More than 200 protesters staged a peaceful demo outside the newly opened Canada Goose store at the prestige Regent Street for the alleged mistreatment of animals.
The 9 hour protest was organised by Surge, a London based animal rights organisation that allies with PETA. Both groups accuse Canada Goose of unethically sourcing coyote fur and geese feathers, which are used in the production of their infamous jackets.
There were five police vans and over 30 officers surrounding the area. With one road being closed to avoid accidents.
The brand has faced worldwide criticisms for supposedly trapping a specie of dog, a coyote. Reportedly using bear traps which break the bones in their legs, then leading the animal to chew its own leg off to escape, or to be trapped for more than three days until they are bludgeoned and skinned. PETA and Surge says that most of the trapped coyotes are mothers who are out for a hunt, and as a result, their puppies are starved to death or eaten by a predator due to being left unprotected.
Canada Goose uses cayote fur as a trim for their parka jackets. Each jacket is packed with geese feathers, animal rights activists claim that the sourcing of these feathers are ‘exploitative’ and ‘downright cruel’.
19-year-old protester, Melisa Kalkan said: “They pluck them every month because their feathers grow back and they want to keep plucking them more and more.”
The aim of the protest was to deter any customers entering the new flagship store. The activists chanted, ‘Shame, shame, shame on you, Canada Goose’ and ‘There’s blood, blood, blood on your hands’. The protest could be heard from a mile away.
Activists wrote on the pavement surrounding the store as a message to the public. In chalk it read ‘would you wear your dog?’, ‘fur is dead’, ‘your jacket had a face’.
Thousands of shoppers witnessed the protest, some damning the animal rights activists for disrupting the busy London streets. While others were moved and joined the movement.
“We will be here every Saturday until you shut down.”
Frustrated passerby said: “I’m with my kids and there’s graphic pictures of bloody animals everywhere. We’re just trying to have a nice day out in London.”
A lady who was wearing a Canada Goose jacket encountered the protest and removed her hood’s fur trim as a result. She said she ‘stands against animal cruelty’, and was unaware of the ‘upsetting’ production process of her jacket.
The movement stood in solidarity with the recent protests in Toronto and New York against Canada Goose.
Surge representative, Brad Simmons said that the main purpose of the demo is to raise public awareness and ultimately have the flagship store shut down.
He said: “People want to target this disgusting company. We want to make sure Canada Goose are aware that they will not be tolerated in London or anywhere in the UK. And they are most certainly not welcome.”
As a message to the Canadian company, Brad said: “As you can see, you are not welcome here. We will be here every Saturday until you shut down.”
— Claisse Opulencia (@itsclaisse) November 11, 2017
The demo took place from 11:30am on Saturday Nov 11.
Canada Goose supposedly opened their store at Regent Street unannounced dodge any possibilities of rallies and protests on their grand opening.
The company’s response
On the day of the protest, a spokeswoman for Canada Goose told the Evening Standard: “PETA and other animal activists are grossly misinformed about our animal welfare practices.
“Canada Goose remains deeply committed to the responsible use and ethical sourcing of all animal materials in our products.
“While we respect their opinion and right to protest, we are appalled by their extreme, inexcusable behavior and unsurprised by their attempt to capitalize on media attention tied to the opening of our store in London.”