The warm-coat company Canada Goose proposes to end the purchase of all fur by the end of 2021. Canada Goose says that it will cease using coyote fur, which it has always correctly claimed to be a sustainable and humanely managed resource, no later than the end of 2022. It will instead reconfigure its production lines to accommodate nonbiodegradable recycled plastic in order to appease the prejudices of Canada Goose's core customer base, vegans and animal rights activists. Here Eugene Lapointe examines the hypocrisy.
Posh townies live in inner cities and suburban gated communities, in which they fantasize about the plight of the wild world outside. To compensate, they make it known that they are prepared to pay a premium to protect the world’s wildernesses and natural resources. Hence when they shop in airconditioned, concrete shopping malls, nearly every product is marketed for their benefit as being ‘sustainable’ and ‘natural’.
The problem is, woke townies have competing prejudices. On the one hand they want to wrap themselves in natural products without harming animals or exploiting the environment. On the other, they want to cleanse themselves of the townie-badge by posing as rugged country folk who are ‘merely’ visiting an urban landscape.
That is why they wear tough-looking Timberland boots, ‘inspired by nature’s most extreme elements’, in tame city settings. This cognitive dissonance explains how woke city folk justify buying four-wheel drive vehicles, known as Chelsea Tractors, to do the school run and visit the beauty salon. A recent report found that 75 percent of SUVS were bought by people living in urban environments (See Stereotype of ‘Chelsea tractor’ reflects reality of urban SUV sales, says report).
One luxury brand that’s particularly skilled at massaging conflicting aspirations is Canada Goose. This, you may know, is the company that boasts of its links to the Inuit, commercial harvesters of seals and makers of fur coats, which says it’s committed to ‘keeping the planet cold and the people on it warm’. Canada Goose made its name by touting the qualities of its natural, sustainable products, especially the outer fury bits and the goose-feather padding. The problem is that its customers increasingly promote vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, which are rooted in animal rights causes.
Yet these same affluent Canada Goose-loving hipsters still want to wrap themselves in natural-looking clothes. Enter recycled nonbiodegradable, energy-intensive, dyed, synthetic petroleum-based fibre. Faux fur is produced in a process involving sulfuric acid, formaldehyde and caustic soda, softened by limonene, pentene, terpineol and chloroform. Its ‘virtue’, of course, is that, unlike plastic straws and cups, it looks nothing like plastic. This convenient illusion allows vegan campaigners to claim to be animal lovers, while voicing their disingenuous opposition to synthetic organic polymers, on the basis that they cause ‘unsustainable, toxic pollution’.
The `shocking` truth that Canada Goose is unlikely to tell its customers (who are, anyway, willing accomplices in this sham fashion scam) is that by buying its products they will be fueling the carbon-based economy. Canada Goose is also unlikely to trumpet the fact that plastic fur makes the wearer smell awful because it traps perspiration and heat. A positive truth that Canada Goose certainly won’t tell its customers in future, even though it told them in the past, is that most authentic animal fur, which is biodegradable, comes from humanely run, properly regulated, sustainable animal farms.
But if you’re selling warm coats to woke city folk, seemingly nothing boosts business better than deviously promising to make the world a colder place to live in while you market ‘authentic Arctic outerwear’ made from plastic.