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H&M Achieves Ethically Sourced Down Goal

H&M has hit another milestone.

The Swedish retail giant announced Friday that from the Fall/Winter 2016 season onward, its products will only use down sourced from farms that have been certified according to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

“We believe that animals are entitled to a humane treatment and want to push for improved animal welfare in the industry as a whole. The Responsible Down Standard safeguards the welfare of birds and we are happy to be able to integrate RDS down across our products,” Madeleine Ericsson, sustainability business expert at H&M, stated.

Developed by Textile Exchange, Control Union and The North Face, RDS certifies the source of feathers and down, ensuring they don’t come from animals that have been subject to such unnecessary harm as live plucking and force-feeding.

It also provides strict requirements on several other animal welfare issues, including food and water quality, housing, stock density, outdoor access, animal health, hygiene and pest and predator control.

All RDS-certified farms are third-party verified.

H&M is the second company to declare that ethically sourced down would feature in its Fall ’16 collection. Earlier this month, The North Face said that more than 500 products featuring 100 percent RDS-certified down would be hitting stores later this year.

And others are set to follow their lead. More than 40 brands from the outdoor, apparel and home industries have initiated certification of their supply chains to the RDS, while more than 1,200 sites in Europe, Asia and North America are RDS-certified to date, including 900 industrial farms.