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Study: Consumers Crave High Performance Down with Low Environmental Impact

According to a new survey sponsored by Downlite, America’s premiere manufacturer of down and feather bedding, American consumers’ opinions are changing in regard to what is important when purchasing a down insulated jacket.

In a survey of 500 potential purchasers conducted in June, more than 83 percent said water repellent treated down is very important or somewhat important in their decision to purchase the product. Of these consumers, over 51 percent said fluorine-free or PFC-free chemistry is also very important or somewhat important to them.

Downlite sponsored the survey to better understand the buying behavior of American consumers when it comes to down insulated garments.

The global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear, Nikwax’s Hydrophobic Down (NHD), which is PFC-free, achieved record-breaking water repellency this spring.

Using the shake test, a method used to test the water resistance of hydrophobic down, NHD broke the 1000-minute mark. The method involves shaking the down with water in a glass jar, 50 times per minute, to see how long it takes to get wet.

“These new results are absolutely outstanding,” said CEO and founder of Nikwax, Nick Brown. “Nikwax shows that the best available technology can also be environmentally friendly technology. This contradicts the notion that high waterproofing performance can only be achieved with poisonous and persistent PFCs. Nikwax has achieved these results by not only creating clever chemistry, but developing unique processes that take into account the variability of down as a raw material.”

In the Hydrophobic Down industry, no product currently measures higher than 1000 minutes, while 120 minutes is considered a very acceptable result.

“The Downlite survey reflects we are reaching a convergence point in 2016 where the Outdoor consumer will be purchasing based on high performance results and lowest environmental impact,” said Rick Meade, president of Nikwax North America. “Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is positioned to deliver on those values.”

Downlite is the U.S.-based processor offering NHD to brands.