As the Christmas shopping frenzy heats up, Fashion Weekly readers will be confronted this week with the image of a goose who’s been plucked alive for feathers.
That’s because PETA Australia has placed an ad on the site asking Australian company Kathmandu to “ditch down”. PETA’s point? That every down jacket is a product of immense suffering and means death for geese and ducks.
While Kathmandu claims to use “100 per cent ethically sourced” feathers that are certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), PETA US and PETA Asia visited farms connected to RDS-certified companies in China – the country from which Kathmandu sources its down – and they uncovered shocking cruelty that casts doubt on this certification. Eyewitnesses saw workers rip the feathers out of fully conscious geese, leaving open, bloody wounds.
“There’s simply no guarantee that the feathers inside any down jacket weren’t ripped out of a screaming goose’s skin”, said PETA Australia associate director of campaigns Ashley Fruno. “PETA is calling on Kathmandu to ditch down in favour of high-tech synthetics that are compassionate, warm, hypoallergenic, and insulating – even when wet.”
So far, more than 70,000 supporters of PETA and its affiliates have written to Kathmandu, asking it to stop selling down.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – notes that many major international brands, including Topshop, ASOS, Ted Baker, Primark, and Dr Martens, have stopped selling down in favour of kinder and superior synthetic materials.