The company recently adopted a series of "traceable down" guidelines that suppliers must meet for the feathers to be used in any Patagonia product containing down (Patagonia sources its down from suppliers). Patagonia will not purchase feathers or down from companies that pluck live animals, or raise force-fed geese for foie gras.
Patagonia's standards come after years of assessing the way it uses down, including a response prompted by 2010 accusations of animal cruelty. Four Paws, the German animal-welfare group, charged that Patagonia's suppliers were using live-plucking methods. (Live-plucking, as Salon noted in December, traumatizes geese and is a potentially lethal practice.) Although Patagonia says there was no evidence of live-plucking, it did admit to finding some of its down came from force-fed gray geese in Hungary.
North Face and Canada Goose also say they avoid suppliers that use live-plucked down. North Face's Responsible Down Standard is "a step in the right direction," Four Paws campaigner Nina Jamal tells The Guardian, although Patagonia shows "a lower tolerance" for cruelty toward geese. Although Patagonia is currently the only retailer throwing Blue-Öyster-Cult-backed shade at live-plucking, both companies are in the process of developing synthetic substitutes to goose feathers, The Guardian reports.
H/T Fast Company