Those with down in their supply chains now have a chance to weigh in on standards setting for the raw material.
The standard has been under review for the past year and the International Working Group has presented a list of proposed changes for public review. These changes include a number of recommendations to strengthen the standard in areas that include training requirements, documentation and management systems, and ensuring best practices in animal welfare.
The RDS was originally released in 2014 and has catalyzed brands and retailers to align demand around a common set of animal welfare principles. The RDS strictly prohibits live-plucking and force-feeding, alongside holistic requirements such as access to feed and water, proper handling, access to veterinary care and other key elements that ensure the animals are respected.
The review of the RDS has included feedback and expertise from a wide range of stakeholders, including animal welfare organizations like Four Paws, RSPCA and Humane Society International.
Textile Exchange is a global nonprofit that manages and promotes a suite of six leading industry standards–the RDS, Content Claim Standard, Recycled Claim Standard, Global Recycled Standard, Organic Content Standard and Responsible Wool Standard. These standards are designed to ensure chain of custody for preferred materials, and to provide labeling tools for final product claims.
The Textile Exchange Standard Setting Procedures are meant to ensure the standard development process is inclusive and transparent to affected stakeholders and provide a robust review process that ensures the standards effectively meet their goals. The development and revisions of Textile Exchange standards also ensure compliance with international best practices for standard setting.
The public draft consultation for the Responsible Down Standard is open until Feb. 28.