Credits: QMI AGENCY
The 27-year-old woman, who doesn't wish to be identified, said she wore a Borden Bomber style jacket on Nov. 8 and a half-hour after putting the coat on, she noticed red bumps all over her arms and legs. Within 24 hours, almost every inch of skin was covered with welts and blisters.
"I could feel the lumps all over my body," the woman said Thursday. "I was hospitalized twice that weekend. I now have permanent scars."
The woman said she has no prior sensitivity to down.
She returned the jacket to the store where she purchased it and received a full refund. Canada Goose said they would give her an additional $800 as well as throw in a day at the spa, which she feels is "insulting."
However, Canada Goose said when this allergic reaction was brought to their attention a few weeks ago, they immediately sent out the authentic parka for allergen testing, which came back negative.
The reason why they offered the refund and spa day was "to do something nice" for the customer.
"We don't know (where the allergy stemmed from) is the bottom line," said Canada Goose spokesman Kevin Spreekmeester. "There's no negligence and no direct link between our jacket and her reaction."
Canada Goose produces roughly 400,000 coats per year, which are shipped globally. The tags on their coats specify they are hypoallergenic and lab-tested and there are various layers of lining to protect down from leaking out of the coat.
Feather Industries Canada is responsible for washing the feathers prior to shipping them to Canada Goose. Tests are done at their on-site laboratory to confirm the product is washed properly, said FIC president Bryan Pryde.
Health Canada said if a consumer has concerns about down products, they can contact the agency, who will determine if further investigation is required.
Toronto dermatologist Dr. Paul Cohen said it's more common for patients to be allergic to the dye in the fabric or the textile itself.
"Feathers aren't common because they don't tend to touch the skin directly," he said. "There are more respiratory allergies to down, including wheezing and coughing. It still is possible because [the lining] can get little holes in them and [feathers] can seep out."