Bill Nye wants you to know that manufacturing anything—clothing, included—affects everyone in the world.
“The hardest thing for people to understand or really embrace or accept is that everything each and every one of us does affects everybody else on Earth,” he said at a press briefing ahead of the publication of Canada Goose’s latest sustainability report Thursday. “It’s a surprising thing, but the reason is we all share the [same] air. There’s nobody who’s alive who isn’t breathing.”
The Science Guy himself is a Canada Goose fan, owning not one but five of the luxury outerwear brand’s jackets, whose fur-trimmed hoods and down-filled shells promise Arctic-grade protection from winter’s worst. Nye, Canada Goose announced, will take on an advisory role at the brand as it continues to “keep the planet cold and people warm” through its Humanature—pronounced “human nature”—platform.
“Humanature is embedded across every aspect of our operations, including our [corporate social responsibility] initiatives, our product and design our culture, our work within and for our communities and our celebration of arts and entertainment,” said Gavin Thompson, the label’s vice president of corporate citizenship. “It aligns with our heritage as a Canadian company and the ideals we champion from the very beginning, which includes social and cultural initiatives.”
This year’s sustainability report, Thompson said, builds on the commitments Canada Goose made in 2019—including eliminating single-use plastics in all owned and operated facilities, ending the purchase of new fur and adopting reclaimed fur in its stead—and “takes [them] further.”
By 2025, for instance, the brand promises to transition 90 percent of its materials to “preferred” versions that are recycled, organic or defined as sustainable alternatives to conventional fibers in line with the nonprofit Textile Exchange’s guidelines.
“This means we’ll be converting recycled nylon and polyester as certified by the Global Recycling Standard, our cotton is being converted to organic cotton as certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard and our down is verified by the Responsible Down Standard,” said design director Niamh McManus. “This commitment ensures that we will aggressively incorporate more environmentally responsible materials into our outerwear apparel and accessories…that are backed up globally recognized standards that mandate full supply-chain transparency.”
Canada Goose is also pledging to use “sustainable solutions,” such as recycled or recyclable content, for 100 percent of its packaging across its manufacturing, direct-to-consumer and marketing operations by 2025.
“We went into literally every single corner of our business, so we’re not just focusing on consumer-facing packaging,” Thompson said. This target follows a 2019 commitment to eliminate single-use plastics at all owned or controlled facilities. “We’re going plastic free,” he added.
The report also celebrates recent wins, such as achieving carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, becoming an official Bluesign system partner and establishing a Reclaimed Fur Standard that confirms the origin and provenance of the material. Nearly half of its fabrics are now Bluesigned approved. (The brand plans to hit 90 percent by 2025.)
In January, Canada Goose debuted the Standard Expedition Parka, which it billed as its most sustainable parka to date. Compared with the in-line Expedition Parka, the Standard generates 30 percent less carbon and requires 65 percent less water during the production process. The label also offsets all the carbon emissions generated throughout the life of the parka.
“Really, this is the ultimate expression of our Humanature platform,” McManus said of the Standard, which features 100 percent recycled ripstop nylon in its outer shell, 100 percent recycled polyester in its linings and interlinings, and 100 percent responsibly sourced down. The greige color, McManus pointed out, is the undyed state of the material. “It’s both beautiful as well as resulting from limited chemical use,” she added.
The parka was named the Standard because it “sets the standard” for the future of outerwear at Canada Goose, McManus said. This year, the company will use the same life-cycle assessment methodology to audit a number of its core products, which will also benefit from the learnings gleaned from the Standard’s development.
Soon, other signature Canada Goose styles will be getting the same makeover treatment. Up next: The Lorette and Lanford Parkas.
“We’ve looked at our product offer and determined where we can make the biggest total impact most quickly,” McManus said. “So we’re starting this transition with our most foundational styles and most proven fabrics. This will catapult Canada Goose toward our new commitments and make a significant impact.”
And the clock is ticking.
“Not only is the world getting warmer, [but] the world is getting warmer fast,” Nye said. “It’s not magic, it’s…” He paused with a questioning look. “Science!” his audience answered.
“Yes!” Nye replied, laughing.