Duck Defenders Flock to Global Fashion Summit to Ruffle H&M’s Feathers

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According to leadership at popular fashion retailer H&M, no animals should ever be harmed for clothing. But its business tells a different story: After nine separate PETA exposés into the down industry showcased its misery and filth, H&M continues to sell clothing made with ducks’ feathers.

These ducks are exploited by down suppliers and clothing companies like H&MDucks like these are cruelly abused across the down industry as a matter of routine.

H&M’s management knows that its use of down is a problem. The company even removed the “responsible” down label from its U.S. online catalog after a PETA Asia investigation into Vietnamese duck farms and slaughterhouses blew the lid off the sham certification and even exposed a supplier that named H&M as a down recipient.

As long as H&M refuses to ban down from its bill of materials, duck defenders will mobilize to hold the company accountable. Here’s what we’ve done so far.

PETA U.K. Flocked to the Global Fashion Summit in Behalf of Birds

May 22, 2024: Like birds of a feather, PETA U.K. and Danish animal rights group Dyrenes Alliance flocked together at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen and doubled down on our call for H&M to stop selling items made from sensitive birds’ stolen feathers. They delivered a message for H&M’s CFO Adam Karlsson—who was speaking at the event—with a huge banner highlighting that down is “bloody cruel” and demanding that the company drop it.

protestors holding "down is bloody cruel" at H&M demo

Copenhagen Fashion Week’s move to ban exotic skins and feathers is evidence that compassion is the future of fashion—and H&M needs to catch up. Like all our fellow animals, birds can feel joy, love, pain, and fear. It’s past time for companies like H&M to leave them in peace.

PETA’s Campaign of Action Against H&M

On ‘Feather-Free Friday,’ PETA’s Flock Focused on Ducks

Nov 24, 2023: On Black Friday, flocks of PETA supporters descended on H&M locations around the globe. Some were dressed as Santa and others came as giant ducks, but all were armed with signs, spirit, and information.

In front of an H&M store. Three people dressed as skeleton reapers, holding sickles that read: H&M: Down is Dead. The center of the group holds up a prop of a bloodied duck, and the two on each side hold jackets with dirty feathers adhered to them.
Credit: PETA
In front of an H&M store. humans holding large photo cutouts of live duck heads in front of their faces. they hold signs reading, in order, "H&M profits from animal abuse", "H&M down hurts" and "H&M: selling feathers is cruel", the latter being in swedish.

From H&M’s headquarters in Stockholm to stores in Miami and Tokyo, would-be customers were shocked to learn about the bloody violence that workers put ducks through to obtain their feathers.

PETA Sends H&M a ‘Bloody’ Message

Nov 17, 2023: To cut right through H&M’s humane-washing deception, PETA sent its CEO a “bloody axe” and a “duck foot” along with a simple challenge: Stop selling down.

fake bloody axe and fake duck foot

H&M’s leadership may have removed “responsible” from its language describing its down items, but anything short of a ban on down in its supply chain is an act of violence toward ducks. PETA will keep the pressure on the company to stick to its stated values—no harm to any animals, period.

PETA Proves That Down Production Is Cruel Again and Again

PETA has released nine exposés revealing that filth and abuse are standard in the down industry. A 13-month 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—exposed unspeakable cruelty to ducks.

PETA Asia’s investigators saw ducks being kept on crowded lots littered with feces. Many birds appeared to be 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. Many of the birds continued to move for more than a minute after workers cut their necks.

There’s No Such Thing as Responsible Down

H&M depends on the Textile Exchange’s ineffective Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to make misleading claims about animal welfare. But as PETA’s exposés demonstrate, the RDS is clearly a sham. PETA Asia’s findings from RDS-certified goose farms in Russia—which exports down to countries around the world—revealed that workers behead geese with a dull axe while the birds are still conscious.

There’s no such thing as responsible down, because all feathers come from gentle, sensitive birds who are violently slaughtered.

Ducks and geese are social, intelligent individuals. Ducks live in couples or in groups, and pairs of geese partner for life, mourning for lengthy periods after their partners die. Just like us, they feel pain, fear, and grief. No sentient being should be killed for clothing.

In less than one minute, you can help birds suffering for down by reminding H&M that consumers don’t want to buy cruelly obtained clothing:

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