Social Impact Report: Parka makers to phase out real fur

Plus, Hudson's Bay spotlights creators in window displays and KFC commissions a larger-than-life eco-friendly bucket.

You’re reading the Social Impact Report, a series tracking brands’ efforts to drive social and environmental good. The series is part of Strategy C-Suite, a weekly briefing on how Canada’s brand leaders are responding to market challenges and acting on new opportunities. 

Luxury parka makers ditch real fur

Canada Goose

Two of the country’s most recognizable luxury parka brands are going fur-free. Last week, within days of each other, Toronto-based Canada Goose and Montreal-based Moose Knuckles both pledged to end all production with natural fur by the end of 2022.

For Canada Goose, the announcement follows last year’s pledge to introduce reclaimed fur into its supply chain, as part of its broader CSR efforts under the “Humanature” platform. Moose Knuckles’ announcement was accompanied by a range of other 2025 commitments touching on everything from carbon emissions, material use, circularity and biodiversity.

The brands’ move follows a larger trend in the fashion industry that has led companies like Holt Renfrew, Versace, Michaels Kors and Gucci to stop using real fur – a material traditionally used for its effective protection against cold and wet conditions.

While the decisions have been well-received by animal rights activists and organizations like Humane Canada, which called Canada Goose’s commitment a “significant step forward toward building a more humane and sustainable world,” others worry of the impacts the change will have on the economies of Indigenous and northern communities.

Hudson’s Bay elevates creator voices through window takeover

After launching its Charter for Change through the Hudson’s Bay Foundation in May, the country’s oldest retailer is using the window displays at its flagship locations in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to help elevate the voices of eight Canadians.

The windows, which feature the responses of well-known Canadians like Olympian Andre De Grasse and fashion designer George Sully answering the question, “What change would you like to see over the next 10 years to accelerate racial equity in Canada?,” are accompanied by a video called “Generation of Change.” The campaign is part of a fundraising drive for the Foundation that’s appearing in stores and across online properties.

However, Hudson’s Bay came under fire over the weekend after using the image of a Black lawyer and anti-Black racism advocate on marketing materials without obtaining permission from the individual or her photographer. The company has said the image was used “by mistake” and that it will be removed from Hudson’s Bay stores.

The window takeover is part of Hudson’s Bay ongoing efforts to address systemic injustices across the industries in which it operates. It has committed $30 million over 10 years to accelerate racial equity in Canada through its Charter for Change. And last month, it launched the Hudson’s Bay Fashion Fund, through which it will award one designer with a $25,000 grant, alongside a three-year mentorship program.

KFC goes big to promote new eco-friendly commitment

KFC Canada-KFC Canada goes big on compostable packaging with giaBy 2025, KFC Canada has committed to making all its consumer-facing packaging compostable. It’s a large eco-friendly commitment that demanded an equally large marketing message.

So, last week, the QSR unveiled a larger-than-life-size version of the KFC bucket made entirely of compostable materials. The installation, which stands six feet tall by eight feet wide, was designed and built by Toronto-based artist Briony Douglas using flattened KFC compostable buckets, cardboard, newspaper, wood and flour.

The installation took 25 days to complete – a nod to the 2025 commitment.

The company says it will begin piloting its first home compostable bucket later this year, an initiative expected to divert nearly 200 million pieces of packaging from Canadian landfills each year.