In 2009, animal rights organisations drew attention to the widespread mistreatment of birds seen in the production of down in various parts of the world. Among other inhumane treatments, they found geese being cruelly force fed for maximum growth and to give enlarged livers, and geese that were being live plucked. The apparel industry was criticised for not having control of all the various stages of their chain of production. In order to correct the problem a common project was launched at industry level, which included fashion, homeware and outdoor companies.
Already back in 2009, we at Fjällräven felt that we had a good system of control in place, but after the shocking reports from other areas we decided to go a step further and work with our own chain of production at a more advanced level. We consulted experts and suppliers, we learnt everything we could about raising birds and we revised our transport and slaughter routines. We were in constant consultation with both animal welfare representatives and veterinarians, as well as down processors, transport companies and experts on water and sewage handling. We listened to them, we processed their ideas and we thought about what we wanted to do. We found a down supplier that shared our views on responsible animal farming, and we began to work with them. We have learnt a lot along the way and when we have come up with good ideas or solutions to problems we have shared them.
Honourable mention from Animal Welfare Sweden
The changes we made were comprehensive and involved a lot of work which made it extra exciting when already in 2010 we received an honourable mention from the Swedish volunteer organisation Animal Welfare Sweden for our down handling.
The honourable mention confirmed that we were on the right track, and we have continued working in the same way since then. Even if we are already proud of what we have achieved, we are always trying to make further improvements. Our processes are being constantly improved upon to make sure that every link in the production chain holds the highest possible standard from a perspective of animal welfare.