Fjällräven is setting a new standard for down production in the apparel industry. The Swedish heritage company, known for its durable outdoor apparel and accessories, unveiled the Fjällräven Down Promise on Tuesday, a guarantee backed by 40 years of research that ensures all of its down products are built with only ethically produced down from the highest quality.
From breeding, transport, slaughter, processing and production, the company has a strict set of practices that ensure consistency at all stages. And with the standard, Fjällräven can account for full traceability of its down from hatchlings to finished products.
As part of the Fjällräven Down Promise, the company said its down—sourced from geese bred primarily for food from one supplier in the Yangshou province of China, which shares its views on animal welfare—is never mixed with down from other sources. The down is handled in sealed sacks and verified with random sampling at different stages of the production process. Fjällräven’s quality control system monitors the down process through regular inspections by third party organizations, including an independent Swedish veterinarian who checks living conditions of the geese regularly, and the International Down and Feather Laboratory (IDFL), an independent test institute who verifies the quality and cleanliness of the down during the processing stage.
Aiko Bode, chief sustainability officer for Fjällräven and the Fenix Outdoor Group, said, “Fjällräven places high demands on all their products, but we are very careful to ensure that our down is produced in the most ethical manner.” He added, “This is why we have invested so much energy into ensuring an upright and controlled down process the whole way. From the bird farms via the slaughterhouse and down processors, to the factories that make our final products, we always strive to meet the best practices.”
Fjällräven plans to update its retail and digital presence with new materials and a video to educate consumers about the importance of ethically produced down. It will also mark its down products with an updated Fjällräven Down Promise logo on tags and online.
Over the years, Fjällräven has garnered a positive reputation with animal welfare groups. In 2010 the company received an honorable mention from Animal Welfare Sweden for their down handling practices, and by 2012 became a participant to the United Nations Global Compact Principles, leading the environmental strategy to promote the use of ethically sourced down.
Bode noted that the company’s work to improve the welfare of animals is far from over. He said, “It is an ongoing task where we are constantly making improvements on our processes and listening to and learning from experts, so that all the steps in the production process are continuously meeting the highest possible standards from an animal welfare perspective.”