight to how this rug came to fruition.

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THE AMIGO AMECO 12 PLUS TURNOUT?

CLARE: Horseware Ireland has a dedicated commitment to sustainability. As we begin developing product, we not only look at solutions for equestrians and their horses, but we also search for ways we can improve our processes to create sustainable practices to help protect our planet. With 38 million tonnes of plastic produced globally each year and less than 35 percent being recycled, we saw an opportunity to blend our passion for creating durable horse products with an initiative to give consumer waste a second life. The outcome was the Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout.

The Amigo AmECO is constructed from a recycle fabric known as rPET which utilizes post-consumer plastic bottles. Each rug produced uses 218 bottles. Our goal for 2021 is to recycle 1 million plastic bottles through our rugs.

Rambo Micklem

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE QUALITIES YOU LOOK FOR IN RUGS FOR YOUR HORSES?

SAM: The first thing we look for in a rug is that a horse is warm, dry, happy and their coat looks fantastic. This is all about fit, texture, and quality of the rug.

Then there is the trademark Horseware rug-for-life concept. Will this rug still be keeping horses happy for decades to come? Is it strong and durable? The AmECO concept takes ‘rug-for-life’ to new level. And this pleasantly surprised me because of its quality, fit and texture that makes the horses look and feel so great

rPET MATERIAL WAS MENTIONED BY CLARE. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THAT IS?

CLARE: rPET, is the type of fabric we’ve used to create the AmECO rug.

Plastic bottles are collected & recycled then processed down into plastic flakes. The flakes get melted down and spun into yarn. This plastic-based yarn is woven into fabrics which can then be cut and sewn creating the Amigo AmECO 12 Plus Turnout.

The process to create rPET is more environmentally friendly than the production of virgin Polyester yarns; less water and few chemicals are used, and the rPET process creates less CO2 emissions.

Micklem How to Fit

WHAT EXPERIENCE DID YOU HAVE TESTING THE AMECO?

SAM: While I wasn’t directly involved in the concept of this rug, we had fun testing this during the winter with our ruthless rug-buster horses.

Horseware brought me a demo and I fell in love with the idea straight away. There is no compromise between doing what is right and doing what works best in this situation. The Amigo AmECO is not just all the special features that are so important for our horses but also a rug for human life and the environment.

I always want to maximise my horse’s health, well-being, and comfort too. They give me so much when we perform that I want them to have the best when they are relaxing in the field or in their stables. The Horseware products always achieve this goal for me but the AmECO rug blew me away; all these benefits but with this huge bonus of being environmentally friendly.

This is Horseware innovation at a new level. It’s beyond clever and brilliant, it’s an exceptional step forward and I’ll be very proud to see our horses being so well looked after by a rug that is also helping to look after our planet.

DOES HORSEWARE HAVE ANY PLANS TO GROW THEIR ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRODUCT LINE?

CLARE: The AmECO was part of a newly launched Eco Collection. We’ve also released the Rambo Natura Summer Sheet, our first natural eco-fabric blanket, made from certified organic cotton and natural hemp.
Many of our products in the current line have already been enhanced with sustainable improvements. Our Rambo rugs use thermobonded fibrefill which is made up of 80% recycled materials, our entire clothing collection uses REPREVE® fill which is made from recycled bottles. We are dedicated to continuing our research & development of new sustainable options to introduce to the horse world.


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