‘Responsible’ Down Doesn’t Fly: PETA to Press lululemon Shareholders to Ditch Down

For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Vancouver, British Columbia

At lululemon’s annual meeting tomorrow, PETA—which owns stock in the company—will ruffle feathers with two shareholder questions, pushing leadership to stop misleading shoppers with deceptive “responsible” down labels and to ditch down instead.

The questions—which PETA will submit on its own behalf and that of a loyal lululemon customer and shareholder—point to PETA Asia exposés of the down industry that have revealed workers at duck slaughterhouses in Vietnam stabbing birds in the neck and cutting off their feet while they were still conscious and struggling and workers at a goose farm in Russia beheading conscious geese with a dull axe. Feathers from these facilities were later sold under the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), a misleading label that lululemon and other retailers use to make customers feel good about buying their down products.

“The feathers in every down-filled jacket that lululemon sells came from terrified birds who were violently slaughtered,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the company to make good on its promise to ‘do big, challenging, and important things for each other and our planet’ by dropping down.”

“Birds whose down is used to fill lululemon’s puffy coats and vests typically spend their entire lives in dirty, dark sheds or on filthy feces-laden lots, where they are unable to swim or fly,” writes Chris C. Allan, a lululemon shareholder. “Knowing that birds used in the down industry endure a lifetime of suffering, how can lululemon continue to use a material that is completely at odds with the company’s core values?”

Birds used for down—including those sold under the RDS—are typically electroshocked and hung upside down in slaughterhouses, where their throats are slit and their bodies are dumped into scalding-hot water for defeathering. Many warm and cozy vegan down options are already on the market, including Thinsulate, Climashield, and PrimaLoft.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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