The first Milltown Brand dog goods were born in 2014 when designer Mariko Nakaya made her first dog waste bag dispenser from the offcuts of the human Dopp kits she was hand making at the time. Frustrated by the lack of high quality dog products on the market, she started making high end, hand crafted accessories for her own dog. Named in tribute to the former milltown that she grew up in, Kawaguchi, Japan, Milltown Brand is an open creative outlet for any products born out of necessity.
Our first products were cut and sewn one by one by Mariko and her small team on her vintage Juki industrial sewing machines, with the same attention to detail as our human goods. We believe that dog accessories, like any handcrafted bag, should be assembled with love and care, and that every fabric grain should be straight, every seam tight, and every stitch perfectly uniform. To this day, our standards of quality reflect our origins in handmade bespoke human accessories.
You really are only as good as the company you keep, and so we are extremely selective about our production partners. Our screen printed canvas products would not be possible without the friendship and artistry of one of Brooklyn, NY’s best screen printers or the high quality work of a multi-generational American owned sewing factory. For our dog accessories, it was crucial to maintain that same level of quality we had established in our own shop, and we have a wonderful relationship with a factory that specializes in high end leather handbags and accessories.
What can a dog accessories brand do to make a difference in the world? We believe that it’s everyone’s obligation to do what they can, however they can, to make a difference. Raising awareness about pet adoption and the worldwide puppy mill crisis is our number one goal in terms of how we want to influence people. Also, as the single most important issue facing all of us is climate change, we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint and also limit the amount of plastic that is used in our manufacturing and shipping process. Making high quality goods that are not simply used for a brief time and thrown away is one way we can reduce the amount of waste produced. All of our products can be re-used or recycled when they are too worn out.