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C&A Commits to Responsible Sourcing With First RDS-Certified Collection

Dutch fashion chain C&A has introduced its first children’s puffer jackets produced with sustainability in mind.

The outerwear collection, launched last week, is certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), taking C&A’s public commitment to the ethical sourcing of down and feathers up a notch. In 2013, the retailer banned live-plucking from the production of its products, only using down and feathers that are byproducts of the food industry and have been selected with care to ensure they come from suppliers who adhere to strict animal welfare standards. Its new declaration strengthens that commitment.

Launched in 2014, RDS is an independent, voluntary global standard owned by Textile Exchange and developed over three years with the input of animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands and retailers. Certified by third-party certification bodies, the standard encourages best practices in bird welfare from hatching to slaughter and prevents force-feeding, live-plucking and molt-harvesting. As such, it is applied to each step along the supply chain, from hatchling to final product.

“The RDS is a standard that we hope will influence best practices, improve traceability throughout the textile industry, enable more well-informed consumer choices and ultimately improve animal welfare in C&A’s supply chain,” said Jeffrey Hogue, the retailer’s chief sustainability officer.

From this fall onwards, all of the down and feathers in C&A’s products will be RDS-certified and the new range (priced from 29 euros to 49 euros, or less than $54) will be available throughout Europe and online. C&A has more than 1,575 stores in 20 European countries, as well as a presence in Brazil, Mexico and China.