Business

Moose Knuckles coat maker accused of faking 'Made in Canada' claims

Moose Knuckles, a maker of high-end outerwear, has been accused by Canada's competition watchdog of assembling its parkas overseas while claiming to be made in Canada.
This promotional image from Moose Knuckles' website shows some of the products in their winter 2015 collection. (Moose Knuckles)

Moose Knuckles, a maker of high-end outerwear, has been accused by Canada's competition watchdog of assembling its parkas overseas while claiming to be made in Canada.

Canada's Competition Bureau said Wednesday it is going to take action against what it calls "deceptive marketing practices by Moose Knuckles," a Canadian company that makes premium winter jackets that retail from $595 to over $1,000.

"The parkas are marketed as Made in Canada when they are mostly manufactured in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia," the bureau said in a statement. "The application alleges that only the finishing touches to the jackets, such as adding the trim, zippers and snaps, are done in Canada."

The bureau isn't insisting the company start making all of its parkas in Canada, rather that it just stop marketing them as such.

"The bureau is seeking an end to what it believes to be false or misleading 'Made in Canada' representations, an administrative monetary penalty and restitution for consumers," the bureau said.

"Consumers are willing to pay a premium for 'Made in Canada' products, and manufacturers know this," senior deputy commissioner Matthew Boswell said in the statement. "The bureau has taken action in order to ensure that consumers — and retailers — have the correct information to allow them to make informed purchases."

Under Canadian law, a product can only be described as "made in Canada" if:

  • The last substantial transformation of the good occurred in Canada.
  • At least 51% of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the good have been incurred in Canada.
  • The Made in Canada representation is accompanied by a qualifying statement, such as "Made in Canada with imported parts" or "Made in Canada with domestic and imported parts."

When asked for comment, Moose Knuckles president Alay Twik said the company "vigorously rejects the allegations made today by the Competition Bureau regarding the Canadian content of its products and the company's operations in Canada."

"Moose Knuckles' core products are made in Canada and always have been," Twik said.

"Like virtually every other garment made in Canada, textiles and components from abroad are used in the Canadian manufacture of Moose Knuckles parkas," the company later said in a statement.

The firm also said it employs about 100 Canadian craftspeople in its factories

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