Patagonia Traceable Down is traced from parent farm to apparel factory to help ensure that the birds that supply it are protected by the strongest animal welfare and consumer assurance standards. These include robust requirements in all areas of the birds’ life, and especially protects against force-feeding and live-plucking.

We began working in 2007 to trace our down supply chain in the interest of sound animal welfare. And since fall 2014, all of the virgin down we use to insulate our products has met our own Patagonia   Traceable Down Standard—the highest in the apparel industry.

We’re pleased to announce that, as of our fall 2017 product season, our virgin down is also now   certified  to the Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS), Advanced certification level by NSF International. NSF International is an independent, accredited organization that develops public health standards and certification programs that help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment. It developed Global TDS and certifies to the standard.

Our tracing process starts by auditing the parent farms, where birds are raised to produce eggs. This is where the highest risk for live-plucking occurs, as animals live there up to four years. Even though we don’t get our down from birds at parent farms, we feel obliged to look out for their welfare as they are an essential part of the down supply chain. This is what sets us apart from other brands also concerned about animal welfare.

The eggs produced at parent farms are transferred to other farms, where hatchlings are raised for their meat. We audit these farms to ensure sound animal welfare practices. Down is a byproduct of the food industry, and the down we buy comes exclusively from slaughterhouses. After it is collected from geese and ducks that have been killed for their meat, we follow it through washing, sorting and processing facilities to ensure proper traceability and segregation from untraceable down. We continue our audits all the way to the garment factory, where we make sure our down is stored separately from that of other brands and used only in our clothing. It’s a lot of work. But this is how we help ensure the birds whose down we use have been treated humanely.

The assurance of sound animal welfare inherent in our Traceable Down is the result of thousands of hours of work from our executives, designers, material planners, sourcing department, suppliers and corporate social responsibility team. It was neither cheap nor easy, and we had to change our strategy and business operations to accomplish it. But building a product that helps you stay warm in good conscience is a legacy of which we are extremely proud.

 


 

A Reverse Timeline of Our Efforts