How Canada Goose’s new parka aims to set the standard for sustainable outerwear to come
The iconic Canadian brand combines heritage with new technology.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
January 27, 2021
Last year, the brand unveiled its Sustainable Impact Strategy and introduced HUMANATURE. The latter is described by Gavin Thompson, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, as their purpose platform that unites all sustainability and values-based initiatives. Or, basically, more than a platform.
— It’s our brand philosophy that is embedded in all of our decision-making. We know that as citizens of a global community we can always do more. It’s that idea that gave us the inspiration to call our purpose commitment HUMANATURE — as we are part of nature and nature is part of us. The platform unites the brand behind a singular purpose — to keep the planet cold and the people on it warm. We keep people warm by honouring and invigorating communities, prioritizing philanthropic endeavors, and building culture through the arts. The Resource Center Program is one example, where leftover materials from our production lines are donated to Inuit communities to craft their own clothing. We recently expanded to also include the donation of repurposed parkas to deliver warmth to Northern communities. Project Atigi is a social entrepreneurship project for Inuit designers who have created capsule collections using their traditional skills and our modern materials, he says, continuing,
— The Sustainable Impact Strategy’s building on these core values and outlining our vision for the future. This purpose is embedded across every aspect of our company’s operations; from sustainably designed products with lifetime warranty, to our membership of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, to our longstanding partnership with Polar Bears International. It’s the only global organization dedicated solely to conserving wild polar bears and their habitat, for whom we have raised $3.5 million Canadian dollars to support research.
Thompson describes how Canada Goose’s products are designed to be function first, ahead of everything else.
— We’re not interested in putting our logo on something just because it might sell. Our jackets are relied on by the people who live and work in the coldest places on earth, so everything we make has to work, and has to be the best, he states.
The latest launch, Standard Expedition Parka, is based on their heritage style, the Expedition Parka, an extreme weather parka created for exactly that reason; to keep people warm in extremely cold environments. And, it will help set the standard for the brand’s future of sustainable outerwear, Thompson states.
— Innovation is at the core of everything we do, be it through introducing new materials, fabrics, processes, while still staying true to our function-first model. In terms of sustainable innovation, it’s made from recycled and undyed fabrics, lining, and interlining, 100% responsibly sourced down, and reclaimed fur. The griege colourway is a result of limited chemical use with the undyed fabrics. These fabric and materials updates positively impacted the Standard’s carbon footprint, generating 30% less carbon and utilizing 65% less water, compared to the existing Expedition Parka. This new coat embodies our strategy and commitment to sustainability.
Tell us more about your Sustainable Impact Strategy and how it’ll contribute to your sustainability work onwards.
— One of our main goals for the future is to achieve carbon neutrality. Like most businesses, we see carbon emissions derived from our use of energy and from waste. We already rely on carbon-free, renewable energy for approximately 85% of the electricity we use, which is a benefit derived from our manufacturing being based in Canada — the domestic power grid consists of mostly hydro and nuclear power. We plan to achieve or exceed our target of net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by implementing detailed action plans which include comprehensive recommendations on everything from adopting more recycled materials, to reducing waste. As part of our Sustainable Impact Strategy, we are also committed to increasing our use of renewable energy through a variety of ways, including purchasing renewable energy credits, as well as exploring new and emerging energy technologies.
— In 2019 we became a System Partner with bluesign technologies, an independent textile auditing group based in Switzerland. It uses a system of factory audits and certification to monitor the complex journey of materials at every step of the supply chain — from chemical formulation to the finished product. As well, within the report, we have announced our commitment to the global Responsible Down Standard (RDS), we are committed to being 100% RDS-certified by the end of this year. From 2022, we plan to use only reclaimed fur in our supply chain. This means that we will manufacture parkas using reclaimed fur and end the purchase of new fur. With this recent launch of the Standard Expedition Parka we have already introduced this new product innovation using reclaimed fur only, says Thompson.