Developed around the principles of positive nutrition, good design, and environmental consciousness, dog treats brand YOKO is the positive upshot of a somber existence for one rescue pup. “When we first met Yoko [an Italian greyhound] she literally just had her casts taken off her legs,” explain founders Luis Martins Reina Romao and Ashley Ball. She had been dropped and neglected by her previous owners but was now in the careful hands of two loving individuals, determined to make her recovery as painless as possible. Part of that process was ensuring proper nutrition. Not only was she in need of nourishment, but any extra weight would put a strain on Yoko’s fragile legs. The delicate nature of her situation led the pair to intensely analyse her food, and to best care for her that meant making it from scratch.
They decided to combine their rigorous education in canine nutrition with Ball’s background in design to create an eponymous line of organic treats made from British ingredients. They’re free of artificial colourings, flavourings, and sugars, but perhaps best of all, are intended to be as healthy for our four-legged friends as they are for the planet. They currently wrap their range of biscuits in recyclable brown paper but tell us they are now “developing a radical type of packaging which can also be grown.” And instead of shipping products across the world, they hope to develop “local economies of production where ingredients are seasonal and local to each country.”
The founders’ design-driven, community-focused approach is also made clear through articles and interviews in their online journal which help frame what it means to a “modern conscious dog owner.” Teaming up with like-minded creatives, they share stories about the importance of honest design. “We do not see well designed organic treats as being a luxury, but rather a fundamental responsibility.”
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a joyful title designed for music, pop culture and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020