Canada Goose recently released its 2020 Sustainability Report, the second one issued by the Canadian outdoor apparel specialist. The report explains what new achievements it has reached in a year as critical as 2020.
For instance, as down is a key material for its collections, in 2019 it already started a transition from its proprietary Down Transparency Standard (DTS) to the globally recognized Responsible Down Standard (RDS) that respects the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, prohibits live-plucking or force-feeding in the supply chain and stipulates that all down is a byproduct of the poultry industry. Although the global pandemic slowed Canada Goose's targets temporarily, it remains on track to become an RDS certified brand by the end of 2021.
Referring to fur, in 2020, the company publicly announced its decision to shift to reclaimed coyote fur from 2022. "Reclaimed" materials, different from “recycled” ones, are not broken down through processes such as melting or shredding, but are returned to a condition where they can be reused for their original intended purpose–in this case, fur trims on Canada Goose jackets.
Gavin Thompson, vice president of corporate citizenship, explained what new commitments the company aims to focus on.
What are Canada Goose's next sustainability goals?
In our 2020 Sustainability Report we’ve upped our commitments and have introduced two new ones, while staying true to meeting our objectives.
A first goal we aim to reach is transitioning 90% of our materials to Preferred Fibers and Materials (PFMs) by 2025. PFMs, such as recycled and organic fiber, are defined as sustainable alternatives to conventional materials. This commitment ensures we will aggressively incorporate more environmentally responsible materials in our outerwear, apparel and accessories.
A second commitment is developing sustainable solutions for 100% of our packaging by 2025 such as, for instance, recycled content and recyclability in packaging used across its manufacturing, direct-to-consumer and marketing operations.
Yes, we are following a strategic roadmap and aggressive timelines to ensure that we deliver on all our sustainability goals and commitments.
Speaking about our collection and materials, we make high quality products that last for decades, manufacture our core styles in Canada and have a lifetime warranty. By taking our commitment to sustainability to the chemical and material levels, we are creating a smaller footprint for our brand. Our Preferred Fibers and Materials (PFMs) commitment is the product-focused foundation for us building upon the sustainable philosophy we were founded on. We are confident that we will achieve our new goal of 90% of our materials being PFMs by 2025.
Could you share some examples of PFM materials?
PFMs are sustainable lower impact alternatives to conventional materials. In 2019, we made a commitment to source more PFMs, like recycled nylon or organic cotton, in order to reduce our use of virgin or conventional materials and incorporate more environmentally and socially responsible materials across our supply chain. In 2020, we improved the process for vetting and sourcing PFMs and third-party certifications. In partnership with global organizations, like the Textile Exchange, we evaluated every single material we use to find the lower impact and more sustainable versions.
How did you apply such enhancements to your key styles?
The Standard Expedition Parka that we unveiled in January 2021 laid the foundation for PFMs in practice. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) determined that that parka generates 30% less carbon and utilizes 65% less water than our in-line Expedition Parka. In fact, it is made from recycled and undyed fabrics, lining and interlining, 100% sourced down and reclaimed fur. The LCA is a very tangible and quantifiable conversation for consumers.
Similarly, for our recently launched Crofton and Cypress lightweight down jackets and vests, we took the same recycled nylon fabric that we created for the Standard Expedition Parka–Recycled Feather-Light Ripstop–and built a whole new collection of highly versatile product. We will offer more products with PFMs in the coming seasons, as we near our 2025 goal.
What progress do you aim to reach with packaging?
To integrate sustainable solutions into 100% of our packaging by 2025, we have developed multiple programs. We formed a Sustainable Packaging Working Group to bring expertise from across the business and move all packaging to sustainable solutions. In addition to recycled content and recyclability, our commitment includes the elimination of single-use plastics.
We have also created Sustainability Councils across our global operations in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe that work with both our offices and stores. These employees have helped us introduce recycling systems, eliminate single-use plastics and created initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle at our stores. For example, our Boston store team repurposed all poly bags to ship back turning historically single-use packaging into multi-use.
In terms of packaging, we are aligned with the wider industry looking closely at what is going into all packaging and evaluating the impact of each and every material. We are concentrating on recyclability, reusability and reduction of impact.
As the circular economy is growing, we also intend to focus more on extending the life of our products beyond post-consumer and warranty. Throughout 2020, we partnered with textile recyclers globally to conduct trials for various upcycling, donation and recycling of material solutions for our warranty waste.
Are you also focused on energy-saving strategy across your HQ locations and manufacturing facilities?
Throughout our business, we’re making progress in reducing energy use by conducting audits to highlight saving opportunities. Regional Sustainability Council members have implemented energy conservation efforts for stores and offices, and at a global scale we have clear goals mapped out. We have committed to adopting renewable energy commitments by the end of 2022, will invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy purchases and/or installation by 2023 and invest in renewable energy credits as needed until 2025.