Clothing made from animals is so 10 years ago. These days, clothing made for animals is all the rage.
On Monday, local news station ABC13 News reported on a retirement home in Milton, Mass., that started a specialty-knitting club. The home teamed up with a local nonprofit to make sweaters for chickens during New England’s harsh winter. The project allows yarn-savvy retirees to put their skills to use and help the birds stay warm in the cold weather.
Of course, not everyone was sold on the idea at first. It does sound a little cuckoo. “When they said they were gonna make these sweaters for the chickens, I thought it was the most foolish thing I had ever heard in my life, and everybody that I told laughed at me,” Libby Kaplan told ABC13 News. “They couldn’t believe it, but we made the sweaters for the chickens, and I’m glad that we did.”
And it’s a good thing they did because, according to the segment, farmers say that egg production has spiked since the chickens started wearing the sweaters.
But retirees aren’t the only ones helping local animals. In December, high school students in New Zealand pitched in as well. The students, along with fashion teacher Nan Walden, made comfort coats for dogs affected by the 7.8 earthquake that struck Kaikoura on Nov. 14. The goal was to make 50 coats of varying sizes, fit for all dogs from Chihuahuas to Labradors. While all of the coats are red and have the same simple design, the students had the chance to add their own flair. Sixteen-year-old Fiona Lu added bow ties to the coats she made. “It makes me happy,” she told Stuff.co.nz. Plus, with exams happening around the same time, the students found that making the coats was a “stress reliever” and “really fun.”
The idea started when Wellington, New Zealand, fashion designer Louise Stichbury, who created the coat pattern, noticed that her dog Coco seemed calmer at “difficult times” when wearing one of her coats. “I wanted to help out,” she told Stuff. So Stichbury started working with Helping You Help Animals to make more coats and coordinated with high school fashion teacher Walden to enlist willing students to spend a day creating comfort coats.
With help from a place called Fabric Warehouse, Stichbury donated about 66 feet of red fabric to make the coats. “These high school students have been amazing,” she said.
Some people don’t need a practical reason like warmth or comfort to make something nice for their four-legged friend. Reddit user Chris Newsome noticed a toad showing up on his porch repeatedly and decided to start making it hats. The frog now has a hat collection to rival that of the former WB mascot Michigan J. Frog. The toad’s new accessories consist of a pink cap with a T on it, an orange cowboy hat, and, our favorite, a pink top hat with a feather.
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