01/24/2015 05:00 EST | Updated 03/25/2015 05:59 EDT

Furs to the Arctic sends unwanted furs from Victoria to Nunavut

Unwanted and unneeded furs from people in Victoria are making their way to Nunavut to help people in the north stay warm.

Gail Pettinger started the group Furs to the Arctic after she met Myste Anderson, who lives in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, during an online course. She said Anderson was always telling her about the cold.

"I said, 'Too bad we can't share our fur coats we're not using here in Victoria.'"

The project was featured in a CBC report last fall, and after it aired, Pettinger said she was overwhelmed by people wanting to donate their furs.

"I haven't counted what's in our hallway, but I know that we've shipped five shipments already."

Pettinger said each parcel contains around 10 furs. When they arrive in Kugluktuk, elders from the community and high school students recycle the furs into new garments.

"I thought I was getting into this a bit too much when I was doing a grocery list the other day, talking to a friend the same time, and wanted to get some mint for my smoothies, and I wrote down 'mink.'"

Pettinger hopes other communities in Southern Canada will be inspired to make connections with communities in the North to start similar projects.

To hear the full interview with Gail Pettinger, click the audio button at top.