Keep this story going! Share below!
Aurora Heat offers warmers fit for various parts of the body, all made from natural, trapped furs – nothing synthetic or single-use. These products help contribute to UN SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) in that the pelts are completely natural, used in their entirety, and are turned into effective warmers that last for an incredibly long time, reducing the need to purchase more.
Aurora Heat provides sustainable fur warmers from indigenous naturally derived products that are produced in a more efficient manner than other competitors. Aurora Heat provides products to Northern Canada, but also internationally. The warmers are not necessarily a new innovation though, but rather a continuation of traditional Indigenous lifestyles. Aurora Heat is very adamant on the continuation of Indigenous traditions, and for good reason. Not only is it very important to conserve cultures and traditions, but the areas in northern Canada get extremely cold almost at all points during the year.
The most inspiring part about Aurora Heat is that not only does it produce quality goods but also protects the environment and community surrounding it to a very high degree. Aurora Heat has stated that it is their goal to sustain seven generations ahead. Aurora Heat also clearly abides by UN SDGs 12 and 13, which are responsible consumption/production and climate action respectively. Due to the fact that the warmers are high quality, they last a very long time, potentially generations which results in very little levels of waste. This obviously has an effect on the environment and the surrounding communities. There are many other SDGs that Aurora Heat may also abide by. For example, SDG 8, which is Decent Work and Economic Growth, Aurora Heat contributes to this as they donate a dollar to On-The-Land Initiatives for children and youth, educators and Indigenous knowledge holders.
The innovation is not a new one, rather it is a tradition becoming available to those outside of Indigenous communities and trapping lifestyles. Cold temperatures in Arctic Canada demand that those living there find ways to keep warm. The Aurora Heat website tells of the company president and founder, Brenda Dragon, continuing the tradition of trapping and using that wild fur to keep her family warm – something she learned from her parents.
In 2014, Brenda’s son and his friends went out snowboarding and came back with “near frostbitten hands.” Brenda’s father had “just passed away and he had gifted her all of his beaver fur pelts,” which she cut and used to insulate his socks, gloves, and helmet, saying “this is what we did when I was a kid to keep warm.” When they came back several hours later, Brenda’s son was surprised to see how warm his hands remained. This turned into “all of his friends asking” for warmers, their parents asking about them, and so on. Brenda realized that she could make a business out of this, that it would be profitable as well as sustainable and in touch with tradition.
Single-use handwarmers had risen in popularity since their invention, and battery-operated alternatives are also available, but Aurora Heat is showing consumers how real fur is not something that is always to be shied away from. That there are people who have been living in harmony with the Land and using its creations in ways that are not harmful, while also being incredibly effective.
Since 2015, Aurora Heat has been creating and developing foot, hand, and body warmers made of 100% natural beaver fur. Brenda’s hopes of developing a natural source of heat for consumers is to eliminate unethical and unsustainable products including synthetic based materials, and single-use products. The impact of this innovation provides long-term effects such as natural, and reusable materials for consumers and manufacturers that are not allowing additional room for waste.
Aurora Heat has brought a new environmentally friendly way of creating real-fur products for consumers by only using fur when beavers reproduce in large litters and cause overpopulation, making them extremely abundant. While overpopulating is quite common for beavers, this low-impact effect is important for maintaining balance regarding their population and by doing so, fur harvesters also save and return the meat of the beaver for consumption, as beaver meat is one of the most nutritious foods to consume for both people and animals.
The impact that Brenda Dragon has built with her business, Aurora Heat, has made people appreciate and recognize the successful and innovative products which Aurora Heat provides. Overall, Aurora Heat uses every ounce of material to create its products while also eliminating waste, which is extremely important for its business. The significance of acknowledging the naturally sourced fur pelts helps consumers become aware of the ethically obtained material making their consumers guilt-free while wearing authentic fur.
As previously stated, Aurora Heat creates useable warmers for hands, feet and wrists, using the methods indigenous culture have used for generations. The market for transportable heating devices has consisted of simple and unsustainable products. Specifically, the widely known single use plastic products like ‘HotHands’. Aurora Heat provides enhanced benefits for the consumer compared to the competition. First, in the long run, Aurora Heat is cheaper as their warmers are made to last. Customers do not have to be constantly returning to the store to purchase more than they would have to if they had used the generic single-use product from their competitors. Second, Aurora Heat sells a superior product that will provide warmth for much longer than the competitors product. Customer reviews states the warmers last all day in cold climates like the mountains of British Columbia. Compared to the competitor’s products where the warmth provided only lasts a couple of hours.
Aurora Heat is made up of 12 employees and is growing rapidly. Aurora Heat began by selling their warmers to tourists from across the world travelling to Northern Canada to witness the Aurora Borealis generating modest revenues. When the COVID-19 pandemic grinded global travel to a halt, preventing tourists from visiting Northern Canada Aurora Heat was able to pivot their business model. Aurora Heat heavily invested physical and human capital into their online, digital, and social media marketing strategy. After launching their new website in November 2020 Aurora Heat has seen their total revenue triple and their revenue through e-commerce sales become 10 times larger.
This innovation benefits society and the environment in a number of different ways. To begin, the fur used to construct the hand warmers and their other innovations is 100% natural wild beaver fur. Aurora Heat prioritizes that all of their materials are 100% natural and that they are not using any fabricated materials to make their products. This method of harvesting is a strong value within the Indigenous and local communities.
Moreover, the harvesting of beavers for their fur allows for a constructive way in maintaining a balance in beaver population. Beavers commonly overproduce as they reproduce in large groups. Aurora Heat only harvests the number of beavers they need for their hand warmers.
Finally, the whole beaver is used for constructing the hand warmers. This allows for a lack of waste to come from the harvest. The fur is used for the construction of the hand warmers. The entire pelt is used, out of respect to the beaver and the environment. Furthermore, the meat from the beaver is returned to the Land, which provides sustenance for animals to utilize. All three of these benefits allow for society and the environment to not only be unaffected, but thrive from the use of the beavers.
Sean Myomi Hougan, Head of Revenue & Operations
Aurora Heat is a Canadian business that creates and sells fur body warmers that are sourced from the rich trapping lifestyle of many Indigenous people and communities in Northern Canada. Founded in 2015, Aurora Heat has given international recognition to the traditional and sustainable ways Indigenous people keep warm and comfortable.