Despite Animal-Welfare Concerns, Down’s Popularity Still Up


Sourcing Journal

Ecoalf is calling foul on fowl.

As part of its commitment to “people, animals and planet, the Madrid-based brand is swapping out the goose down in its puffer jackets, coats, and vests with a synthetic alternative. Its goal? To become “100 percent feather-free” by 2020, according to Javier Goyeneche, its founder and president. To that end, Ecoalf has been tinkering with a handful of insulation alternatives, each with a different loft, hand, and performance.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) instantly hailed the move, awarding Ecoalf’s down-free pieces, which currently make up 75 percent of its outerwear range, with its PETA-Approved Vegan seal of approval. Its praise in a press release issued last month was equally full-throated.

“Today’s shoppers are rejecting cruelty to animals, and that includes ripping out birds’ feathers and leaving the animals bloody so that the feathers can be stuffed into coats,” Anne Brainard, director of the animal-rights organization, said in a statement. “PETA-Approved Vegan designs like Ecoalf’s stylish jackets are putting compassion into fashion, and kind-hearted consumers will take notice.”

Down has long been in sights of the animal-rights group, which has purchased billboards, mobilized protests, and enlisted celebrities like Alicia Silverstone to highlight the graphic and violent pluckings millions of birds reportedly endure for their feathers every year.

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