In addition to clothing students at Inuujaq School, Canada Goose is expanding a program to disribute refurbished jackets across Nunavut
Students at Inuujaq School in Arctic Bay will be bundled up and warm this winter thanks to a donation of winter gear from Canada Goose and actor Ryan Reynolds.
The company teamed up with the Vancouver-born star to send more than 300 jackets and other clothing items to all the students at the community’s school after he reached out to them.
“It came to my attention students at Inuujaq School in Arctic Bay were going without adequate winter clothing,” Reynolds stated in an Oct. 6 Canada Goose press release. “Of course, it highlights a larger issue of basic needs going unmet in Canada’s Northern communities. I reached out to Canada Goose to match me in providing these students with essential winter gear. They not only said yes in under 30 seconds but went so far above and beyond matching me. I’m deeply inspired and grateful.”
Gavin Thompson, vice president of corporate citizenship at Canada Goose, said he was delighted when Reynolds got in touch with the idea.
“We just linked arms and said ‘let’s get these kids outfitted’,” said Thompson.
In addition to Canada Goose jackets, the students will all be getting snowsuits, mitts and boots from Baffinland.
“They’re going to be well-protected, they’re going to be nice and warm and they’re hopefully going to have a big smile on their faces.”
Thompson said he has been in regular contact with Gregg Durrant, Inuujaq’s principal, who has been busy trying to get sizing for the school’s 300 students.
“I’ve been in daily contact with Gregg. He’s been incredible to work with,” said Thompson.
Nunavut News reached out for a further comment from Reynolds via Twitter. In a message to one of our reporters he declined an interview, saying he wanted the focus to be on Indigenous communities and their needs.
“I really don’t want to centre myself in the conversation,” wrote Reynolds. “This is such a small thing in comparison to the larger issues facing communities in the North.”
In addition to its initiative in Arctic Bay, Canada Goose is also collaborating with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami expanding a program to send more clothing to communities across all four regions of Inuit Nunangat.
For the past decade the company has been sending excess material to Nunavummiut for it to be repurposed.
Now they are planning on refurbishing jackets that have been sent back to the company over warranty issues, and sending them to families in need.
Canada Goose has a lifetime warranty on its clothes. Although he did not have exact numbers available he said thousands of items get sent back to the company every year.
“Some of these products that were considered end of life are still useable,” said Thompson.
Thompson said Canada Goose will cover all the costs of refurbishing and distributing the jackets, while ITK will help identify communities and families in need.
He said the first shipment is expected to be sent up in November, with thousands more expected to be shipped out in coming years.
“They were really excited, they said they can help with distribution. Now it’s on us to get these done and out the door.”