H&M Claims to Care About Transparency—but Doesn’t Reveal Its Down Suppliers

Published by Elena Waldman.

If H&M really cares about animal welfare as it claims to, the company needs to prove it by not selling down feathers, which are ripped from birds’ skin after they’ve been violently killed. As a shareholder in the company, PETA’s asking H&M’s board for the bare minimum: transparency. Our shareholder resolution asks H&M to prepare a report on the slaughter methods used to obtain down feathers for the company, given that down production is inherently cruel to birds.

PETA has released nine exposés of the down industry, each proving that filth, suffering, and violent deaths are what the industry is all about. All down feathers come from ducks and geese who are violently killed. Slaughterhouse workers inadequately stun many birds before cutting their throats, so birds are often still conscious when workers dump them into defeathering tanks full of scalding-hot water.

The resolution points out that H&M depends on the Textile Exchange’s demonstrably ineffective Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to make claims about animal welfare. But recently, it also began removing the RDS label from its online offerings, indicating that it knows the RDS is a sham. H&M also provides no information about the farms and slaughterhouses that supply down for its products—completely debunking its own misleading statements that it has prioritized both traceability and transparency across supply chains.

A PETA Asia investigation into duck farms and slaughterhouses in Vietnam connected to companies that claim to sell “responsible” down—including a previous supplier to H&M—revealed unspeakable cruelty to ducks. Investigators saw ducks kept in crowded lots littered with feces. Many birds appeared sick, and some had sustained bloody wounds. A worker hung birds by their legs and stabbed them in the throat while they were still conscious.

H&M claims that no animals should be harmed for its clothes, so it should jump at the chance to hold a microscope up to its supply chain to ensure just that, as PETA requests. Every down item represents the pain and suffering of terrified birds, and labels and lip service only serve to absolve companies and dupe well-meaning consumers.

Tell H&M to Ban Animal-Derived Materials

You can help birds who are exploited and killed for their feathers by urging H&M and other companies to stop selling cruel down:

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind