Down: recycling instead of textile waste

Down and feathers are natural products – but often produced by hurting animals. Re:Down found an alternative that is also sustainable. “Our goal is to find recycling solutions for a part of the massive textile waste. We focus on the bulky down and feather post consumer goods and try to do the best out of each material”, said Eric Firmann, Co-Founder Re:Down.

Down and feathers turn into new filling materials

Down and feathers mainly from beddings are collected to be re-used as filling material in apparel, sleeping bags or bedding products. “We only offer down and feathers from post-consumer goods, with no new animal input. Our raw material comes from textile waste containers and not from slaughter houses. The best of existing resources instead of using new ones!” Down and feathers are then sterilized through high temperature and only soap is used during washing. The water-resistant finish uses an FC free formula.

Down upcycling into fertilizer

97% of what is collected can already be recycled, although Re:Down’s target is zero waste. Next to down and feathers the other collected materials are re-processed as well. Fabric shells are chopped into small pieces and end up in non-woven insulation. Broken feathers and down fibers are up-cycled into an organic fertilizer.

Available brands on the UK market that use Re:Down are for example Arket from H&M group or Everlane, who both use it for outerwear like down jackets. UK outdoor brand Mountain Equipment has been a partner for years, filling jackets, pants, sleeping bags, and more with the recycled down and feathers. Other international outdoor brands are for example Mammut, Bergans or Patagonia.

Image: Pixabay

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Written by Sonja

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