What's Up With Down?

How the Industry is Changing for the Better, and How Our Down Products Compare


Lately there's been a lot of attention on down due to a movement to change the industry, helmed by two of the biggest names in down apparel and sleeping bags: Patagonia and The North Face. The primary topics of concern revolve around inhumane treatment and conditions for birds. Though these are not the standard practices, they do exist and brands are taking the initiative to investigate further into their supply chains.




In the last couple of years the outdoor industry has been a leader in creating solutions to clean up the global supply chain with new and vigorous standards. While this industry uses only a small percentage of the overall global down supply, there is a tremendous amount of momentum and growing commitment to such standards. 
The North Face, through on the ground supply chain analysis, created the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to help ensure their down and feathers don't come from animals that have been subject to unnecessary harm. They have also set a goal to be 100% RDS certified by fall 2017. In the meantime, they've gifted the RDS to Textile Exchange, a non-profit organization that fosters sustainable practices in textile production around the world. We are proud to say that Coyuchi is a member of the RDS steering committee. By gifting the standard, Textile Exchange can now guide other manufacturers in reforming their down-production chains. Six new brands have recently become certified with RDS (Responsible Down Standard).

As of Fall 2014, all of Patagonia's down-filled products are made with "100% Traceable Down." In partnership with global certfification body NSF International, they have developed the Global Traceable Down Standard.



So how do Coyuchi's down-filled products stack up? You'll be happy to know that our down duvet inserts and pillows have always met the standards our colleagues in the industry are striving for….and then some. We source all of our down products in the USA, from a single supplier. And that supplier gets down and feathers from duck farms, a mere hundred miles away, where the birds are humanely raised and never force-fed or live-plucked and live on a grain diet.



The farm is audited against well-being guidelines, strict standards that enforce what the birds eat, what kind of flooring they're on, how they get their water, and what happens if the birds get sick. These well-being guidelines are reviewed every two years by animal welfare and bird behavior academics. Before filling our certified-organic cotton inserts, the down is steam-treated twice and gently washed with a fragrance-free, non-toxic soap to remove bacteria that is incidental to feathers and down.



Next, a water-based, non-toxic chemical is used to reduce the static charge that is associated with natural filling. The simplicity of our supply chain ensures that every link is fully transparent, and sourcing our down in the USA ensures the environmental footprint of our duvet inserts and pillows is as small as it can be. And that means you can feel as good about our down products as you do about everything else you buy from Coyuchi.



Shop Coyuchi down inserts here.