Q) Why bother to recycle down? It is a natural material and it biodegrades.
A) 300,000 tonnes of down and feather are sold every year. They are sourced as a by-product of the meat industry, but just because they are a meat industry by-product doesn’t mean they don’t have an environmental impact. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of down and feather goes to landfill every year, and a lot of it is good material which can be used again. Recycling it has a far smaller environmental impact than allowing a good material to be wasted.
Q) Is recycled down Down Codex® approved?
A) No. We use Down Codex® to identify down supply chains which we have audited and know meet required animal welfare standards. Also, only fully traceable supply chains qualify for Down Codex®. Because the sources of recycled down are so disparate we cannot trace their origin or audit all the farms where the down originally came from. In future, it may be possible for us to provide Down Codex® approved down.
Q) What should I do if I have a down-filled product I no longer want to use?
A) It depends why you no longer want to use the product. If the product is still useful to someone we recommend you sell it, or donate it to a charitable cause: perhaps a youth group, a homeless shelter, or a local outdoor centre. If the product is not useful to anyone – perhaps it is damaged beyond repair because of large tears or burn marks, a broken sleeping bag zip which is impossible to mend, extensive mould, a bed bug infestation, or fabrics which have extensive UV-fade which have gone thin and brittle – we recommend you return the down product to us. This is then closed-loop recycling.
Q) Where does your recycled down come from?
A) The down is taken from European post-consumer waste. This usually means discarded bedding products like down duvets and pillows. Most of the recycled material goes into new bedding products, with the small quantity of highest fill-power material being used in our Earthrise products.
Q) Is the down good quality?
A) Yes. Recycled down and feather in its bulk form contains a huge mixture of different down qualities, from low-grade pillow-quality material to very high quality material. We buy the very finest material available: it is not yet possible to produce better recycled down on an industrial scale than what we buy. It has a minimum of 85% down clusters and a minimum fill power of 650.
Q) Is the down recycling process environmentally friendly?
It is about as environmentally friendly as you could hope an industrial process to be: the facility is powered by solar energy and has extensive waste water recycling measures to further reduce environmental impact. The process itself saves a valuable material from landfill and by eliminating the farming process in obtaining virgin down, vastly reduces the carbon footprint of making down products.