When it comes to those who want to protect animal rights, there are now a lot of options out there. Whether you’re choosing food, beauty or fashion, it’s becoming a lot easier for critter-conscious folks to make sound decisions.
One area that may be lacking in that department however, is outerwear – especially for those of us in Canada who go through yearly winters with no warmth in sight. Over the years, we’ve been told that one of the only ways to stay warm is to use fur and feathers. Fur and feathers, mind you, from animals whose natural habitat is in cold climates. But what if it actually didn’t have to be that way?
That’s the question 29-year-old Canadian and CFL linebacker James Yurichuk asked himself two years ago when he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Argos. What he came up with was a line of vegan outerwear that he says could stand up to the most popular winter jacket brand there is: Canada Goose.
So the Brampton, Ont. native set out to do the impossible, and has actually started selling these “knockoffs,” which he has appropriately dubbed Mammoth Outerwear, online. Before launching his official Kickstarter campaign two days ago, Yurichuk had only sold about 30 of these jackets, which retail between $625-$675 depending on the model you choose. That’s still less than the price of an actual Canada Goose jacket, mind you. And it’s free shipping if you live in Canada.
By Thursday, however, the Kickstarter page had already raised more than half of its $50,000 goal, with plenty in the community taking note of the moral benefits of buying such a parka.
According to Yurichuk’s site, it takes two geese and one coyote in order to produce one single traditional premium jacket. And he doesn’t buy the fact that these animals are supposedly being humanely trapped, either. In fact, Animal Justice claims that coyote traps can cause broken bones and other painful injuries while the animals wait in fear. So instead, the activist’s jackets are 100 per cent animal free, relying instead on a water resistant poly-cotton exterior shell and an insulation made from Primaloft, a lightweight synthetic insulation that replaces traditional down.
The result is a sleek, soft and breathable winter jacket that “doesn’t make you look like the Michelin Man” when you wear it, Yurichuk says in a video on the site. “We are on a mission to change how we stay warm in the winter without harming any animals in the process. And it starts with the jacket.”
As though we’d need another feel-good reason to wear such morally sound outerwear, Mammoth also promises to donate $10 for every jacket sold to the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. So basically, we can look good and feel good about it, too? Sign us up.