April 30, 2009 11:45 AM

It all started with a broken umbrella. Five years ago, Taryn Zychal purchased a broken umbrella at the Salvation Army; the fabric was just too cute to pass up. Fast forward to a year later, and it was still sitting around her home, collecting dust. But she had recently adopted a pug, “and started seeing first-hand how expensive and difficult it was to find quality-made, eco-friendly coats and accessories for him,” she tells PEOPLE Pets. So Zychal decided to make a pooch-sized raincoat from the umbrella’s fabric. She submitted her design to a ReadyMade magazine contest, and her business, RecyclingZychal, was born.

Now, the freelance industrial designer collects umbrellas from all over the world (and her current town of Philadelphia), crafting raincoats for dogs of all shapes and sizes – including one for Bo Obama. She even reimburses customers for the shipping cost of umbrellas. “It’s a passive-aggressive approach to saving the environment, and best of all, it’s keeping this colorful and beautiful resource out of a landfill,” Zychal says. “On top of all that, the dogs love them, and that’s very important to me!” Visit etsy.com to check out the cute looks and order your own.

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