The North Face Snags PETA Award

Revolutionary New ThermoBall™ Technology Mimics Down but Without the Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
January 22, 2014

Allison Lakomski 202-483-7382

Alameda, Calif. The North Face‘s new revolutionary insulation technology ThermoBall™ mimics goose down but provides even more versatility than down, which loses its insulating capability when wet. ThermoBall™ insulation consists of small, round fibers that cluster like feathers and features the same loft and compressibility as down but offers the added benefit of supplying uncompromising warmth in wet conditions.

In recognition of this technological advance in cruelty-free outerwear, PETA is presenting The North Face with its Innovator for Animals Award.

“ThermoBall™ technology perfectly demonstrates how cruelty-free synthetics are exceeding down’s performance attributes,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s award recognizes The North Face for its innovative efforts to provide outdoor sports enthusiasts with outerwear that’s durable, light, packable, machine-washable, and, best of all, Earth- and goose-friendly.”

ThermoBall™ has been a success with customers, too, which reflects the current industry trend away from down. A recent poll of outdoor enthusiasts who have bought insulated products, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of PETA, found that 80 percent of those shopping for insulated outerwear and/or sleeping bags will shop at stores that don’t offer down. After reading a description stating that some birds used for down are force-fed for foie gras (a process in which feeding tubes are manually inserted into their throats and their stomachs are pumped so full that their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size) or plucked while they’re still alive (meaning that workers hold the birds down and rip their feathers out by hand), the percentage of these outdoor enthusiasts who would shop at a store that doesn’t sell down jumped to 88 percent. Similarly, after reading the description of the practices of the down industry, 82 percent of these outdoor enthusiasts said that they’d be likely to choose synthetics over down. Even prior to reading the description, 81 percent said that synthetic insulation works as well as down.

PETA will send The North Face a framed certificate and a letter of congratulations.

For more information, please visit PETA’s blog.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 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