Canada Goose plans to phase out fur by 2022 – will the alternative material be sustainable?

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In a public statement released on June 24, luxury outerwear brand Canada Goose announced plans to move away from fur by 2022. In a phased approach, the organization will end the purchase of any fur by the end of this year and will stop all fur manufacturing by the end of 2022.

Dani Reiss, President and CEO of the Canadian company, said, “We continue to grow – across geographies and climates – launching new categories and new products designed with intent, purpose and functionality. At the same time, we are accelerating the sustainable evolution of our designs.

The news is well received by many animal rights groups and activists who have protested for years against the brand’s use of coyote fur and goose down in their famous fur parker jackets.

The pledge to end the use of fur is part of Canada Goose’s fast-track environmental and sustainability commitments, codified in its latest sustainability report, as opposed to a direct response to activist lobbying .

In recent years, the brand has gradually experimented with the introduction of alternative materials that are more respectful of the environment in its product offering. For example, the Standard Expedition Parka claims to generate 30% less carbon emissions and requires 65% less water throughout its life cycle. Likewise, the new lines, including the Cypress and Crofton furless jackets, are made from recycled nylon to reduce reliance on virgin materials.

The company’s broader climate strategy and ESG awareness have led to commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2025. Their efforts so far have been successful following news that carbon neutrality has been achieved. reached in the scope 1 and scope 2 emissions of the company. Elsewhere, Canada Goose’s participation in industry initiatives like bluesign® and its progress towards adherence to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) demonstrates a genuine commitment to improving their manufacturing processes. Many of these actions have been guided by HUMANTURE, the “goal-driven platform that unites its sustainability and value-based initiatives”.

The need to scale authentic sustainability programs is critical given the seismic growth of the company after its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017 and the surge in demand, which was largely stimulated. through direct-to-consumer online sales and the customs of mainland China. With forecasted revenue of over $ 1 billion for fiscal 2022, reengineering the business for the benefit of people, planet and animal welfare is key to delivering environmental value and positive and long-term social.

This significant engagement mimics the movement of many other luxury fashion players such as Gucci, Prada and Stella McCartney who have spoken out against the use of animal fur. These practices were also encouraged by the British Fashion Council, which banned the exhibition of real fur at London Fashion Week in 2018.

The president of animal rights organization PETA, Ingrid Newkirk celebrated the Canada Goose announcement last week, noting: “After years of eye-catching protests, hard-hitting exhibits, celebrity actions and legal battles, the company eventually conceded and will stop using fur – sparing sensitive and intelligent coyotes from being captured and killed in barbaric steel traps. PETA will now re-engage the company in pushing to end its use of feathers, which geese and ducks continue to suffer from. ”

However, as brands continue to scold animal fur, what will Canada Goose use as a viable and truly sustainable alternative? In all segments of the fashion market, from luxury to main street, the use of faux fur substitutes has become a hot topic given their heavy reliance on synthetic textiles, including acrylic, modacrylic and polyester. .

Relying on petroleum-derived plastics for the creation of faux fur clothing is problematic due to environmental degradation caused by the loss of microfibers and chemical processing. The ubiquity of synthetics in the fashion industry is evidenced by the recent RSA report which investigated the material properties of 10,000 items and found that a staggering 49% was made of polyester, acrylic, nylon and elastane.

Confidence in faux fur replacements has been fostered by the introduction of innovations like KOBA® which debuted in September 2019 by Stella McCartney at Paris Fashion Week. The fashion house worked with ECOPEL, an artisanal developer of faux fur and Dupont chemical conglomerate, to construct the textile which is made from corn by-product and blended with recycled polyester. ECOPEL claims that this textured vegan material reduces energy consumption by 30% and greenhouse gas emissions by 63% compared to conventional synthetics. Raw materials for KOBA®, which is now featured in Stella McCartney outerwear, comes from OEKO-TEX® certified suppliers, Kanecaron and Dupont. Stella’s team were motivated to find a credible alternative that offered a higher level of quality than polyester and secondly, appropriate environmental credentials that modacrylic did not offer.

Elsewhere, new feasible and scalable solutions continue to enter the design space. For example, Ukrainian company DevoHome invented hemp-based fur, and Kiev-based label Ksenia Schnaider made denim fur from reused and recycled denim scraps.

Canada Goose has yet to reveal what new materials will be used to replace the fur on their iconic jackets, whether they will be circular or contain synthetics, whether virgin or recycled. Considering the brand’s market penetration in the luxury outerwear sector, suppliers who are able to meet their demands for fur replacement materials through innovation and research and development. textile development have a lot to gain. This is particularly the case if competitors like the Italian Moncler follow suit by distancing themselves from products of animal origin.

For the anti-fur community, positive progress continues to be made as the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched a public consultation in May to assess the feeling of having stricter welfare standards and regulations on animal fur after Brexit. This momentum has also gathered pace amid concerns that millions of mink on farms in Denmark may harbor a mutated form of coronavirus.


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