Almost every day we have someone call or come in wanting to compare our blankets to “that other company making them in Canada” and those customers are always surprised to learn there is a difference between a “Canadian Company” and having a Made in Canada product. Do you know the difference? I didn’t until I started making and marketing Hippo Hug weighted blankets that there are three categories that companies can use to distinguish themselves.
The most prestigious and hardest category to achieve is Product of Canada. In order to be in this category, 98% of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the goods have to be incurred in Canada AND the last substantial transformation of the good occurred in Canada. In terms of Hippo Hug in order to meet these criteria almost of our fabrics, weights and supplies would need to come from other companies making them here in Canada. we could easily meet the second criteria of “the last substantial transformation” occurring in Canada as we do all our manufacturing in Calgary. However, it would be very challenging to meet the 98%, which is why you don’t see many Products of Canada.
Next most difficult category is where Hippo Hug falls is – Made in Canada. Competition Bureau Canada lists the criteria for Made in Canada as:
the last substantial transformation of the good occurred in Canada;
at least 51% of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing the goods have been incurred in Canada; and
the “Made in Canada” representation is accompanied by an appropriate qualifying statement, such as “Made in Canada with imported parts”.
At Hippo Hug our weighted products are “Made in Canada with imported textiles and weights”. Although we don’t import the fabrics ourselves, most of them come from a Canadian wholesaler, Trend-tex, we don’t know the origin of many of them unless it specifically says on the bolt. We do import our weights from overseas. The batting we use is Made in the USA and the waterproof fabric is Made in Canada but we haven’t been able to find a Canadian wholesaler for the waterproof fabric.
The final category is a Canadian company, this is easiest to achieve as all you need is a legal address in Canada. It allows a company to promote itself as Canadian and use a dot-ca web address. This isn’t a bad thing it is just something for consumers to watch out for. A company can be incorporated in Canada, use a lot of maple leaves in their branding and have a dot-ca but if it doesn’t specifically say anywhere Made in Canada then their product likely isn’t.
Be informed about your choices and if being Made in Canada is important to you then be sure the companies you choose to support are being honest in their representation of that. I know I personally look for it but it isn’t always a be all, end-all decision maker for me. Lots of people make great things outside our borders and that is the beauty of choice. You get to choose where to spend your money. And of course, in the comparison of weighted blanket companies, I hope you choose Hippo Hug for many more reasons that just because we are Made in Canada. I hope you see the care and customization that goes into each weighted blanket!