Canada Goose has launched a new collection of Inuit-made parkas. The collection called Atigi 2.0 (“atigi” means “parka” in Inuktitut), has 90 parkas made by 18 seamstresses who all live in Inuit Nunangat — Inuit regions of N.W.T., Nunavut, Quebec to Newfoundland and Labrador. Last year, Canada Goose launched project Atigi with 14 original parkas.

Stephanie Pitseolak’s parka for Canada Goose. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

The parkas from Atigi 2.0 were shown publicly for the first time at a media launch in New York Thursday. “It’s unbelievable,” said Stephanie Pitseolak, one of the designers who lives in Iqaluit. “I can’t believe my parka is there right now.” 

Pitseolak, who lives in Iqaluit, is one of 18 seamstresses who made parkas for Canada Goose’s Atigi 2.0 collection. (Travis Burke/CBC )

Pitseolak said the experience was exhausting. Canada Goose sends the seamstresses a box of materials to use for their designs. Things like fur, hollow fill insulation, zippers and Canada Goose commanders and patches with the logo. They had a month to make five identical parkas each in a different size. Even Pitseolak was struggling. She said she couldn’t give up and felt like her late grandmother was guiding her while she sewed. 

The artists each took different approaches to their designs. “I was inspired by how [the women in my family] created things,” says Parniga Akeeagok, of Iqaluit, NU, whose black parka features stripes on the cuff and hem with embroidered seams at the bust and fur pompoms on the hood ties. Olivia Tagalik’s parka has a rounded high-low hem with white quilting peeking out from the coat’s black exterior and red patches across the shoulder lapels. Tagalik, who is from Kangingliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU, said “it’s each of our responsibility to learn as much as we can and ensure that it’s passed down to the next generation.”

Lisa-Louie Ittukallak parka from Puvirnituq, Que. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

“I wanted people to know it’s possible, even if you’re very busy, even if you have kids, even if you’re working,” said Pitseolak. “I’m glad I did it and I’m happy for myself.” 

Emily Joanasie’s parka from Iqaluit. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

The parkas will be on sale at the Canada Goose website for $2,500 each. The proceeds will go to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), a national organization that advocates for the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada.  

Canada Goose donated nearly $80,000 to ITK from the sales of last year’s Atigi parkas, according to ITK. Inuit land claims organizations for the four Inuit regions — Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, and Nunatsiavut Government each received $20,000.  

Chelsey St. John’s parka from Arviat, Nunavut.  (Submitted by Canada Goose )

“We have big plans and a big vision from project Atigi,” said Gavin Thompson, vice-president of corporate citizenship for Canada Goose. “We are literally just getting started.”  Thompson said they want to grow the project but wouldn’t reveal details of what that looks like. “We are just so proud of this collection,” said Thompson. “We are excited to put it on our platforms so we can really showcase these designers and their parkas to the world.”

90 parkas were made in total by this year’s participating designers, which include: Blanche Winters, Freda Raddi, Lena Unalena Kotokak, Lisa-Louie Ittukallak, Sarah Samisack, Elizabeth Ningeongan, Olivia Tagalik, Bessie Tologanak Beasley, Emily Joanasie, Parniga Akeeagok, Chantel Kablutsiak, Jean Kigutikakjuk, Stephanie Pitseolak, Chesley St. John, Mary-lee Sandy-Aliyak, Eileena Arragutainaq, Mary-Lain Siusangnark and Alaana Tatty. Said Tatty, “knowing someone out there, around the world, will own one of my parkas makes me nervous—and excited. I think I’ll feel so proud.”

Via our friends at CBC News.


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