For most product design projects, you start with a problem and then set out to develop the solution. For this project, we had the keys to the solution and then sought out a problem to solve. The problem we settled on? Holding your pants up!
At Ruffwear, we strive to have a lean supply chain. One component of this supply chain strategy is purchasing just enough material to produce the products we need for a given season, with the goal of minimizing or eliminating excess material at the end of the season. Even with the best forecasting, it is inevitable that you have a little bit of a material or hardware left to either pass on to another manufacturer, or find a problem to solve and utilize the excess product.
In this case, after a few years of manufacturing using webbing with various season-specific patterns, we realized that we had a few spools of webbing left of past-season prints. In an effort to minimize any downstream waste of materials, we decided to put our heads together to come up with a way to use this excess webbing.
It just so happened that our product designers were also working on some new hardware for collars and leashes debuting in 2014. One new component serving as a collar closure system, the Talon Hook™, is designed to work with webbing of the same thickness and width as the excess webbing we wanted to use.
After batting around a few different webbing projects, we settled on a universal piece of gear that most people (humans, that is) use on a daily basis – the belt. If the Talon Hook were designed to work as a closure for collars, it would also work perfectly as a belt buckle! We made a few prototypes, and no pants fell down in testing, so we knew we were on to something.
So now we bring to you the first ever Ruffwear (human) belt. It is available in ten colors/patterns. And, we just used what we had left in each pattern, so these belts are in limited supply – meaning we do not have more webbing to replace these belts once they are gone.
Shop Ruffwear belts and other human gear HERE.