Canada Goose plans to move to salvaged fur from wild coyote product

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Luxury parka maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc. has announced plans to switch to reclaimed fur in its coats, a move that the company says is “not about animal activists” who are fighting the use of animal products by society for years.

The Toronto-based retailer announced on Wednesday that it will start manufacturing parkas with reclaimed fur in 2022 and will stop buying new fur the same year. The company also plans to launch a fur buy-back program for consumers in the coming months.

“Canada Goose has a long-standing commitment to animal welfare, as our standards of transparency underscore, we do not tolerate mistreatment, neglect or willful action causing undue suffering to animals, and we remain firmly convinced that animals have the right to humane treatment, “said a spokesperson in an email.

“Recovered fur, obtained through a customer buy-back program, would be subject to the same standards.”

In its first sustainability report released Wednesday, Canada Goose said it has used wild coyote fur from Western Canada and the United States for five decades, saying its suppliers make sure it never comes from fur farms, among other measures.

He notes that Northerners have been working with furs that have been recovered for decades and that the initiative was inspired by their ingenuity.

“We believe that we must operate in a sustainable manner. It’s the right decision for our business, our customers and, most importantly, our future, “said the report, which notes that consumers today want more information on fur sustainability and animal welfare, and demand more transparency.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called the change of salvaged fur an attempt to “humanly wash” its image by moving from the fur taken from coyotes that trappers recently trapped in steel traps to fur that may already be on the market, which is also a product of the cruel actions of trappers. “

“Real fur is always cruelly obtained,” he said.

The animal rights group has written to Canada Goose about its use of fur since 2006, said media coordinator Megan Wiltsie, and launched a public campaign against the company in early 2016.

This included the erection of a billboard near a Chicago store in October 2018 that displayed a goose and the text “I am a living being, not a jacket trim.” He aired commercials in various states and organized demonstrations in the United States and Canada.

In the fall of 2018, the organization signed an agreement with Astral Media to broadcast two advertisements in bus shelters in Toronto, one of which featured a photo of a coyote and the caption: “I am a living being, not a piece of fur. Both read “Boycott Canada Goose”.

The ads were supposed to last four weeks, but Astral started removing them the day of their publication after receiving a single complaint from an advertising agency that works with Canada Goose.

PETA took the case to court after the city refused to force Astral to replace the ads, arguing that removing the ads amounted to a violation of its right to freedom of expression.

The judge sided with Astral and the city, which argued that the case was between private companies on the basis of a commercial contract.

PETA has requested a judicial review, which was dismissed on Tuesday by an Ontario court.

PETA also noted that Canada Goose’s move to reclaimed fur “could conveniently allow Canada Goose to continue selling its fur coats in California when the state’s fur ban comes into effect in 2023”.

In October 2019, the Governor of California signed a pair of bills that would ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products starting in 2023. It is the first state to do so, although Los Angeles and San Francisco have banned fur sales in their respective countries. cities beforehand.

The ban exempts used products, as well as certain other exemptions.

Animal activists at the time said they were working with others to pass similar bills in other cities and expressed optimism that the California move would set a trend.

Canadian animal rights group Animal Justice also noted the ban on California, as well as several other cities, in a statement that called the Canada goose change “a stunning reversal.” Animal Justice intervened in the Toronto trial between PETA and Astral and supported the position of PETA.

The change comes “from the evolution of public attitudes and years of anti-fur advocacy targeting the business,” he said.

But it is still only a “partial victory”, according to the group.

“It would be better for the company to completely abandon the coat and down,” noting that switching to recovered fur does not help ducks and geese whose feathers are used for down.

The company discusses its use of down in the report, saying it chooses “natural down in jackets because it is the best natural source of warmth-to-weight ratio.”

Last year, Canada Goose committed to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and is committed to being fully certified by 2021.

“RDS aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not suffered unnecessary damage.”

RDS prohibits the removal of down or feathers from live birds and force-feeding, according to its website. Its standards also include other measures, including the audit of each stage of the supply chain by a third-party professional certification body.

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