Canada Goose Holdings may be in for a bit of a bumpy ride with animal rights activists as its initial public offering comes into view.
The outerwear company specializes in high-end gear meant to withstand extreme temperatures, with its jackets made in Canada and boasting a 13-step production process. Buzz has been building around the brand’s IPO, in which it’s expected to raise as much as $300 million.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Tuesday it plans to buy about $4,000 worth of the Canada Goose’s stock once it goes public Thursday following a number of protests staged outside the company’s headquarters and stores.
Becoming a shareholder is a tactic that’s been used by PETA since 1987 when it held Procter & Gamble and Armour-Dial stock and brought shareholder resolutions before those boards. PETA also owns stock in Hermès, Lululemon, Prada and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The latter was its most recent share purchase, which was done in January.
“It works because it puts them on the spot and it produces results and options,” said Sara Britt, PETA corporate liaison, of the share-buying strategy. She said presenting shareholder resolutions during annual meetings has “paid off big time” in the past.
“For years, PETA has tried to talk behind the scenes with Canada Goose, which is always our preferred method. [But the company] has continued to sell fur and down from tortured animals,” Britt alleged. She added the organization has pressed the company to use cruelty-free options such as faux fur or plumtech.
Spokespeople for Canada Goose could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
The company, for its part, views the products it sells as being utilitarian and thinks use of real fur and down — which it says is ethically sourced — is necessary for the sake of function.
“We understand and respect that some people think animal products should never be used in any consumer products, but we do not share that view,” the company says on its web site. “We are committed to providing full transparency about how we make our products, including the ethical sourcing and responsible use of animal products.”
The company promised its supply chain for goose down would be traceable by January and said the same would become true for its fur supplies by April of this year.
For More on PETA in WWD:
The Elusive Joaquin Phoenix Suits Up for PETA
PETA Teams With Shoe Designer Rebecca Mink on Vegan Flats