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Down has an 85–97% lower impact than polyester in all categories analyzed and 18 times lesser impact on climate change than polyester fill.

To test the environmental footprint of down and feather, IDFB commissioned Long Trail ‎Sustainability, an independent third-party organization that specializes in ‎Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), to conduct an LCA of down fill compared to ‎polyester.‎ The LCA tested the environmental impact of down vs. polyester in five ‎areas: human health, ecosystems, resources, cumulative energy demand ‎and climate change.

Down and feather sportswear, bedding and outdoor gear turn our winter activities into adventures, our summer treks into expeditions and our houses into comfortable homes.

It is no wonder manufacturers and designers have embraced down and feather and made it into products that are timeless yet trendy and as fashionable as they are functional. Down and feather enhances so many parts of our lives because of these unique qualities:

As the light fluffy coating clustered beneath the feathers of geese or ducks, down is the world’s most efficient ‎natural insulator. Down products provide superior warmth over synthetic materials which is why it is the fill material of choice for winter sports apparel, outdoor gear, and bedding.

  • When down and feather bedding first became mainstream in the 1960s, its superior warmth combined with its lightness changed the way beds were made. Heavy layers of blankets were replaced by a single light weight down and feather comforter or duvet.
  • Runners, hikers, mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders, and skaters appreciate the extra movement, comfort and speed that lightweight down jackets, vests, and parkas offer.

  • Because it is a natural product, down and feather is a healthy, breathable material which reduces uncomfortable overheating during sports activities and the nighttime “sweats” that can interrupt a good night’s sleep.
  • Down and feather bedding products are non-allergenic to those with dust allergies. Its breathability reduces the moist environment that breeds dust mites.

  • Down and feathers are part of our lives as they are a byproduct of the food industry. Instead of being discarded into and contributing to ever-growing landfills, down and feather is collected, cleaned, sanitized, and used as fill material in products that keep us warm.
  • IDFB commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment that revealed that down and feather fill is 85-97% more environmentally friendly than synthetic fill material.

The International Down and Feather Bureau is the global trade association of the down and feather industry. IDFB is the leading resource for information about and promotion of down and feather material. IDFB conducts the research and creates the testing protocols and standards to help this industry maintain a high level of product integrity throughout the world.


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