10 Years of Down Codex

The DOWN CODEX® places animal welfare, quality and sustainability at the heart of each and every one of our down insulated products.

 

The Down Codex has now reached its tenth anniversary, giving us the perfect opportunity to show how much Down Codex matters, the influence it has had, and the progress that we’ve made.

 

Since we began manufacturing down insulated garments and sleeping bags we have put considerable effort into developing the knowledge and expertise to source the very best qualities of the down for our needs. For many years, that was as far as it went.

 

Then, in 2009, we made a promise to commit as much time and effort into addressing environmental, ethical and welfare concerns within our supply chains as we did to ensuring we sourced the very best materials and made the very best products.

 

First steps

Down supply chains are complex systems. Navigating them is not an easy task.

 

We were starting from scratch, there were no standards, no auditing schemes, little industry knowledge and few if any case-studies.  

 

We took our lead on welfare from the UK’s leading animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, and to understand more about the down supply chain itself we turned to the International down and feather laboratory (IDFL) for help.

 

Happy Geese Project, 2009

With the help of the RSPCA and IDFL, and the openness of one of our sleeping bag factories we conducted our first site visit in August 2010, in Northern China. Our ‘Happy Geese Project’, which would eventually become Codex, was in motion.

 

 

Today, The Down Codex operates on four key principles. Its key aim is to manage and reduce risk in our down supply chain by constantly working to develop our knowledge and best practice, backed up by comprehensive and transparent auditing.

 

These principle rules and commitments have been met by visiting farms, slaughterhouses, processors and factories and we were one of the first brands in the world to go beyond accepting written guarantees from suppliers and introduce a system of on-the-ground audits.

 

We also remain committed to transparency. We are the only brand to make both our audit results and independent quality reports publicly available online.

 

Looking ahead...

Down Codex has since influenced and been joined by many other down traceability and animal welfare policies.

 

The down industry remains a complex one and, while welfare standards have improved in many parts of the industry, traceability has increased tremendously and public awareness of issues in the down industry has never been higher, we are nowhere near the summit yet.

 

10 years of Codex have taught us a lot, and ultimately it’s that if you care and want to change something, then you can. Don’t aim for perfect or you’ll never leave basecamp, just aim for progress and see how far you can get.

 

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