Canada Goose has announced it will stop using virgin fur from 2022 as part of a raft of sustainbility pledges.
The Canadian fashion giant, which has long come under fire because of the inhumane methods used to trap coyotes for their fur, says it will use the fur that already exists in its supply chain and the marketplace, and will start buying back the fur ruffs from customers’ coats.
According to a company statement, it will still use down, saying it plans to be 100 percent Responsible Down Standard (RDS)-certified by 2021, meaning the down will not have been plucked from live birds.
While this may appeal to some consumers, animal advocates have criticized RDS in the past, with PETA saying: “RDS is advertised to assure consumers that down and feathers from live-plucked birds do not end up in products.
“But when investigators spoke with suppliers for these so-called ‘responsible’ and ‘non live-pluck’ companies, they admitted to buying and selling live-plucked down, and one buyer even bragged about misleading customers.”
‘We need to do more’
“We have always believed in building a business that is good for our team, for the communities we’re a part of and for the planet, for generations to come,” Dani Reiss, president & CEO of Canada Goose, said in a statement.
“No matter how much we’ve done over the last 60 years, we need to do more – the world can’t wait.
“Our aggressive commitments outlined in our first Sustainability Report are the steps we’re taking to transform the way we do business and ensure we are doing everything we can to create the future we want to see.”
He has denied in interviews that the company will stop using fur as a response to external pressure from animal welfare organizations and advocates.
‘A tired love affair with the fur trade’
Some campaigners have welcomed the move, but say they hope the company will go further and switch to faux furs, with Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, saying: “We welcome Canada Goose’s announcement because it means that untold thousands of coyotes will be spared from being maimed and killed in cruel metal leg-hold traps, though the decision to shift to reclaimed fur feels like a rather painful ‘long-goodbye’ in this company’s tired love affair with the fur trade.
“A cleaner and clearer commitment to sustainability will hopefully see Canada Goose in the near future investing in the development of bio-fake-furs, and closed-loop recycling of synthetic fur materials.
“Nonetheless, this decision to stop killing animals for fashion is yet another nail in the coffin of the fur trade, a cruel and outdated industry still down from the punches of so many top designers and retailers adopting fur-free policies.”
*This article was updated on April 22 to include more information about RDS.