/ Choose Ethical Down
If you are interested in reading about the unethical farms you can start here.
Poor birds. :-(
do we know if for example rab , me , alpkit , tnf , phd , etc use ethical down and would they like to post on here
Rab, which makes expedition-quality clothing, said: 'We do our utmost to ethically source down but the complexity and scale of the down supply chain makes a 100 per cent guarantee almost impossible. To say otherwise could be dishonest and misleading.'
Kudos to Rab I think.
TNF had this back in February
i think you need to understand that live plucking is the norm, illegal or not- and that all but one or two manufacturers use it- mountain equipment are about the only ones that truly know where it comes from.
i believe patagonia sorted their problems out with the help of mountain equipment because they (patagonia) were getting down from the same place TNF were.
another point: "ethically sourced" is an utterly useless and pointless phrase. they have sourced it ethically. but where it came from before it was sourced by the down houses is untraceable. therefore it needs to be sourced ethically by the wholesaler before it gets to the manufacturer. does that make sense, hopefully it does.
There was a Norwegian manufacturer that claimed not to use live plucking for animal welfare reasons. Can't remember who they were though, just that I came across it when I was looking for sleeping bags a few years back.
The current version of their site reads:
"Norrøna products and raw materials take into account humane animal welfare. We will not use wool from mulesing of sheep. The down we use is a bi product from the food industry. Our Coyote fur is from Canada and the animals are put down by licenced hunters."
Because RAB are being honest. As has been said elsewhere on the thread, the traceability is very hard. RAB could easily say theirs is 100% ethical but they know how hard it is to be sure so they include that caveat. Fair play to them I say.
"High-grade down from live geese — using the softest feathers from the breast region, as opposed to the longer ones from the back, under the wings and the neck — can fetch as much as £22 per kilo.
The going rate for those from slaughtered creatures is just £1.60. But the price paid by the bird is far greater."
That doesn't suggest that it is saving a fraction of a penny using live plucked down. Quite the opposite in fact.
I'm hoping to see the day when synthetic fills get good enough to make down properly obsolete myself. Quite apart from animal welfare issues it goes to crap when it's wet, and costs a fortune and occasionally makes me stop breathing.
Hopefully another couple of generations of R&D will give us a new fill that will see it off completely and I can dump my down gear for good.
Scientific Opinion on the practice of harvesting (collecting) feathers from live geese for down production:
If you wanted peer reviewed research on down collected as a by product of foie gras, then searching any journal library such as Science Direct will give you a range of papers that research the affects on heath and welfare of the animals involved. Do check who the research has been commissioned by though as on both sides funding source usually implicates some kind of bias.
If you want the full paper you will need to purchase it.
As I said, there are both ethical and unethical... but of course ethics are subjective so it is largely up to the individual to make their own choices.
Any synthetic will just be derived from the petrochemical industry and will doubtless require replacement sooner rather than later. At least down is a renewable resource
You can make synthetics from other feedstocks, it's just that petrochemicals are cheap and easy at the moment. Give it 50 years and they will be making all the plastics from plants or synthesising oil from seawater and CO2, assuming we survive.
This appears to be a pretty clear statement:
"Before you buy a down product check where the down is sourced as there are some very unethical farms."
If I was submitting this forum post to a peer reviewed journal then I would expect to have to back up every word I said with references, but being a forum for general discussion and debate I didn't feel I needed to.
it has it on there somewhere
Mountain Equipment http://www.thedownproject.me.uk/
Northface who knows their website is crap to find any info on anything(look for the 5 dimensional fit for the gloves they make, still dont know what that 5th one is)
If you read my original post I have stated there are ethical choices, if you are offended I didn't spend more time trying to find links to these places then forgive me for thinking that you can use google and find out for yourself.
Valandre seem to, but I'm not totally certain: http://www.valandre.com/eng/Sleeping_Bags_and_Outerwear/gray_goose_down.html
Alpkit haven't been able to establish how their down is provided: http://www.alpkit.com/colab/notes/down-sourcing-part-3
MEC have asked their suppliers not to use live plucked down, but that's not the same as only getting post mortem down... http://answers.mec.ca/answers/9421-en_ca/category/1408474395858813/sleeping-bags-questions-answers/q...
I think this post may have been moved.
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