Update (September 15, 2022): Down is for the birds—Bernardo now uses Ecoplume fill in all its puffer coats. This vegan fill is made of post-consumer plastic bottles, adding all the warmth without any cruelty.
Update (June 12, 2017): After discussions with PETA, eco-conscious high-end boutique brand 1 Hotels agreed to start purchasing only down-free bedding for its New York hotels near the Brooklyn Bridge and in Central Park as well as its location in Florida’s South Beach. And all of its future hotels will feature down-free bedding exclusively.
Following an appeal by PETA, Napapijri (a VF Corporation brand) is also now down-free. This decision directly aligns with Napapijri’s dedication to sustainability and spares many birds suffering and pain.
Great news! Many popular retailers and hotel chains have proved that they’re not down with down, the soft feathers that are plucked from birds who are killed for meat or foie gras or torn from the bodies of living birds, a practice that causes ducks and geese considerable pain and distress.
Moxy and AC hotels, for example, have gone completely down-free, using corn-based materials and other synthetics instead of feathers from abused birds, and Marriott Hotels has reduced its down use from 100 percent to 50 percent.
PETA had been planning to attend a Williams-Sonoma annual meeting in May 2015 to share our thoughts about down, but we were able to change our plans when the company, which owns retailers Pottery Barn and West Elm, confirmed that all three retailers will offer more synthetic options in time for the start of the holiday shopping season in November.
Restoration Hardware will also be offering more synthetic options beginning next month. Crate & Barrel and CB2 already offer a synthetic down insert for decorative pillows, and The Land of Nod offers a synthetic insert called Natural Harmony.
It’s easy to find down-free bedding, coats, and household items. Last year, The North Face received an Innovator for Animals Award from PETA for introducing Thermoball technology, which is constructed of lightweight clusters that mimic down and offer superior warmth.
This fall, please buy only vegan pillows, comforters, sleeping bags, and jackets and pressure other companies, including yoga-apparel company Lululemon, to start offering down-free options that are cost-effective and easier to maintain and that don’t cause environmental devastation or cruelty to animals, as down does.