Adidas, Nau, REI, and Timberland are amongst the latest outdoor-apparel brands to rally around the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). Originally developed by The North Face, but now managed by the non-profit Textile Exchange, the global animal welfare and traceability standard uses an established chain-of-custody process to help companies source down from ducks and geese that haven’t been forced-fed (a common practice in foie-gras production) or live-plucked for their feathers. The above retailers have joined a roster of global firms such as Eddie Bauer, H&M, Helly Hensen, Mammut, The North Face, etc.
“The many brands and companies that have signed on to RDS deserve credit for their commitment. I’m proud of the scale that we have achieved with the RDS, and the incredible energy that our International Working Group has put into the revision. We anticipate further strong growth, particularly as we move into the home and bedding markets. Our goal is to protect the welfare of as many ducks and geese as possible,” reveals Anne Gillespie, Director of Industry Integrity at Textile Exchange. The RDS, created for industry use, was designed to prevent ‘unnecessary harm’ to birds raised for food and industrial purposes. Its primary mandate is to prevent practices such as live-plucking or force-feeding, while maintaining certain standards of food and water quality, housing, stock density and outdoor access, animal health, hygiene, and pest and predator control.