Skip to main content

Dani Reiss never intended to be the third generation president and chief executive officer of clothing manufacturer Canada Goose. Instead, he had planned to travel overseas after graduating from the University of Toronto, lazing on beaches and taking inspiration from his English literature degree as he penned his own masterpiece.

But his father suggested he work in the family's Toronto manufacturing plant for three months to earn some money for his trip.

"I figured I could use the money, and would travel a little while later," he says. "I stayed an extra month, and then another. At first I wasn't really interested, but that changed."

Story continues below advertisement

Now, he's running the company his grandfather founded in 1957. It's a much larger company now, of course - counting international branch offices, Canada Goose employs nearly 400 people.

And while each generation had its own focus - his grandfather concentrated on selling sportswear to Europeans, his father favoured the insulated down-filled-garment market and Mr. Reiss has concentrated on expanding the company's selling network around the globe - one thing has stayed the same regardless of who's been in charge - all of the company's down-filled products are made in Canada.

"Some of the women working here were hired by my grandfather 40 years ago," Mr. Reiss says. "There was a time when everyone was moving their work offshore, but I drove a stake in the sand and said I would make our products here. I didn't say it defiantly - I believed then and I believe now that one day all of that work will come back to Canada. These jobs are more important than ever, given the state of the economy."

There's also the marketing aspect to consider, he says. His company's coats are used around the world in cold-weather climates, and having them made in one of the coldest places on Earth adds to the company's credibility. The products' allure comes from their authenticity, he says.

"There are a lot of Canadian companies who make goods in Asia and all of their stuff comes from the same factory," he says. "Then it all comes back here and they market it as if it's got some sort of great history - but everyone's clothes came from the same factory. If we sent our production offshore, we'd be robbing ourselves of our own story."

The company has also aligned itself with another Canadian icon - the polar bear. Mr. Reiss is the chairman of the board for Polar Bears International, an organization that seeks to protect the iconic northern animals from the effects of climate change.

"Polar Bears International focuses on research and education into polar bear issues such as habitat deterioration," he says. "Ultimately, that conversation comes down to global warming and what we can each do to reduce our carbon footprints."

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter