Winter jackets are a much needed commodity here in Canada, but finding one that has its eye on sustainability and ethics can be difficult to find. Luckily, there is a brand that is exactly that, right here in Toronto. Wully Outerwear is a Canadian start-up with a 100% animal free winter jacket that will keep you warm all winter long.
"I grew up in a household where we were told to carefully take a spider outside, rather than stamp on it." James Yurichuk, Toronto Argonauts linebacker and co-founder of Wully, told us. Leaning on the cutting table in the incubator for fashion at Dundas Square, James continues to explain the inspiration behind the brand. Back in 2012, he was signed by the Argos after a spell in Vancouver, and was therefore in the market for a warmer winter coat. He wanted a coat that didn't use down or fur as an insulator, but found it very difficult to find one. The idea was had and Wully was born.
Anthony DeBartolo, James' childhood friend, and co-founder of Wully, carefully places the men's duffle coat, known as the Elk, on a nearby mannequin as James finishes his story. Anthony explains that the two of them met at the age of six and have been good friends since. "It seemed like a good excuse to spend more time together!" he added. Although the two of them chuckle at this, the importance of an animal free coat to them is no joke. They both feel strongly about the work they are carrying out and its significance on the fashion industry. They both want the Wully brand to remind people of what they are wearing, and to be a conscious alternative to Canadians across the country and beyond.
They are so commited to this cause that they recently launched an amazing program that could change the winter coat industry immediately. The Trade-Up Program is offering customers the opportunity to trade in their fur-trimmed winter coats and get $300 off the Wully duffle. Not only will you get this amazing discount, almost 50% discount, but the coat that you trade-in will be given to the homeless or an at risk individual in need. Furthermore, the fur from the jackets will be donated to animal sanctuaries to assist the life of disadvantaged animals. This is an incredible sign of Wully's desire to free the market of coats made from animals. You can find out more information about the program here.
Alongside this humbling program, for every purchase, $10 is donated to the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. This donation is a year-round incentive and is another reason why this small brand is doing some amazing work in the fashion industry.
Beyond that, the design of the coats are smart, chic and simple - ideal for all genders and are something that will never go out of fashion. James and Anthony both made it clear that they did not rush into getting the coat on the market. "We thought out every little design and made sure the coat would be practical and fashionable." You can find out about more of the design details on their website.
Frankly, it was quite extraordinary to speak with James and Anthony and learn about their plight to get their product to market. It turns out that trying to get an animal free winter coat, made in Canada, on the market is not an easy task. But they have done an incredible job and I hope that you will give their website a visit as this is an important cause and a fantastic product.