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Canadian outdoor apparel specialist Canada Goose is to introduce reclaimed fur into its supply chain in 2022 in a move aimed at ending the purchase of new fur.

Announced in the company’s inaugural sustainability report, the “bold new initiative” also includes the launch of a consumer buy-back programme for fur in the months ahead.

This initiative is being launched this year, with plans to begin making parkas using reclaimed fur and end the purchasing of new fur, in two years’ time. Customers can expect to begin seeing reclaimed fur in some of its products by autumn 2022.

“We remain committed to the functionality and sustainability of real fur, however, we are challenging ourselves to do it better, reusing what already exists,” the company explains in its report. “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.”

Canada Goose has come under fire from animal rights groups for the use of real fur in its products for some time. PETA has been petitioning the company to stop using fur for over a decade and in 2017 bought stock in the company, allowing it the right to attend and speak at annual meetings, and to submit shareholder resolutions.

PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman says today’s announcement is Canada Goose attempting to “humane wash” its image by “switching from fur taken from coyotes whom trappers have recently caught in steel traps to fur that may already be on the market, which is also a product of the cruel actions of trappers. Real fur is always cruelly obtained—no matter when it was stolen from coyotes.”

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According to Canada Goose, natural fur provides “functionality in extreme environments and is an integral feature of authentic Arctic outerwear”.

Humane Society International/UK, meanwhile, has welcomed the move by Canada Goose as “yet another nail in the coffin of 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,” says Claire Bass, executive director.

Down with sustainability

Canada Goose has also faced criticism for the use of down in its jackets, and in 2019, in partnership with Textile Exchange, joined the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The company says it has completed third-party compliance audits at 100% of its manufacturing facilities and commits to being 100% RDS-certified by 2021. It did not detail in the report what percentage it has achieved to date.

Other commitments outlined in its sustainability report include a target of achieving scope one and two carbon neutrality by 2025 though “aggressive and tangible action plans”, which aim to reduce emissions by more than 80% from current levels.

Other policies include a commitment to increase the percentage of Canada Goose fabrics that are Bluesign approved for responsible and sustainable practices, by 90% by 2025. The company is also hoping to eliminate single-use plastics across its owned or controlled facilities by the end of this year.