We Did It…Again!

First of its kind Eco Pals™ are now even more sustainable with 100% recycled plush materials

In 2018, we set the industry standard with the first of its kind Eco Pals™ – a line of holistically sustainable produced plush.  Now, we’ve set yet another standard by developing plush materials – both the fabric and backing – made from 100% completely recycled materials, making Eco Pals even more sustainable! 

Our new sustainable plush fabrics are made from recycled PET flakes that were originally plastic water bottles and are produced by Certified Global Recycled Standard (GRS) suppliers, meeting international safety and quality standards. We have already begun transitioning our current 30-piece assortment of 8″-10″ Eco Pals to these recycled plush materials! And to be introduced in February are new species in the current Eco Pal size and a NEW large Eco Pal size, all using the recycled fabrics.   

When we launched Eco Pals last year, Wildlife Trading Company was committed to taking a holistic approach to sustainability, from production to delivery to merchandising. Eco Pals has proven to be an industry game changer…and we’re only getting started.

James Ward, CEO of Wildlife Trading Company states:

“Our goal is to convert as much of our merchandise to sustainable and conservation- based products as possible, and Eco Pals™ moves us further along this path. We are excited to be able to offer a 100% sustainable line of quality and affordable plush that illustrates and supports the conservation efforts of our partners. Eco Pals is just another example of how Wildlife Trading Company is the most sustainable and conservation conscious retail operator in cultural attractions. With conservation at our core, we enjoy being the trailblazer in our industry and take pride in others following us on this venture.”

Using 100% recycled materials is just another step in Wildlife Trading Company’s evolution of eco-friendlier retail. In 2013 we removed all unnecessary plastic whiskers and beads from our plush, and in 2014 we stopped using plastic bags in our stores. In 2017 we stopped using all single-use bags, eliminated selling beverages in plastic bottles, and worked with vendors to eliminate plastic from their packaging and shipping materials. And while sequins and glitter are currently trending in plush and toys, we will never use these materials given the horrific damage these microplastics wreak on wildlife. It’s all part of our authentic Planet Over Profit™ initiative – to make products that truly impact conservation efforts around the world. 

Oglebay Announces New Partnership with Wildlife Trading Company

Oglebay Logo low res





August 24, 2017

Lindsey McGlaughlin, Oglebay Marketing Manager – 304-243-4127

Herb Faulkenberry, Oglebay Vice President of Sales and Marketing – 304-243-4114


Oglebay Announces New Partnership with Wildlife Trading Company

Oglebay announces a new partnership with Wildlife Trading Company (WTC) to provide a best-in-class shopping experience at many of the park’s retail outlets, including Carriage House Glass, Farmhouse Sweets & Treats, Nature Express at the Good Zoo, and The Resort Shop at Wilson Lodge.  The partnership will take effect on October 1, 2017, just in time for Oglebayfest, Boo at the Zoo and Festival of Lights.

“I’m excited about this new partnership,” said Steve Hilliard, President and CEO of Wheeling Park Commission.  “Over time, the retail industry has become extremely specialized and competitive. In order to keep pace and consistently offer products and services that delight our customers, it’s necessary to partner with an industry-leading retailer like Wildlife Trading Company. In addition to providing guests and community members with a best-in-class shopping experience, a brand new selection of merchandise will further diversify the retail options available to local shoppers.”

Most importantly, WTC will provide specialized support and buying expertise, enabling Oglebay to offer a refreshed inventory of exciting new products and a memorable shopping experience. WTC’s transition to Oglebay will be virtually invisible to visitors, as WTC will become an extension of Oglebay’s existing retail team and current retail employees will have the opportunity to continue employment.

“Oglebay knows the needs and expectations of its visitors better than anyone else and we could never claim to have that knowledge,” says James Ward, President and CEO of Wildlife Trading Company.  “It is our job to bring the beauty and excitement of Oglebay into each of the shops, creating a cohesive and delightful shopping experience for all visitors.  I couldn’t be more excited to partner with such a respected and loved property.  We look forward to carrying the retail torch and providing an exceptional shopping experience for visitors and community members.”



Wildlife Trading Company manages retail operations at leisure and cultural attractions in North America and Caribbean. WTC is recognized as the leader in retail operations by developing the highest quality retail experiences. With a highly experienced corporate and retail staff, WTC continues to be the innovator in store design, product development, operations and customer service; achieving an average increase of over 100% in per capita revenues. Wildlife Trading Company prides itself in developing customized relationships, store designs and products to meet the unique needs of each partner and its guests. Learn more at www.wtcnm.com.



Located in Wheeling, WV, Oglebay offers 1,700 acres of year-round recreational opportunities and excellent overnight accommodations, while maintaining the property’s natural beauty. Oglebay is the perfect venue for events, meetings, vacations, weekend getaways, relaxing at the spa or golfing on one of four golf courses, including two championship courses. For generations, families, groups, organizations and individuals have indulged in the tradition and spirit that make Oglebay unique. Learn more at www.oglebay.com.


Wildlife Trading Company Announces New Leadership

New President and CEO set to build on company’s success and vision

jamesSOUTHBURY, CT (February 7, 2017) – Wildlife Trading Company, the premier retail outsource partner for leisure and cultural attractions, today announced the promotion of James Ward to President and CEO and Caroline Ward to Chief Relationship Manager.

James, who joined the company in 1996 as Product Development Manager, will lead the company as it continues to build upon its exceptional growth over the past decade, while Caroline will be taking on executive management roles, overseeing special projects and developing relationships with partners and key customers.

“As COO, James took our retail consulting practice and grew us into an extremely successful international outsourcing services company,” said Gerry Ward, the company’s founder.  “And now as President, he has a clear vision for moving the company forward with steady, sustainable growth,” Ward added.  Gerry is stepping down as President and CEO, but will retain his role as Chairman of the Board.

“We’re successful because, unlike larger competitors in our industry, we provide our partners with customized relationships and create truly unique and engaging retail environments,” says James Ward.  He continues, “With our growth, we’ve never lost sight of the need to have a truly collaborative approach with our clients.”  It’s that approach that has resulted in an 85% overall average increase in spending per customer over the history of Wildlife Trading Company’s partnerships, with some partners seeing increases of over 200%.

“Today we’re in ten countries and large enough to service any attraction, but we’re small enough to care,” says Ward.  In that spirit of caring, Wildlife Trading Company takes great pride in offering products that educate the consumer and adopting programs and policies that support Fair Trade, wildlife conservation and the environment.

James is a graduate from Boston College and NYU’s Stern School of Business.  He’s an avid wildlife photographer, along with Gerry, and his passion for conservation and the environment has led to Wildlife Trading Company being a leader in establishing “green” principles internally, in its stores and in the products and programs it offers.

About Wildlife Trading Company:  Wildlife Trading Company manages retail operations at zoos, aquariums, museums, botanic gardens and other leisure, cultural and adventure attractions.  We pride ourselves in developing customized relationships, store designs and products to meet the unique needs of each partner and its guests.


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