That Surging IPO Just Made Canada Goose an Even Bigger Protest Target

“Your fur trim right here, you paid someone to murder a dog,” a protester with a whistle yelled at a woman in a Canada Goose parka. Others chased people down the block, signs in hand, chastising the coat wearer animal cruelty. “Shame on you!” another protestor screamed at a woman shuffling by in Canada Goose apparel. Every few minutes, another pedestrian in a $900 Canada Goose product walk past and the pack would pounce as six police officers stood watch across the street. Some of the activists took to howling. scene was organized by groups that included People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and it had the usual hallmarks.For Canada Goose Holdings Inc., the morning was a success, raising $256 million in a trading debut that gave the company a richer valuation than that of any luxury retailer. A protest of the company use of fur didn factor into the IPO. Yet Canada Goose has now become a juicier for animal rights activists that could matter to the newly public company. The model behind the pricey coats might be relatively impervious to protest signs. But no company ugly scenes in front of its stores, and the potential alienation of celebrities who build up the brand poses a particular to Canada Goose.These dangers Toronto based Canada Goose to list protests a potential risk in its prospectus to potential investors. “We have been the target of activists in the past, and may continue to be in the future,” the filing said. “Protestors can disrupt sales at our stores, or use social media or other campaigns to sway public opinion against our products. If any such activists are successful at either of these our sales and results of operations may be adversely affected.”The damage hasn come yet. “We have not experienced any decline in sales with regards to any of the activity,” Canada Goose Chief Executive Dani Reiss said in an interview on Thursday. He also insisted that his company sources its materials ethically and sustainably. Still, she doesn expect Canada Goose to cave. The label already allows shoppers to decide whether or not to purchase coyote fur fringed hood on a coat, and there almost no chance of dropping the goose feather insulation that has become a prominent part of its branding.The biggest risk, Crenshaw says, is that may shy away for fear of a Canada Goose a strong celebrity following as it grew in popularity, counting such names as rapper Drake and actor Hugh Jackman as fans. The strength that helped turn Goose into a fashion staple can now become a major vulnerability. Already, a cluster of celebrities, including Long and Maggie Q, have spoken out against the coat label.Ashley Byrne, associate director of campaigns for PETA, said the group turned out for the IPO to expose investors and customers to the company business practices. He held three pieces of Canada Goose coyote fur trim, unzipped from the coats, that had been donated by their wearers that morning. “We really can allow this company to flourish,” he said.

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The Canada Goose Story

I’m so confused. Well, I’m often confused by animal cruelty, mistreatment, and assaults on endangered species. But, at the moment, I’m just confused mystified, really at certain concepts involved in animal exploitation.

What is “willful mistreatment” of animals? What is “undue pain, injury, or suffering towards animals?”

I ask because Canada Goose, the maker of self described “luxury apparel” and extreme weather outerwear, has responded to the public backlash against its use of down feathers and coyote fur in its products. The company issued a statement, declaring: “We do not condone any willful mistreatment, neglect, or acts that maliciously cause undue pain, injury, or suffering towards animals, and we are committed to providing full transparency about how we make our products.”

So, I’m confused. Is torturing a coyote for her fur to line a jacket’s hood not willful? Is it accidental? And, even if we suspended disbelief and agreed it was not willful, but that it happens nonetheless shouldn’t it still stop? Does the coyote care about the intention behind the action that leads to suffering and pain?

When pain is caused, what makes it “undue?” Is there a wild coyote who is due to suffer pain and injury for a jacket? From the coyote’s perspective, isn’t all of the pain undue and unnecessary?

Let’s focus on the fur. Canada Goose declares that it only uses “ethically sourced down and fur.” I assume that means coyotes who have died of natural causes because to trap, shoot, slaughter, and skin a coyote to line a coat is not remotely ethical.

The company proudly boasts that it is committed to a traceability program that ensures no fur comes from horrid fur farms: only from licensed trappers who abide by the law. Well, Born Free USA’s undercover trapping investigations, Victims of Vanity and Victims of Vanity II, will tell you all you need to know about the ethics of the American trapper, the brutality of the trapline, and the adherence to a strict code of ethics and the law.

We are (remarkably) supposed to be reassured that the fur only comes from regions in North America where coyote populations are highly abundant (you know, where they are “considered a pest as they attack livestock. and sometimes even people!”). Again, I’m hopelessly confused, because there were once 100,000 wild tigers, 78,500 African lions, and 1.2 million African elephants. The list is long of species that were once bountiful, were commercially exploited, and now cling perilously to their very existence. We have embarrassingly short memories, don’t we?

Fear not, animal friends! Canada Goose finally, casually, tells us that it knows that “wearing fur is a personal choice and we respect that.” We are not fooled. This is not about personal choice, humane trapping standards, or scientifically sound wildlife management. This is about greed and animal abuse. It’s about unnecessarily causing wild animal suffering. Not undue suffering; inexplicable, indefensible suffering to make a jacket into a luxury item and jack up the price.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is intently campaigning against Canada Goose and the horrible wild animal exploitation the company shamelessly justifies.

You should take a stand, too. We know that public pressure can bring about corporate change. Tell Canada Goose that, if it really wants to be an ethical company, it should start by cutting out the use of fur.

If we were talking about the mistreatment of a young child and someone said not to worry that her mistreatment wasn’t willful most of us would erupt with outrage. Mistreatment is mistreatment. If we said someone caused her pain but not to worry it wasn’t undue pain most of us would erupt with outrage. It’s either mistreatment or it’s not. It’s either painful or it’s not.

the company’s smartest business move was expanding beyond Canada

Walk around the cities of the northeastern US on a frosty day and you see a common sight: People cocooned in big, down Canada Goose parkas, often with the company distinctive coyote fur trimmed hoods.

Canada Goose may still be headquartered in Canada, where it manufactures most of its products, but as of last year, the homegrown Canadian label biggest market has been the US. Between 2014 and 2016, it increased its US sales more than 200%, and the company believes it still has plenty of room to grow in the States.

Today (Feb. 15), the company filed for its initial public offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing its sales numbers and ambitions for the years ahead in the process.

Though already an international brand (its products are sold at stores throughout Asia and Europe), Canada Goose has made expansion in the US its focus recently, particularly the affluent Northeast.

The strategy has paid off. The pricey outerwear coat generally ranges from $700 to $1,200 seemingly everywhere in New York in 2015. Despite (or perhaps because of the cachet of) its origins producing outerwear for expeditions in the coldest parts of the world, Canada Goose jackets have become a luxury product sold at fancy stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, in addition to outdoor shops. (It has also stealthily taken over movie wardrobes.) In 2016, the company recorded $103.4 million in sales in the US, topping its $95.2 million in Canada and the combined $92.2 million it earned across the rest of the world.

In its IPO filing, the company notes that a consumer survey conducted on its behalf found brand awareness of around 16% in the US, compared to 76% in Canada, suggesting to the company that there are many Americans who simply don yet know they want a Canada Goose parka. believe there is a large white space opportunity in other regions such as the Mid Atlantic, Midwest and Pacific Northwest, the company wrote.

More broadly, the brand plans to grow in all markets down the road. The major disruptions it anticipates are largely related to the company ability to keep convincing shoppers to buy its high priced, premium jackets potential material sourcing issues.

Problems with its supplies of goose down or coyote fur, for example, could force the company to alter designs, discontinue products, or raise prices. Animal rights activists would certainly be pleased if the company had to abandon the fur trims it uses on many of its jackets. They frequently protest at New York stores selling Canada Goose products.