What to look for when buying synthetic or animal down
Ultimately, Four Paws would advise people to avoid buying goose or duck down and buy synthetic down instead.
Páramo, Craghoppers, Regatta and Coleman only use synthetic down.
Most brands make some products filled with synthetic down, some 100% recycled or with a recycled content.
- Best Buy Páramo uses 55% recycled polyester in all its products containing synthetic down.
- Craghoppers’ and Regatta synthetic down also has some recycled content.
Certified virgin goose and duck down
If you are going to buy a goose or duck down product (or buy other products from the same companies), only buy from companies that use certified down.
Companies where all goose and duck down products 100% RDS certified: Alpkit, Berghaus, Columbia, Fjallraven, Haglofs, Jack Wolfskin, Mammut, Marmot, Montane, Mountain Equipment, North Face, Patagonia, prAna, Rab, Rohan, Sprayway, Vaude.
Certified recycled goose and duck down
Or you could choose products from the RDS-certified companies which also use recycled duck and goose down, if you are happy to buy animal-derived materials already in the system: Alpkit, Rab, Vaude, Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Equipment, Mammut.
The following products are 100% recycled duck and goose down, not just mixed in with virgin down:
Companies using 100% recycled goose and duck down
|Filoment gilets and jackets Rab
||Cubit, Horizon, Microlight and Axion Pro jackets and gilets
|Kabru gilet and jacket, Marwees sleeping bags
||Various products - see their website
|Eco Trail sleeping bags; Sierra, Arctic, McMurdo parkas; Westcliffe gilet
||Earthrise jackets and sleeping bags
Avoid buying from these companies which may be using uncertified virgin down: Ayacucho (Cotswolds brand), Decathlon brands, Sports Direct brands (Gelert, Karrimor), Peter Storm, Mountain Warehouse, Trespass.
How outdoor clothing brands score in our ethics table
In our soon-to be updated outdoor clothing guide, all companies using real animal down lose half a mark under Animal Rights. If they have not adopted a standard, they lose a full mark.
Páramo was the only company not to lose any marks for Animal Rights.
Other animal issues with clothing
Down is not the only animal welfare and rights issue associated with clothing. Many people including vegans will also wish to avoid wool, leather, fur and silk for example. Our article on clothing and animal welfare and animal rights has more information on these materials, and recommendations for brands to look for which are vegan friendly.