A protest is scheduled for Sunday against winter clothing manufacturer Canada Goose at the Prudential Center Mall. The demonstration, organized by animal rights activist Laura Ray, is protesting the capture and killing of wild animals by Canada Goose to produce their clothing.
“At Sunday’s event, we seek to educate, be heard for animals,” said Edward Tyler, an animal rights activist who is attending the event. “We want to tell people they are wearing fur of either a coyote that died after it was caught in a leg hold trap, likely for days without food or water, and that many offspring die because their mothers do not return due to dying in said leg trap.”
Canada Goose was founded in 1957 and has risen to prominence as one of the most popular producers of winter wear. The company raked in nearly C$300 in 2015, before they went public. The brand is very popular among high school and college-aged students and is a fixture on Boston College’s campus. Parkas are the most popular Canada Goose product at BC, ranging in price from $750 to $1,550, depending on the model.
“I like how Canada Goose has real functionality and how it originated as a jacket used for severe colds in arctic trips,” said Cameron Wilson, CSON ’22.
The success that the company has experienced in Canada and abroad has not been enough to save it from public outrage over the materials it uses. The protest in Boston on Sunday is just one of many demonstrations against the company that have taken place in recent years.
In 2017, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) bought 230 shares in Canada Goose with the hopes of putting internal pressure on the company to change their ways. PETA aspired to bring a shareholder resolution to the negotiating table that was aimed at eliminating the trapping of coyotes.
“Canada Goose is creating an industry that is violent and profiting from animal cruelty in the worst possible way, torturing animals for their fur and feathers,” said Susan Sullivan Acosta, another animal rights activist who is protesting on Sunday.
“There is no humane way to kill for fur or feathers. There is no excuse to take what belongs to animal for status or a vanity jacket, off the backs of tortured, bludgeoned animals when there are so many cruelty-free, warm, great-looking jackets.”
Despite Canada Goose’s popularity on BC’s campus, some students do not support the brand.
“Coyotes are friends not clothing,” said Cam Usman, MCAS ’22. “I know they don’t treat animals very well.”
In response to outrage over its use of coyote fur in the lining of its jacket hoods, Canada Goose now offers fur-free alternative parkas. Animal rights activists are calling for the elimination of all animal products in Canada Goose products, including geese feathers which are used in down jackets.
“The geese are kept in small confines, never touching the ground, and eating food not natural to geese,” Tyler said. “The geese mate for life and are routinely plucked while alive and killed as well. All of these things happen to voiceless animals who have no say. It is our job as humans to be better stewards for this planet and to hear their cries for help.”
Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor