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Six New Brands Commit to the Responsible Down Standard

At the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow last week, Textile Exchange, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating sustainable practices in the textile industry, announced that six additional brands joined the expanding roster of companies committed to its Responsible Down Standard (RSD): Adidas Group, Black Diamond, Kathmandu (NZ), NAU, REI and Timberland.

The already strong list of brands involved in the responsible down market include The North Face, Down & Feather Co., DownLinens, Eddie Bauer, H&M, Helly Hansen, Mammut, Marmot and Outdoor Research.

“The many brands and companies that have signed on to RDS deserve credit for their commitment. I’m proud of the scale that we have achieved with the RDS, and the incredible energy that our International Working Group has put into the revision,” Anne Gillespie, director of industry integrity for Textile Exchange said. “We anticipate further strong growth, particularly as we move into the home and bedding markets. Our goal is to protect the welfare of as many ducks and geese as possible.”

Textile Exchange became the owner of RDS, working closely with brands, suppliers, industry organizations and animal welfare groups. RDS 2.0 was released for public comment on Jan. 19. The revised standard includes an optional Parent Farm component for companies seeking to go beyond the direct sources of its down, strengthen the animal welfare criteria, and increase the strictness of product labeling by only allowing 100 percent of RDS products to be labeled.

The primary order of the RDS is to prevent practices that include force-feeding and live-plucking, in addition to enforcing stricter requirements on issues involving food and water quality, housing, stock density and outdoor access, animal health, hygiene, pest and predator control, among others.

“The first year of the RDS was a tremendous success and we are proud to have contributed to the improvement of the lives of so many animals in the down supply chain,” Adam Mott, director of sustainability for The North Face said. “We are excited to see such rapid adoption of the standard through the commitment of brands and suppliers inside and outside of our industry. The update of the RDS will strengthen an already effective, successful standard and we commend Textile Exchange for their tireless work in leading the way.”