Fjällräven’s down is a high-quality by-product from food production. We work exclusively with one down supplier, who in its turn works with selected farms and one slaughterhouse. All involved parties work according to the Fjällräven Code of Conduct, which includes regulations on the wellbeing of the geese when they are raised, transported, slaughtered, etc.
Fjällräven’s quality control system monitors the process by conducting regular inspections, including both announced and unannounced visits. Conditions are also checked regularly by an independent Swedish veterinarian. The down’s quality and cleanliness are controlled by the independent test institute IDFL, International Down and Feather Laboratory.
Our down process, from hatchling to completed product:
Fjällräven has a contracted down supplier in the Yangshou province of China, who buys geese from local farmers in the vicinity. The geese are raised in an environment that is as natural as possible; they can range freely together as a flock and they have access to water that they can swim in. Live plucking and force feeding are totally forbidden. Fjällräven’s quality control inspectors audit the farms regularly and check the birds’ living conditions, their feed and how goslings are hatched and raised.
Distances between farms and the slaughterhouse are limited. In cooperation with the bird farmers, transport companies and the slaughterhouse, Fjällräven and animal welfare experts have developed a method of transport that is as stress-free as possible for the birds. Together, we are constantly working on improving transport methods so they become even more efficient and safer for the birds. For example, we have developed special ramps for loading and unloading and we have trained drivers to drive carefully so as not to cause unnecessary stress to the birds.
Fjällräven’s down suppliers work together with one carefully-selected slaughterhouse that makes sure that the slaughtering process is as gentle as possible. A representative from our down supplier is present during slaughter to ensure that Fjällräven’s down is only taken from birds raised at our selected farms. The down is then collected and placed in special, marked sacks that are then sealed and transported to a separate drying area.
The drying area is only used for Fjällräven’s down. Once the down is dry it is again placed in the Fjällräven sacks and transported to the down supplier for finishing.
At the down supplier, the down is washed with an environmentally-friendly shampoo and dried in special tumble dryers. The water used is cleaned and filtered before it is released. The down is then placed into a machine that separates it according to quality, after which it is packed in new sacks that are sealed. Fjällräven’s products only use down with a high CUIN (a measurement of the down’s loft and ability to bind air that insulates), all inferior down is sold.
The washed down is tested by the independent testing institute IDFL, the International Down and Feather Laboratory, that affirms its quality. Down samples from IDFL’s tests are saved so they can be compared to samples taken from the finished products. After this, the down is marked with Fjällräven’s name along with its quality, quantity and composition. In this manner, every delivery can be traced back to where it came from. The down is then sent to our factories to be used in the manufacture of our products.
Our factories only use down from sacks marked with Fjällräven’s name for insulation in Fjällräven products. Fjällräven’s quality controllers are on site to make sure that the right down is used when jackets, sleeping bags and other down products are made. Random samples of down are taken and double checked by comparing them to samples taken by IDFL. Once all the steps are taken we have new products that are ready to be sent to our distributers.
Consistency at all stages
Thanks to consistently working closely with a small number of farms, close collaboration with the slaughterhouse and careful handling of the sealed sacks of down, we can be sure that we live up to our down promise: only ethically-produced down of exceptionally high quality is used in Fjällräven products.
Download: Fjällräven Code of Conduct (pdf)