Mostly Trapping

Macy's is going fur free. How long before Canadian retailers are forced to follow?
Oct 29, 2019 08:16 ET

(Reprinted from above link)

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are going fur free, the latest department stores to do so in a trend that is creating "unstoppable momentum," according to animal protection groups. But despite the growing international pressure, most major apparel retailers here in Canada appear to be sticking with fur for now.

"I don’t think fur is on the way out in Canada," said Craig Patterson, editor of retail industry publication Retail Insider. "We are kind of founded on the fur trade and seal hunt."

So while Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s aim to distance themselves from the stigma of animal trapping, rivals in the high-end department store segment including Hudson’s Bay Co.’s Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom continue to sell fur products.

In fact, recent demand for goose down and particularly coyote fur in winter boots and parka hoods has been a bright spot in the Canadian harvesting industry.

Coyote fur is sought after in part due to the success of the down-filled and fur-trimmed coats made by Toronto’s Canada Goose and its many global imitators, with the top price for a coyote pelt at a Colorado auction in early 2019 hitting $170 (U.S.), a 40 per cent increase from four years ago.

Canada Goose says it uses coyote fur and down products to provide warmth because fur "never freezes, doesn’t hold water, and the uneven hair lengths create a windbreak that protects exposed skin, helping to reduce heat loss from the face." The company also says it adheres to industry and government guidelines for the ethical treatment of animals.

Still, many believe the writing is on the wall.

"Sometimes traditions need to be re-evaluated," said James Yurichuk, a former Canadian professional football player who co-founded Toronto-based animal free outwear company Wuxly Movement — where he said sales are rising by two to three times year over year.