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CANADA GOOSE: From the Arctic to You, by Way of Boisbriand

10 Dec 2018

A Canadian family-owned business just like Simons, Canada Goose is proud to have maintained manufacturing its core products within the country thanks to its seven facilities across Canada, including one in Boisbriand in the Montreal area. Having similar values and a well-established concern for authenticity in common, Simons wanted to learn a bit more about Quebec’s Canada Goose factory and about the company’s involvement on a national level. Dani Reiss, the CEO of Canada Goose, was kind enough to answer our questions and share his vision with us. 

Why did Canada Goose decide to open a manufacturing plant in the Montreal metropolitan area (Boisbriand)? 

About 15 years ago, there was one day where I read in the news that two major companies were moving their manufacturing offshore to chase better margins. It was at that point that I thought that if we stayed, being made in Canada could become a competitive advantage. I believed then, and still do today, that people care how and where the products they buy are made, and for us to be an authentic brand with strong, iconic values, and to make the best and warmest jackets, we have to make them here at home.

Our Boisbriand facility is one of seven we now operate across the country. It’s an example of our commitment to stay made in Canada but also a testament to the rich history of Quebec and Montreal as leaders in the Canadian garment manufacturing industry. We’re proud to operate this facility and create new jobs in the Montreal area.

How many people work at the facility?

Over 450 people currently work at the facility in Boisbriand.

In Boisbriand and at our facilities in Toronto, Scarborough and Winnipeg, we’ve created sewing training schools that help give people the skills they need to have successful careers at Canada Goose. We launched the program in 2015 and have trained more than 820 workers to date. 

We employ approximately 20 percent of Canada’s cut and sew industry. Every year that number grows as we continue to expand our manufacturing operations to address growing global demand for our products. In September, we opened our newest facility in Winnipeg. It’s our seventh facility across Canada and the largest yet. It’s also the fifth facility we’ve opened in the last three years. 

What coats are made at the plant in Quebec? 

We produce some of our most popular core down-filled outerwear styles in our Boisbriand facility, including the Langford Parka and Shelburne Parka. We’ve also made styles from our Spring Collection like the Wainwright Coat, a classically inspired trench. 

Tell us something people may not know about Canada Goose?

We are a brand that was born in the North, making industrial Arctic parkas for resource and airline workers who put our products to the test in some of the coldest environments on Earth. It’s important for us to find ways to celebrate and honour Northern communities, as well as the heritage and traditional ways of the North.  That’s why we operate our Resource Centre program, sending materials and zippers and other kinds of trimmings, free of charge, to people living in Northern communities. They use those materials to make their own parkas or other clothing for their family and friends–materials that they either couldn’t afford or might not have access to. We’ve been running this program since 2009, partnering with First Air to bring more than 1 million metres of fabric to Northern Canada, including in Kuujjuaq in Northern Quebec.

For more than a decade we’ve also been working with Polar Bears International (PBI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear and its habitats. We outfit PBI researchers and staff who brave the cold in northern communities like Churchill, Manitoba. They work to conserve natural habitats, track polar bear populations and raise awareness through research and education. We also make a line of products sold in bright PBI Blue, with $50 from the sale of each jacket going back to the non-profit.

Beyond our work in the north we’ve also been able to leave our mark on the entertainment industry. We’ve been the trivia answer on game shows like "Jeopardy" and "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire," and we’ve been featured on-camera in award winning films like Manchester by the Sea as well as blockbusters like The Day After Tomorrow

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