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 with Rob Miskosky

Capitulation... or Sound Marketing?

Trappers have long considered parka manufacturer Canada Goose to be an outstanding company that knows the true value of natural products, namely goose and duck down and coyote fur. Trappers have also been enamored with Canada Goose because of their refusal to capitulate to the animal-rights movement, namely PETA and Animal Justice Canada who continuously challenge Canada Goose through various means, including court cases and protests.

PETA protesting Canada Goose in downtown Edmonton.

And at a time when many fashion designers are announcing their departure from real fur to faux fur, and the announcement of fur sales being banned in jurisdictions such as California, trappers and their Associations threw whatever support they could to help promote the Canada Goose brand. Yes, Canada Goose put big dollars into the pockets of trappers by being the largest buyer of coyote fur in the world, so of course there would be considerable support coming from trappers and the fur industry. Canada Goose’s commitment to the use of coyote fur in spite of constant animal-rights attacks made trappers feel proud that a company would defend their profession as Canada Goose did. But has Canada Goose finally capitulated?

After announcing that in 2022 they would no longer be buying coyote fur, trappers felt dismayed that they had lost the one company they could count on to help support the fur industry. For five decades, Canada Goose has used coyote fur from Canada and the U.S. to ensure their parkas are the warmest in the world.

Now, according to Canada Goose, “In 2020, Canada Goose will launch a bold new initiative that will introduce reclaimed fur into our supply chain. We plan to begin making parkas using reclaimed fur and end the purchasing of new fur in 2022. Customers should begin to see reclaimed fur in some of our products as early as fall of that same year.

“We remain committed to the functionality and sustainability of real fur, however we are challenging ourselves to do it better, reusing what already exists. In the North, sustainability is a way of life and people there have been working with reclaimed fur for centuries. This initiative draws inspiration from that resourcefulness. We are proud to announce this commitment because we believe we must operate sustainably. It’s the right decision for our business, our customers and most importantly, our future.”

Sounds like capitulation to me, especially when the announcement was made on April 22, Earth Day no less.

However, in an interview with, Canada Goose Vice-President Gavin Thompson was asked, “We know that Canada Goose has been subjected to intense pressure campaigns by animal activists. Some people wonder whether activist pressure is what’s really driving this shift to reclaimed fur. Is it?”

Thompson’s response, “Absolutely not. If we were responding to activist groups, we would stop using fur completely. Down too, for that matter. We’re not doing that. Our commitment to using high quality, natural materials is what Canada Goose is all about. The motivation here is to further enhance sustainability. The fact that fur is long-lasting and can be restyled is an important aspect of its sustainability.”

But none of this feel-good stuff feels very good to trappers who will lose a large part of the coyote market with this decision. With coyotes fetching top dollar at auction over the past several years, it is now expected that the price for this beautiful long-haired fur will drop dramatically.

Is it sound marketing by Canada Goose, or is it simply capitulation to animal-rights activists? You be the judge.

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