Popular luxury parka brand Canada Goose announced Wednesday that it will no longer sell coats with virgin fur trim. Instead, as part of a new pledge to commit to operating sustainably, the company will use reclaimed fur for their products starting in 2022.
At over $1,000 a pop, the coats with coyote fur-trimmed hoods have long been a hot topic among animal rights activists. For nearly two decades, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has petitioned for Canada Goose to stop using fur. Over the years, volunteers for the organization have protested outside stores, posted flyers, bought billboards and released videos for their anti-Canada Goose campaign across the country.
However, despite the years of backlash and more brands moving away from selling fur products, the brand says this latest decision has nothing to do with the anti-fur campaigns. "We're absolutely not switching for any other reason than we believe switching from new fur to reclaimed fur makes something sustainable more sustainable," Dani Reiss, the group's chief executive told the Financial Times.
"In the North, sustainability is a way of life and people there have been working with reclaimed fur for centuries," the report read. "This initiative draws inspiration from that resourcefulness. We are proud to announce this commitment because we believe we must operate sustainably."
In response to the luxury brand's latest move, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman says "real fur is always cruelly obtained."
"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," Reiman told CBS News. "Real fur is always cruelly obtained—no matter when it was stolen from coyotes who may have attempted to chew off their own leg in order to return to their young and been beaten or shot by trappers."
For the past 50 years, Canada Goose has used wild coyote fur as they claim it is optimal in extreme environments.
Canada Goose denies animal abuse and in their latest report reiterated that they "do not condone any willful mistreatment, neglect, or acts that maliciously cause animals undue suffering." The company says that they only source from trappers "who are regulated by state, provincial and federal standards."
Last October, California became the first U.S. state to prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur products. The bill, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, goes into effect in January 2023, right after Canada Goose plans to introduce their reclaimed fur policy. According to Reiman, the luxury brand's timing is not coincidental.
"Today's announcement—which may conveniently allow Canada Goose to keep selling its fur trimmed coats in California when the state's fur ban comes into effect in 2023—will not diffuse international condemnation of the company's extreme cruelty and does nothing to help the ducks and geese whose throats are still being slit for their feathers to be used in its down parkas," Reiman told CBS News.
As well as pledging to use reclaimed fur and end the purchase of new fur in 2022, Canada Goose detailed plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, and plans to fully adopt the responsible down standard by 2021 to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to unnecessary harm.