The International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB) has published new research on the global down and feather industry that explores the sustainable and humane practices behind one of today’s most popular filling materials. Refuting common misconceptions, the report shows that the down and feather used in bedding primarily comes from ducks and geese raised for human consumption--making the material a sustainable byproduct of the global food industry.
The Sustainable and Humane Practices of the Down and Feather Industry notes that from 2009-2013 alone, approximately 2.7 billion ducks and 653 million geese were raised for consumption globally, resulting in an estimated 410 million pounds of excess down and feathers each year. While these materials would otherwise serve only as a waste product, they are instead sanitized and traded for use in products like pillows, comforters, duvets and mattress toppers.
“Down and feather products are highly sustainable, making them superior to synthetic materials since they have a lower carbon footprint. However, when materials derived from animals are used in manufactured goods, it’s common for the source of these materials to come into question,” said Stephen Palmer, president of IDFB. “The down and feather industry is highly regulated, contrary to many misrepresentations that have been made. Any deleterious methods of down and feather procurement are neither supported nor condoned.”
Since 2008, the IDFL has visited more than 2,000 geese and duck farms across the world and conducted approximately 400 traceability audits. Through these audits, the organization has found damaging procurement to be so rare that it represents less than one percent of the industry.
Founded in 1953, IDFB is the global trade association for the down and feather industry. In addition to developing, promoting and maintaining international standards for down and feather fillings, IDFB provides consumers with clear explanations and simple definitions. In addition to summarizing the sustainability of down and feather procurement, the organization’s latest report covers a wide range of topics surrounding the industry, including the legal and regulatory bodies regarding down and feather procurement and the methods by which down and feather is procured.