Ethically Sourced Down Pillows from Queen Anne Pillow

ethically sourced down pillowsWe live in an age when technology allows us to learn more about our purchasing decisions. We can make more informed choices based on our personal values. Most of us want assurances that our animal-derived food, clothing, and bedding are humanely sourced, and down products are no different. Are you sleeping on ethically sourced down pillows?

At Queen Anne Pillows, it’s a priority for us to make sure our down and feathers are ethically harvested from geese and ducks raised and processed for the food industry. We monitor our supply chain to ensure the birds are raised under humane conditions and dispatched responsibly and ethically.

Unfortunately, not every bedding manufacturer can say the same.

Gooseflesh gets a whole new meaning

Last year, CBS released an article on the practice of plucking down from live geese, swans, and ducks based on evidence presented by a well-known animal rights organization.

According to the piece, live-plucked geese continue to regrow feathers that are higher in quality with a higher fill power, and these “live pluck” down products are specifically requested by some manufacturers. Unfortunately, live-plucking is painful for the birds, often leaving painful tears in the skin. Live-plucked birds may live longer so that their feathers can be harvested multiple times, but is that extra time worth living?

Many well-known, high-volume down product retailers were unaware that their supply chain lacked oversight in sourcing ethically-sourced materials. Their need for consistent supply is thought to pressure their brokers into turning a blind eye to suppliers’ unethical practices.

Supervising our supply chain

Sometimes, micromanagement is a good thing. As a smaller company with less pressure to meet demand, it’s easier for us to spend energy monitoring our supply chain, rather than relying solely upon our trusted intermediaries. We work with producers who raise their birds for meat, and the feather quality of these animals is more than suitable for healthy, ethically sourced down pillows.

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  • 100% Goose Down – No Feathers!
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  • Hand Filled
  • 650 Fill Power
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Why use animal products at all? 

In addition to ethically sourced down pillows, we offer a variety of fill types for our luxurious pillows, from organically-farmed cotton to hypoallergenic synthetics. We believe that responsibly-sourced animal products, which are biodegradable alternatives to petroleum-based products, allow customers the option of choosing materials best suited to their personal and ethical preferences.

Goose and duck meat are a staple in Asia and very much part of the region’s cultural diet. When world markets insist on high standards for the treatment of animals, either for the primary product (meat) or for secondary products (feathers) suppliers understand that the investment in improved facilities and humane operating protocols will place them in higher demand, and fetch them better prices.

Ethically-sourced animal and plant products, like wool, organic cotton, and down raised and harvested under humane standards, help keep synthetic fibers out of our oceans and groundwater. Feathers and organic fibers naturally break down in landfills or waterways and are even coveted by gardeners as soil amendments!

Responsible Down Standard

We proudly follow the voluntary guidelines recommended by Responsible Down Standard (RDS), an industry organization that works with animal welfare groups, manufacturers, and retailers to set ethical sourcing standards. Retailers certified through RDS encourage positive changes in animal production, and in 2016 alone, more than 3000 goose and duck farms agreed to participate in the Responsible Down Standard program of inspections and certification.

Information is power

While many down product manufacturers would prefer these articles to go away, we think our customers should know about the issues important to us as we monitor our own supply chain. Informed customers support ethical businesses, and responsible sourcing translates to improved animal husbandry, worker conditions and environmentally sound practices. We want you to sleep well at night, knowing your down pillows are ethically sourced. If you’d like to learn more about our products, including our luxury down pillows, just click here!

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash