Did you know that “80 percent of the down and feathers used globally are produced in China; the majority – 90 percent – come from ducks…”
If you’re considering buying a product stuffed with down or body feathers, your first thought probably isn’t: “Where (or rather whom) did these feathers come from, and do I want to be supporting the industry that ‘harvested’ them?” But it is a question worth asking and an answer worth knowing. We found a very useful article from our friends at Gentleworld.org - there are no graphic pictures, simply an independent explanation of the feather industry, answering the following questions:
- What is down?
- Where are the down and feathers used in clothing and bedding sourced from?
- How are down and body feathers removed from the birds?
- How does the whole picture of down “harvesting“ fit together?
We know that warmth is essential to human life. We thrive in warm climates and moderate our homes and clothing in cold climates to insulate and protect us from the elements. While some people may think that using our fellow animals’ evolutionary adaptations (tough skin, warm feathers and fur) for our own benefit is the price of our nomadic wanderings, we should think again. Along with our fellow animals we have also evolved. We have gained the intellect and ability to source, grow and create alternatives to our past animal use that are ethical and cruelty free.
There are plenty of alternatives to down and feathers on the market today and if you don’t find the style of alternative that you’re looking for then help create it! (Bamboo, algae, hemp, coconut or palm fibers – there is a world of potential out there!)