This week, fashion brand Canada Goose made a pledge as part of a larger sustainability initiative to stop using “virgin” coyote fur by 2022. The pledge means that the company—which uses coyote fur as a trim on its popular winter coats—will no longer purchase new fur and only use existing fur in its supply chain and marketplace and implement a buyback program to reclaim the fur from customer’s coats. “We have always believed in building a business that is good for our team, for the communities we’re a part of and for the planet, for generations to come,” Canada Good President and CEO Dani Reiss said. “No matter how much we’ve done over the last 60 years, we need to do more—the world can’t wait.” 

Over the years, a number of campaigners have targeted Canada Goose for its cruel practices of sourcing fur, which involves trapping coyotes, leaving them to struggle in steel traps. Humane Society International (HSI) is among the many animal-rights groups that are fighting to end the fur trade worldwide. “We welcome Canada Goose’s announcement because it means that untold thousands of coyotes will be spared from being maimed and killed in cruel metal leg-hold traps, though the decision to shift to reclaimed fur feels like a rather painful ‘long-goodbye’ in this company’s tired love affair with the fur trade,” Claire Bass, Executive Director of HSI’s United Kingdom branch, said. “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. Nonetheless, this decision to stop killing animals for fashion is yet another nail in the coffin of the fur trade, a cruel and outdated industry still down from the punches of so many top designers and retailers adopting fur-free policies.” 

Canada Goose will continue to use down feathers from geese in its coats and Reiss said that the company’s decision to stop using virgin coyote fur was not influenced by animal-rights protests. According to Tracy Reiman, President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Canada Goose’s pledge might be a ploy to circumvent California’s AB 44, a bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in October that will prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur statewide. “Today’s announcement—which may conveniently allow Canada Goose to keep selling its fur trimmed coats in California when the state’s fur ban comes into effect in 2023—will not diffuse international condemnation of the company’s extreme cruelty and does nothing to help the ducks and geese whose throats are still being slit for their feathers to be used in its down parkas,” Reiman said.