Nine Ways to Get Your Fluff From Ethically Sourced Down

This winter, pick a jacket that won’t sacrifice performance Lightweight, compressible, and warm, down is without doubt the top choice when it comes to packable, practical winter jackets. But that sought-after fluff doesn’t always have ethical origins, as the ducks and geese providing our coveted down are often subject to some pretty horrifying abuses. Enter the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), an involuntary program for suppliers. With RDS, a third party audits each stage of gear companies’ supply chain to ensure the animals’ welfare. The standard ensures that birds aren’t live-plucked or force-fed, and that they’re treated well overall. Major apparel companies, like The North Face and Columbia, have signed on. How do we know? Their products sport an easy-to-spot blue RDS logo. Here’s a look at some of the best-performing down jackets on the market—both new releases and reliable standbys—made with ethically-sourced feathers. One of Columbia’s best-performing down jackets is also its most eco-friendly. The OutDry EX ECO Down Jacket ($280) is an impressive creation: It’s waterproof and exceptionally breathable, thanks to Columbia’s proprietary OutDry technology. The 700-fill jacket is constructed out of recycled materials and made without PFCs, which are commonly used in waterproof jackets but are linked […]

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