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Canada Goose Ditches Virgin Fur, Sparking Backlash from PETA

As companies demonstrate their support for protecting the environment, fashion firms this week were busy updating on how they intend to be more sustainable in the years to come.

New to the reporting of sustainability commitments are Canada Goose and Capri Holdings Ltd., each of which on Wednesday disclosed their first-ever plans for improving the environment.

Canada Goose Holdings Inc., which said it has achieved carbon neutrality as of March, is targeting goals that support four key U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The luxury outerwear firm plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent from current levels by 2025, and will eliminate single-use plastics in all owned or controlled facilities.

Last year, the company partnered with Textile Exchange to complete third-party compliance audits at 100 percent of its manufacturing facilities and has committed to being 100 percent Responsible Down Standard-certified by 2021.

More important, the premium apparel firm is planning to introduce reclaimed fur into its supply chain in 2022, eliminate the need to purchase new fur. Canada Goose hinted at plans to buy back fur from consumers, an initiative that’s slated for the months ahead.

Not everyone welcomed the fur reclamation program, despite its nod to circularity.

PETA charged Canada Goose with an effort to “humane wash” its image by updating to a supply chain that sources used, and virgin, fur.

“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 short by trappers–so this move by Canada Goose won’t endear the struggling company to the young people it’s trying to woo,” Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, said.

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While the switch might help the company to sell its fur-trimmed coats in California when the state’s fur ban goes into effect in 2023, it won’t do anything to “help the ducks and geese whose throats are still being slit for their feathers to be used in its down parkas,” the animal rights group added.

Sustainability, Canada Goose said, has been a foundational part of its business model for more than 60 years, and the new 2019 report represents its first step in measuring and publishing its global environmental and social impact.

“No matter how much we’ve done over the last 60 years, we need to do more–the world can’t wait,” said Canada Goose president and CEO Dani Reiss.

Capri, meanwhile, has set a plan to be 100 percent carbon neutral in its direct operations and to source 100 percent of energy for its owned and operated facilities from renewable sources by 2025. The owner of the Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace brands is committing to set emissions reduction targets across its operations and supply chain with the Science Based Targets initiatives by 2021 so it can meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Capri said its goals and objectives support the U.N.’s 17 SDGs.

The luxury holding company is planning for all plastic in packaging to be recyclable and compostable, or reusable, by 2025, while it aims for 100 percent of all point-of-sale packaging materials to be recyclable or sustainably sourced by 2025. It will work with key suppliers to reduce water use and will source at least 95 percent of its leather from certified planners, also by 2025. It’s planning for further diversity and inclusion within the organization, as well as supply chain empowerment programs focused on human rights and fair wages by 2025. Capri said it will follow the U.N. Framework for Corporate Action on Workplace Women’s Health and Empowerment.

Capri recently reached a milestone achievement through its Michael Kors Watch Hunger Stop program, which has delivered over 19 million meals to children in hunger-stricken areas across the globe.

“Early last year, soon after we created our global fashion luxury group, Capri Holdings, we assessed the sustainability efforts each of our brands was already undertaking, along with the core values shared by them…. We recognize that as our company grows, so do our responsibilities, and welcome the opportunity to do more. We believe that sound environmental and social policies are both ethically correct and fiscally responsible. To that end, we are committed to improving the way we work in order to better the world in which we live,” John D. Idol, Capri’s chairman and CEO, said.

Idol just signed the U.N. Global Compact, which means the company is committed to aligning its strategies and operations with universal principles related to sustainability.

Elsewhere in fashion, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. partnered with resale marketplace ThredUp, while Banana Republic teamed up with vintage online platform Thrilling to sell rare, time-tested pieces. Denim firm Kontoor Brands said it has surpassed its 2020 global year-end goal to save 5.5 billion liters and now its Wrangler brand is in the process of setting new water-conservation targets.

On Monday, Nordstrom Inc. shared its 20205 goals, which include phasing out single-use plastic bags from its over 245 Nordstrom Rack stores and a promise to use sustainably sourced raw materials in 50 percent of Nordstrom Made products made of polyester, cotton and cellulosic fibers and extend the life of 250 tons of apparel.