Brampton native James Yurichuk, now #47 for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts after playing four seasons with the BC Lions, is the co-founder behind a new line of men’s and women’s jackets and parkas that are posing a fur-free and Canadian-made challenge to Canada Goose, with a Kickstarter campaign.
“As soon as I realized fur was making a comeback I knew something had to be done,” says Mammoth Outerwear co-founder Yurichuk. “Millions of Canadians like me are looking for a premium, animal-friendly alternative. Now they’ve got one that’s built for the deep North but made in the heart of Toronto. It’s the best of both worlds and a win-win for everyone.”
Last Sunday, Edmonton Eskimos kicker Sean Whyte wore a Mammoth coat during the frigid Grey Cup match in Edmonton.
Mammoth Outerwear created their line after Yurichuk started noticing the rise of fur-trimmed parkas in Toronto, after moving back to his hometown two winters ago.
Seeking to combat that trend, Mammoth has committed to donating $10 from the sale of each jacket to The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (The Fur-Bearers).
“Canadians love wildlife, and they love staying warm,” says Yurichuk. “What we’ve done is give them the option to enjoy both at once.”
Last March, the group Animal Justice filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau against Canada Goose, alleging that their advertising claims were “false and misleading”, singling out the claim that the coyote fur used in their jackets is warmer than fake fur.
The insulation Mammoth has chosen is water-resistant, thermally efficient, fast-drying and breathable.
Designed by Sarah Hopgood, based in Toronto’s trendy Roncesvalles district, Mammoth has launched with four styles of jacket — the Bison Bomber, Fox Bomber, Elk Parka, and Doe Parka, assisted by the tailoring skills of co-founder Anthony DeBartolo.
“Over the years, premium winter jacket companies have put forth the notion that the only way to stay warm in the winter is by wearing the fur and feathers of animals,” says the Kickstarter campaign. “This is upsetting to us because fabric technology has caught up to the times and can often outperform the skins of these innocent animals.”
Yurichuck selected the insulating material used in Mammoth coats after hearing that Quebec Hydro workers gave it thumbs-up, preferring it to their old jackets while working outdoors on power lines in freezing cold conditions, and that Canadian military personnel had complained about their down parkas getting cold when they sweated.
With 19 days left on their Kickstarter campaign, Mammoth Outerwear has already surpassed their $50,000 fundraising goal.
Money from the Kickstarter campaign is to assure a production minimum, with extra money going to expand Mammoth Outerwear’s line next winter.