The Inuit people have been living in the frozen tundra of northern Canada for thousands of years, so they clearly are the experts on creating warm outdoor wear. Canada Goose, a company that makes highly-rated outerwear, knows something about marketing warm jackets to people in cold climates.
What if you combined the best of both worlds to create a whole new kind of coat?
Project Atigi has set out to do just that. Established in 2019, Project Atigi is a social entrepreneurship program that "celebrates the expertise and the rich heritage of craftsmanship that has enabled Inuit to live in some of the most formidable climates and conditions," according to a press release.
This year's collection features 90 bespoke pieces, created by 18 Inuit designers. Each designer created a collection of five jackets "which reflect their heritage, communities, and artisanship."
"Project Atigi is a great example of cultural appreciation, not appropriation," said Mishael Gordon, an Inuit designer from Iqaluit, Nunavut who participated in the project's launch. "It's bringing together a world-renowned company and Inuit culture that is represented through our clothing and traditions. This is an opportunity for a piece of our heritage to reach a global audience, especially while owning our own designs."
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"The talent that Inuit designers possess extends across Inuit Nunangat and the art of making parkas has been part of our culture for thousands of years," Natan Obed, President of ITK, said in a statement.. "By partnering with Canada Goose and expanding this initiative, it raises awareness of the incredible talent of our designers and allows us to share more of our culture and craftsmanship to the world in a way that protects and respects Inuit intellectual property and designs."
Proceeds from each Project Atigi parka sale will go back to Inuit communities across Canada via ITK.
"Project Atigi was born in the North, created by the North and for the North," said Dani Reiss, President & CEO, Canada Goose. "We're leveraging our global platform to share Inuit craftsmanship with the world and to create social entrepreneurship opportunities in the communities that inspire us. When you purchase a Project Atigi parka, you're making an investment in the place and people that shape them."
Beautiful. If you want to try out one of these extra-warm coats made with Inuit creativity and ingenuity, they will be available on canadagoose.com starting January 23.