Life Cycle Assessment compares Carbon Footprint
Sustainable... Renewable... Environmentally Superior... Lower Carbon Footprint... Recyclable... Positive Effects on Climate Change... Biodegradable... Part of the Circular Economy... Green Material...
While these are all accurate descriptions of the environmental benefits of down and feather, the International Down and Feather Bureau has commissioned research studies to quantify and bring data-based conclusions and results to these claims. 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.
On a per ton basis, down has an 85% – 97% lower impact than polyester in all categories analyzed, and 18 times lesser impact on climate change than polyester fill.
Research Supports Down’s Earth-Friendliness
While an IDFB-commissioned white paper assessed the humane practices of waterfowl practiced by IDFB members, it also quantified the fact that down and feather is the following:
- Recyclable: As a byproduct of the food industry, the waterfowl from which the down and feathers come from have been farmed or raised for food, not their feathers. Re-using the plumage for natural insulation reduces agricultural waste.
- Environmentally Friendly: As a byproduct of the food industry, no resources go to waste or into landfills.
- Renewable: Unlike synthetic fill materials composed of non-renewable resources, down and feather is a fully renewable resource.
The Sustainable and Ethical Practices of the Down and Feather Industry: A Global Assessment of Industry Statistics and Practices
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IDFB issues press releases to help inform and educate its members, the down and feather industry and consumers.