British outdoor brand Rab (owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd.) has recently started its own down collect and recycle scheme. The scheme is part of Equip's long-term sustainability strategy, with Equip being certified as climate neutral company in 2020 and having committed themselves to reach Net Zero by 2030.
The service is offered at Rab's UK headquarters in Alfreton, Derbyshire, and launched in partnership with the recycling down experts at Minardi Piume. If the UK trial is successful, Rab intends to expand the service globally in a continued attempt to close the loop on valuable resources. In 2020, Rab's iconic Microlight down range was updated with 100% P.U.R.E. Recycled Down, alongside a wide range of products incorporating more recycled materials.
Consumers are offered to bring worn-out down products (such as down jackets and sleeping bags if no longer functional) to the recycling service at Rab's HQ. Particularly encouraged is down bedding such as duvets and pillows which have historically been difficult to recycle. The down will then be sent to Minardi Piume, the team behind P.U.R.E. Recycled Down. P.U.R.E. is the first recycled down to be certified by the Global Recycling Standard (GRS).
Down collect bin at Rab's UK Headquarters
After being washed, treated and graded for quality the down can be used for new technical products. Other materials resulting from the collected items are processed and recycled offsite; the service does not incur additional costs for end consumers.
Down is naturally one of the best and most insulating materials in the world. By recycling it we can recapture a valuable material that would otherwise end up in landfill. The team at P.U.R.E. are experts in reclaiming down from post-consumer waste items and restoring it to high quality down, suitable for some of Rab's most technical products.
Debbie Read, Rab's CSR Manager, explains: "Down has always been part of Rab's identity, and we are proud to call ourselves 'The Masters of Insulation'. With launching our own down collect and recycle scheme, we are happy to take yet another step towards a more sustainable business and to be among the leaders in the outdoor industry."