Canada Goose Is Making Changes
Canada Goose can trace its roots back to 1957 when Sam Tick started making outerwear such as wool vests, raincoats and snowmobile suits. In the 1970's the company began making down-filled coats for the likes of the the Canadian Rangers and the Ontario Provincial Police.
Over the years, Canada Goose's jackets—which can retail for over $1,000, have gained a cult-like following. With the company's apparel popular among celebrities, the company has shown explosive sales growth in recent years.
With all of its success comes plenty of controversy. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has criticized Canada Goose for nearly 15 years over the company's use of fur and treatment towards animals. PETA even purchased shares following the company's IPO in 2017 so it could propose a shareholder resolution to "ask them to abandon the cruel use of fur and feathers."
Last year, Canada Goose pulled its guarantees about the "ethical" treatment of animals following a Federal Trade Commission probe over allegations of false advertising. The probe was triggered by none other than PETA following a video they obtained of an ex-supplier for Canada Goose grabbing geese by their necks. The video was enough to initiate the probe despite Canada Goose denying it was from one of its suppliers.
This week, Canada Goose announced its intention to no longer use new coyote fur from trappers or down from live geese. Beginning in 2022, Canada Goose will use reclaimed fur that is already in its supply chain or the market and adopt a more humane down policy. The company will only source down from farms that follow the Responsible Down Standard, which prohibits plucking feathers from live birds and force feeding ducks.
Canada Goose will attempt to repurchase fur ruffs from the market, as well as introduce a program in the coming months where customers who have already purchased a jacket can sell them the fur ruffs.
"By reusing fur that is reclaimed, we’re just taking a resource that’s already sustainable and making it even more sustainable," Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss said.
Reiss maintains the move is an eco-friendly measure and not in response to pressure from animal activists. "The fact that we’ve been targeted did not factor into this decision at all, we’re still using fur," Reiss said.
Despite these moves from Canada Goose, PETA is still not impressed.
"Canada Goose is attempting to 'humane wash' its image by switching from fur taken from coyotes whom trappers have recently caught in steel traps to fur that may already be on the market, which is also a product of the cruel actions of trappers," PETA said.
PETA believes Canada Goose is using the move as a way around an upcoming California law, saying the actions will "conveniently allow Canada Goose to keep selling its fur trimmed coats in California when the state's fur ban comes into effect in 2023."
While Canada Goose's decision may be a move in the right direction, the years-long fight between the company and PETA doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.
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