RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, refuses to guarantee to its shareholders (including PETA) and customers that the down feathers in its products aren’t yanked out of sensitive ducks and geese. That’s why PETA submitted a resolution calling on the company to commission a report on the welfare of the birds in its down supply chain and release it before the end of the year.
PETA’s resolution, submitted to RH at the retailer’s 2023 annual meeting, reads in part as follows:
Shareholders request that RH issue a report prior to December 31, 2023, on the treatment of ducks and geese on farms and at slaughterhouses in [the] company’s down supply chain in order to determine whether these operations comply with applicable animal welfare laws. The report should also address the risks presented by the company’s sourcing of down that is incompatible with animal welfare laws and the company’s plans, if any, to mitigate these risks.
RH has identified responsible sourcing and vendor compliance as a key component of its business model. In addition, it has pledged to “monitor certain animal and natural products such as those made with down feathers” in an effort to obtain down and feathers from “ethical and humane sources.” However, RH provides no transparency regarding its monitoring process including, specifically, whether its monitoring has confirmed vendor compliance with animal welfare laws or what is done when a vendor is found engaging in practices that go against its policies.
RH cannot depend on third-party audits, industry regulators, or government bodies to ensure that it obtains down in a manner consistent with its publicly stated values and pledges.
PETA Entity Exposés Reveal How Birds Suffer for Down
In 2022, PETA entities released exposés of facilities in Poland, Russia, and Vietnam—some of the world’s largest down exporters. These investigations confirm that atrocious cruelty, gross lapses in oversight, and multiple violations of industry standards and both local and international laws are rampant in the down industry.
Even on “responsibly certified” farms, sick and injured ducks languished in crowded and filthy lots. Workers slaughtered shrieking and terrified geese on site by stretching their necks out across a stump, then repeatedly hacking at them—as many as seven times before decapitation was complete—with a dull axe.
Inadequate stunning at multiple slaughterhouses caused immense and prolonged suffering to ducks who were then left hanging upside down from leg shackles, some flapping wildly as they slowly bled to death after being slashed or stabbed in the neck.
Join PETA in Demanding That RH Stop Selling Down
All down comes from birds who are eventually killed in a violent, painful way. They’re often picked up by their necks, wings, or feet and stuffed into crates for a grueling journey through all weather extremes to the slaughterhouse. There, many of them are inadequately stunned before their throats are cut, so they’re still conscious when they’re dumped into defeathering tanks full of scalding-hot water.