A group of Islanders joined a national protest over the weekend calling on Canada Goose to stop using animal products in its clothing.
About a dozen individuals held signs with slogans such as “your fur had a face” and “no excuse for animal abuse” during a protest on University Avenue in Charlottetown on Saturday.
Organizer Hilary Wood said the group was one of about 16 across Canada holding protests for national Anti-Fur Day, with all of the events targeting clothing company Canada Goose.
“It’s to raise awareness about the fur industry; it’s a dying industry and retailers like Canada Goose are trying to pretend it’s not,” said Wood. “A lot of people, I think, who buy Canada Goose jackets don’t understand the fur on the hood is actually real coyote fur. Coyotes are canines, so a lot of people compare it to wearing dog fur on your head.”
The group was protesting outside of Island Activewear on University Avenue because the store sells Canada Goose jackets.
Canada Goose has previously been criticized by groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) because they use coyote fur to line their jacket hoods as well as goose down for insulation.
The company addresses animal rights criticism in a section of its website called “A Word About Fur And Down.”
The company states it does not condone any wilful mistreatment or neglect of animals and that is has implemented traceability programs to ensure ethical sourcing of materials in its products.
“We understand and respect that some people think animal products should never be used in any consumer products, however we do not share that view,” states the company. “We are committed to providing full transparency about how we make our products, including the ethical sourcing and responsible use of animal products.”
The company also says down is the world’s best natural insulator and that fur trim around the jacket hood helps protect the face from frostbite.
Those protesting Saturday disagreed with those statements.
“They like to say it is (fair or ethical), but it’s not. There’s no ethical way to trap animals and use them for their fur,” said Wood, who said the group saw a lot of support throughout the day by individuals honking, waving or giving a thumbs up as they drove by.
Participant Jennifer O’Brien said she was not surprised to see the support on P.E.I. since she feels wearing fur is already a contentious issue.
“Even if somebody is an omnivore and eats meat, I think it’s generally accepted fur isn’t the best thing (to wear),” said O’Brien. “It’s more of a class symbol than it is for warmth at this point because there are so many alternatives that don’t have animal products at all and don’t use down or coyote fur.”