Canada’s Competition Bureau is accusing a high-end outerwear manufacturer of using deceptive marketing practices and for falsely leveraging the phrase “Made in Canada” on their products.
On their website, Moose Knuckles says it injects millions of dollars into the Canadian economy by operating three factories across the country and by employing over 200 Canadians.
“From day one we have made it a priority to invest in Canada. From our tradition-steeped factories in Winnipeg, to our expert furriers in Toronto, to our passionate design team in Montreal, everything we do is Canadian to the core,” reads the website.
Allegedly though, and according to an application filed with the Competition Tribunal, the company’s parkas are mostly manufactured in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia.
Only the finishing touches of the products – the trim, zippers and snaps – are made in Canada.
Moose Knuckles, via their website, goes on to say:
“Each process is done by hand and requires the expertise of skilled Canadians, who work tirelessly to bring you the finest coats that can be built.”
By filing this motion, the Competition Bureau is seeking to end what it believes is the misuse of the phrase “Made in Canada.”
The Winnipeg-based company’s wares can sell for well over $1,000 – a price that may reflect its “homegrown” association.
“Consumers are willing to pay a premium for “Made in Canada” products, and manufacturers know this. The Bureau has taken action in order to ensure that consumers – and retailers – have the correct information to allow them to make informed purchases,” said Matthew Boswell, senior deputy commissioner of competition at the bureau.
Under the Competition Bureau’s guidelines, 51 per cent of a product that’s “Made in Canada” must be produced and manufactured in Canada. The final development of the product also has to happen north of the 49th.
Additionally, companies are supposed to use a qualifying statement on their goods if a portion of their products are made outside the country – for example, “Made in Canada with imported parts” or “Made in Canada with domestic and imported parts.”
Moose Knuckles president Ayal Twik said in an email to Canadian Press that the company “vigorously rejects the allegations” regarding the Canadian content of its products and the company’s operations in Canada.
“Moose Knuckle’s core products are made in Canada and always have been,” Twik added.
The Moose Knuckles brand recently received a publicity boost after Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, wore one of its red and black plaid jackets while stepping off a government plane last November in London.
– With files from Canadian Press