Strict animal welfare standards lend these items sustainability cred Down provides maximal warmth for minimal weight. However, animal-welfare concerns about that sought-after fluff have kept down products in ethical limbo—the geese and ducks providing feathers, historically, are often subjected to force-feeding and live-plucking. Thankfully, there has been progress in recent years—in 2015, Allied Feather & Down unveiled its Responsible Down Standard (RDS) when five brands (Peak Performance, Feathered Friends, Montane, Daniadown, and Merrell) signed on to have third-party auditors ensure animals’ welfare at each stage of down items’ production. In just four years, the RDS standard has fetched industry awards, and its cadre of participating brands has ballooned to include 100 outdoor gear manufacturers. It’s now easier to find quality gear sporting that blue RDS logo signaling items that are as ethically sourced as they are lightweight, compressible, and cozy. You’re probably already set with a coat this winter, but here’s a look at some of the best-performing and most exciting down accessories and accoutrements on the market. Nau’s Down Scarf ($100) is made from recycled polyester with a PFC-free water-resistant finish, ideal for keeping you toasty in cold and wet weather. It’s padded with lightweight, upcycled, 700 fill-power […]

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