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Patagonia moves to 100 percent traceable down

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VENTURA, Calif. – The outdoor apparel company Patagonia Inc. on Nov. 6
announced its move to 100 percent “traceable down” across its entire
collection of down-insulated products, starting in fall 2014.
Patagonia Traceable Down is sourced from birds that have been neither
force-fed for foie gras production nor plucked for their feathers and down
during their lifetime.
Six years in the making, the program provides a robust assurance of sound
animal welfare, according to a press release from Patagonia. The company is
authenticating its down supply chain through a holistic traceability audit
consisting of a physical inspection of the entire supply chain, from farm to
factory, performed by an independent, third-party traceability expert.

Many other companies use affidavits from suppliers with minimal verification,
or certify only parts of the supply chain without linking all entities that handle
the down, according to Patagonia social and environmental responsibility
manager Wendy Savage.
“Patagonia’s traceability program is hands-on every step of the way,” Savage
said. “We begin our audit at the parent farm, where the eggs are laid, and
follow it all the way to the garment factory, where the down is placed in our
garments. We need to understand every single part of the supply chain –
otherwise we can’t truly feel comfortable claiming the down as traceable.”

Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the
company has, since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing
Patagonia hopes this move to traceable down will help inspire other
companies to look closely at their own down supply chains and utilize this
new model for traceability.

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