Does your feather down jacket get the ethical tick of approval?

It may have been keeping you cosy all winter, but do you know the story behind your wonderfully warm down jacket? Here are a few tips to make sure that when next winter rolls around you can stay warm, without compromising on ethics.

down jacket

Double check your down

When it comes to coping with the winter chill a puffy down-filled jacket is one of the most reliable defences. But do you know where your down comes from? Unfortunately, the industry is laced with ethical problems. Including the fact that many companies support live-plucking, a gruesome process that leaves animals injured and often sometimes dead. Even if the down is a by-product of birds killed for meat, there are still issues surrounding whether or not the plucking process is humane. Patagonia spearheaded the movement with a tongue in cheek video titled What the Pluck? Basically, it raised the question of traceable goose down and animal welfare. Definitely worth a watch if you’re an ethically conscious consumer.

Buy once, buy smart

One of the biggest concerns is chain brands flooding the market with cheap versions of down jackets. While they are competitively priced the reality is that cheap down is often sourced from Chinese factories engaging in inhumane plucking. So before you get tempted by that $100 down filled puffy jacket on sale it’s best to do a little research. While you may spend double on a jacket that’s Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified, you’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling (excuse the pun) every time you put it on. Plus, if you take care of your down jackets they should last for decades, as opposed to one or two seasons. This means that if you buy once and buy smart you can minimise your contribution.

Embrace synthetic

The good news is there are also some fantastic alternatives to down. Outdoor apparel companies come up with some pretty amazing synthetic fillers that not only insulate their wearers but give apparel an animal-friendly edge. If you just don’t find synthetic down as warm why not up your game with a luxuriously soft merino base layer?

Learn to love second hand

Another great option is to sift through your local op shops in search of a pre-loved down jacket? This way you’ll be giving new life to an item that has already made its environmental and ethical footprint.

Navigating your way around the issue of ethical down doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it’s simply about knowing where your product comes from. It’s also about being prepared to invest in one high-quality ethical garment, instead of multiple cheaper versions that compromise on quality and morals.

Do you have any ethical fashion tips?