Textile Exchange has released an updated version of its Responsible Down Standard, a certification released last year aimed at improving the treatment of the ducks and geese that supply down for the outdoor industry. The new version has some stricter requirements, including banning parallel production, which means that farms will no longer be able to carry certified and non-certified waterfowl at the same location.
Other changes include an optional parent farm module, which provides guidelines for the farms where the ducks and geese are hatched. And Textile Exchange has changed how often audits will be announced; after the initial visit only one third of audits will be fully announced, while the rest will either be announced on short notice or unannounced. Farms that were certified for the first version of the Responsible Down Standard will have to comply with the updates when it comes time to renew their certifications. All new farms will be audited to the new version.
Improving the treatment of ducks and geese has become a key sustainability issue for the outdoor industry. In addition to the Responsible Down Standard, which was first developed as a partnership between Textile Exchange and The North Face, Patagonia has partnered with NSF International to launch the Global Traceable Down Standard earlier this year.