Written by Jennie Yang
During the winter months, students are often bundled tightly in expensive Canada Goose parkas. Branded with their signature red patch and patches of dark fur lining the hood, most students opt for the Canadian brand. With headquarters in Toronto, Canada Goose has spread its impact to that on an international level. In fact, many people part of a younger demographic view Canada Goose as more of a status symbol than a piece of clothing meant to keep you warm. With 903.7 million in revenue globally, Canada Goose’s monetary value is quite significant. Not only does the brand impact people on a cultural standpoint, but it also is a juggernaut on a financial level.
However, while Canada Goose has had a lot of financial and social success, they are not very environmentally friendly. Specifically, the fur used on the hood of their coats are from coyote pelts. Canada Goose currently purchases them through trappers who capture and strip coyotes of their fur. Next, the fur itself is then treated with toxic chemicals. Not only is this an unethical treatment of animals, but it is also environmentally unsustainable.
While their products have been extremely successful and popular, people began to take notice of the unfortunate environmental effects. Namely, the use of fur in their products has led to extreme pollution. In general, fur farms around the world are always under inspection and are often failing to meet world standards. In 2015 in Lithuania, thirty-one fur farms were inspected and every single establishment was found to be in violation of national waste disposal regulations.
Along with waste runoff, the farms are also adding to the worldwide water pollution issue. Nutrients in the manure and waste runoff leads to the growth of toxic and harmful algae in the waterways. The algae negatively impacts the environment and leads to a loss of biodiversity. In addition, the algae also renders local water sources as undrinkable and uninhabitable, causing dead zones for both humans and wildlife. As a result, it has absolutely wrecked local communities. In response, local communities have gathered together to protest these unethical and unsustainable practices. In five years, over one hundred and forty protests were taken account of in Poland in one of their biggest fur plants to date.
While there are glaring issues within the supply chain, there are also incredible degrading impacts from the fur itself. In order to get the fur first, animals must be killed and skinned all for the purpose of “fashion”. The fur is then treated with a plethora of chemicals in order for it to maintain its shape and prevent it from decay. In addition, sometimes there is more alteration with the fur if there are different colors manufacturers wish to achieve. Fur tanning and dressing lead to toxic pollution and have harmful effects on humans themselves. Some chemicals have even been linked to leukemia and cancer. More specifically, laboratories were found overseas connected to Canada Goose that used these unethical practices.
In March of 2016, the European Committee ordered the withdrawal of these fur coats from children sections. While this is a step in the right direction, it was certainly not enough. With protests and clamoring refusing to die down, Canada Goose responded to the public and made a sustainable and ethical choice. By 2022, they have pledged to remove the use of fur and to stop buying it for the firm by the end of this year. Instead, they will be using fur bought back from consumers. By using fur already in circulation, they will be decreasing the harmful effects. By recycling and reusing the furs, they are not putting new furs into circulation and still maintaining their signature look and comfort that is so popular with consumers.
With Canada Goose’s new pledge, it will save hundreds of thousands of coyotes from being caught, maimed, and killed for their pelts. With brands like Nordstrom and Burberry also taking a step back and making adjustments to their unsustainable methods, Canada Goose’s pledge is one that leads us one step closer to a global move to sustainability in the fashion industry.
Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands ( BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Clossets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.
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