Winter coat maker Canada Goose has filed for an IPO to begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE under the ticker “GOOS.” Sales of the company’s luxury parkas jumped 33 percent in 2016, putting the stock on the radar of growth investors.However, the company has been the center of controversy in recent years due to its use of actual coyote fur to line the hoods of its jackets.Animal Cruelty ClaimsCanada Goose has been one of the primary targets for animal activists groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which claims the fur trade supports animal cruelty.“Animals trapped for their fur can suffer for days and face blood loss, frostbite, gangrene and attacks by predators,” the PETA website reads. “If they aren’t dead when the trapper returns, they may be shot, strangled, stomped on or bludgeoned to death.”
Canada Goose says the fur is sourced only from local, licensed trappers, and the company doesn’t condone animal cruelty.“Canada Goose remains deeply committed to the responsible use and ethical sourcing of all animal materials,” spokesperson Josh Zeliger says.The coyote fur jackets have been extremely popular among Canada Goose customers. Celebrities such as Amy Schumer and Hugh Jackman have been seen wearing Canadian Goose brand clothing. After animal rights protestors disrupted one of Schumer’s book signings, a representative for Schumer said she no longer wears her jacket.Activists showed up in droves for the recent opening of the new Canada Goose store in New York. In 2015, activists even filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau of Canada to investigate claims made by Canada Goose that its fur is obtained humanely.
PETA has a long history of targeting companies’ bottom lines in an effort to fight for its cause.Last year, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc SEAS 0.43% announced it was ending its orca breeding program after years of pressure from PETA and other organizations. A PETA-led campaign against the angora wool industry resulted in 70 stores dropping the products entirely in 2014.For shoppers that want to support the cause, PETA includes a list of companies that sell only animal-friendly, cruelty-friendly products on its website.