The Goose flies South…and North…and East and West

By Julia Schabas

Chilliwack, Kensington, Montebello, Mystique, Constable, Banff. Yes, it all sounds familiar doesn’t it? We’re talking about those dreaded (or perhaps not so dreaded) coats you see at every street corner in the city: the “true North strong and free” Canada Goose jackets.

The outerwear company was established in 1957 to outfit the scientists and researchers on expeditions to the North and South poles. The jackets, pants, hats, gloves – you name it – have been engineered to endure the bitter cold of the sub-sub-sub-zero weathers of the poles. And for some reason now, they have migrated in every direction all over the world.

On the Canada Goose website, they claim that “Canadians know cold weather – it’s part of our national identity.” Anyone who has seen or survived a Canadian winter can surely agree with the statement. We’ve seen snow days, slipped on the slush and ice, and heard the snow ploughs trudging down our streets at 6 AM; we all know winter very well.

It’s interesting though, how when we were younger, it really seemed that no one wanted to dress warmly. Think of all those times you fought with your parents, arguing over wearing that ugly red hat with the pom-pom on top. We wanted to brave the cold, to show how tough and invincible we were. Well, our childhood is over, and we’ve given up on those days of fearlessness. We’re finally listening to our parents, and putting on those layers of sweaters and scarves – or maybe just the one layer of the Canada Goose jacket.

“What I love most about my Goose,” says grade 11 Lily Ljubicic, “is how warm and soft it is.” Once you’ve tried on a Goose, it’s hard to disagree. The down lining just sucks you right into its warmth, and the fleece-lined pockets are to die for. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two winters, or just don’t pay attention as you walk down the street, these jackets are everywhere. It’s hard to turn a street corner or people-watch outside the school without seeing one. In every shape and colour, the flocks of Goose have splattered all over the world.

“It’s funny seeing strangers on the street wearing the same colour as you,” says Lily, “because you awkwardly stare each other down to see who’s wearing the coat better.” The jackets come in a whole assortment of colours; from brown to summit pink, iceberg, and even sand; Canada Goose has got you covered on the colour front. Although it is a pretty funny sight to see a whole line of girls and guys all wearing the same black coloured jacket, which seems to be the most popular colour choice.

There comes a point, however, where teenagers are just buying these expensive jackets not just as a source of warmth, but as a status symbol. Of course it’s important to stay warm, but teens are also losing their sense of creativity, and just going along with the status quo. Not that there is anything wrong with going with the flow, but do you really want to be wearing the same coat as your boyfriend? Your best friend? Your mom? Your entire English class?

Besides, our parents grew up without these fancy, engineered coats, and I’m sure the odds of them suffering from hypothermia because of the lack of a ridiculously warm coat are slim to none. The coats also range from about $300 to $625, which can easily make a large dent in our parents, or our own wallets. Why not put that money towards post-secondary education, or put into your savings?

As we deal with the increasing stats of homelessness, warmth is simply becoming a privilege, and not a right. In this day and age, it should be turned around. So for those of you who got a Canada Goose jacket over the holidays, not just because of its immense warmth, but so that you can fit in with your friends, that’s not really something worth being toast[y] to.