“Responsible Down Standard” - A Textile Exchange certificate
The Responsible Down Standard is an independent, voluntary global standard, which means that companies can choose to certify their products to the RDS, even if there is no legislation requiring them to do so. The RDS was developed and revised over three years, with the input of animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands and retailers. The standard recognizes and rewards the best practices in animal welfare.
RDS is developed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organization, that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply network. Textile Exchange identifies and shares best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability, and product end-of-life in order to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created around the world by the textile industry. Members include 210 companies and organizations from more than 25 countries.
The primary goal is to make farmers, brands and the rest of the supply chain members need to meet their obligations to respect the Five Freedoms of the animals that provide their down and feathers, and to meet the trust of consumers that are choosing RDS products.
The Five Freedoms are:
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Freedom from discomfort
Freedom from pain, injury and disease
Freedom to express normal behaviour
Freedom from fear and distress
In order to receive certification, brands invite a third-party auditor called a Certification Body to visit factories and farms to interview staff, analyze hygiene conditions, and ensure that ducks and geese are well cared for. After checking each stage of the down sourcing process, Certification Bodies can give their approval and follow the down material to production where it is used as insulation in jackets, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, as well as other products. When you see the RDS logo on a final product, it represents a great deal of work at every stage in the supply chain.
Which brands use it?
The North Face, Eddie Bauer, Marmot, Mammut, Nau, Outdoor Research, Helly Hansen, Montane, Down Linens, and Down & Feather Co.