PETA Exposé of Goose Farms in China Raises Grave Doubts Over So-Called 'Responsible Down Standard'
For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382 Anne Brainard 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – A new PETA exposé offers a peek at the complicated trail of companies linked to down suppliers to Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, and Hollander Sleep Products and raises concerns over the legitimacy of the “Responsible Down Standard” (RDS). Video footage from goose farms in China shows that workers pin geese down and rip their feathers out as they struggle and scream—all on farms with connections to retail suppliers that are certified by the RDS, which prohibits live plucking of geese whose feathers are marketed under the standard. The RDS permits suppliers to handle both feathers that are live-plucked and those that are plucked after the birds are dead, making it unclear how much the consumer can trust that any real safeguard against live plucking is in place.
In response, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—is calling on Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, and Hollander Sleep Products to stop selling down products and, instead, sell exclusively the high-tech down-free products that all three companies already offer, thereby assuring 100 percent cruelty-free garments.
“There’s simply no guarantee that the feathers inside any jacket or pillow weren’t ripped out of a screaming goose’s skin,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on kind consumers to ditch down in favor of high-tech synthetics that are compassionate, warm, and hypoallergenic—and even insulate when wet.”
Teng Fei Goose Farm, one of the farms in PETA’s exposé, sells live-plucked down to The Sea Feather Limited Company of Lu’an, which supplies down to Hollander Sleep Products and—in addition to being RDS certified—is among a group of companies that offer a “Non Live-Plucked Products Guarantee.” Another company in PETA’s exposé, New White Goose Farming Cooperative of Lu’an City, Jin An District, sells feathers and down to an intermediary who, in turn, sells to Allied Feather & Down Corp. Allied, which is RDS-certified and supplies Lands’ End and Eddie Bauer, among other brands.
Another cooperative in PETA’s exposé, Jilin Wan Long River Animal Husbandry, sends live-plucked feathers to Jilin City Bailing Down Products, where a representative admitted, “The plucking is done in secret; we’re unwilling to pluck openly,” and, “[W]e advertised that it’s all plucked after slaughter—nobody dares to buy it if you say it’s live-plucked.” Bailing sells down to the RDS-certified Down Decor, another supplier to Lands’ End and Eddie Bauer. This down is supposed to come from sources other than live-plucked.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.