A LUXURY dog collar company has released new designs ahead of the Christmas period.

Malulu, based in Horsham, combines British design and Kenyan craftsmanship in their range of dog collars and leads.

The products are created by the skilled artisans who work at Zinj Design in the village of Takaungu, on the Kenyan coast.

Louise Edwards, the company's director and lead designer, says she has always had a fascination with Africa as her parents lived and worked there in the 1960s and 70s.

The Argus: The range of dog collars available from Malulu.

The stories of their adventures inspired her to travel the continent herself, working as a consultant for craft organisations and safari companies.

Louise said: "I wanted to set up a business which enabled me to maintain my links to Kenya following my return to the UK in 2013.

"I wanted to promote high quality Kenyan products that also supported sustainable employment and fair trade practices."

She says that the choice to make dog accessories was a "natural choice" because it combined her mission statement with her love of dogs.

The Argus: The range of dog collars available from Malulu.

Ahead of the Christmas season the company has created two new products for pet owners called Stars and Stripes and Zanzibar Gold.

A spokeswoman for Malulu said: "These luxury dog collars blend together age-old techniques with modern practicality. Tested by a British laboratory called Intertek, they have been scientifically proved to be durable and long lasting, which gives customers peace of mind."

Each of the collars are individually handmade, providing skilled training and sustainable employment for the artisans.

The Argus: The range of dog collars available from Malulu.

Which, in turn, benefits the local Takaungu economy and beyond. Furthermore, the packaging is environmentally friendly using biodegradable materials.

The company says that women in particular have benefitted from being encouraged to take up what sometimes has been considered a man's’ craft, as there is little employment for them in the area. All workers are empowered by fair wages, good working conditions and sustainable employment.

The Argus: The range of dog collars available from Malulu.

The spokeswoman added: "Customers can know with confidence that with each purchase from Malulu, they are supporting highly skilled artisans and ethical trade practices that improve the livelihoods of so many beyond the workshop.

"And if that doesn’t convince you enough, the fabulous modelling of the luxury dog collars by the cheeky little Patterdale Terrier cross, Minnie May, definitely will."

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