Stabio, July 15, 2015

The North Face® and Textile Exchange are proud to announce that Responsible Down Standard (RDS) has been named OutDoor Industry Award Winner 2015 in the category of Sustainable Innovations. It is a testament to The North Face®’s dedication to the environment, and their commitment to constantly revolutionize the way we do business and contribute to the outdoor community.

The North Face®, in partnership with Control Union and Textile Exchange, developed RDS in the brand’s spirit of “first ascent”, laying down new paths in the way we do business. It is the most comprehensive, global, third party certified animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers. It can be applied to any waterfowl-based supply chain to ensure humane treatment of animals from hatchling to end product. This includes preventing practices such as force-feeding, live-plucking, as well as providing strict requirements on issues such as food and water quality, housing, stock density, outdoor access, animal health, hygiene, and pest and predator control, among others. The goals of RDS are to recognize and encourage best practices in animal welfare and to enable traceability so that products can be labelled accurately and give consumers the ability to make informed choices.

Upon its completion, RDS was gifted by The North Face® to Textile Exchange, a global non-profit dedicated to sustainability in the apparel and textile industry, to administer and evolve the standard as needed. Textile Exchange has also since then created the International Working Group, tasked with revising the standard. The group includes the European Outdoor Group and Outdoor Industry Association, The North Face®, adidas, Coyuchi, animal protection organizations FOUR PAWS and Humane Society International, as well as European Down and Feather Association, and Pro-Down Alliance. As a result of the work of this group, an updated version, RDS 2.0, was released earlier this year. More brands and down suppliers continue to begin implementation of RDS. The current roster of brands that has adopted RDS numbers more than 40 and includes H&M, adidas, Black Diamond, Eddie Bauer, Marmot, Mammut, and Helly Hansen. Since Fall/Winter 2015, all The North Face® down products made for Europe are 100% certified by Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

Textile Exchange has also developed a website that may be used by brands to communicate the goals and accomplishments of the standard with their consumer. The site features information about down and feathers, how the standard works, and a basic look at what certification means. Consumers will find a list of brands currently selling RDS products, and businesses will also find improved access to information and documents supporting their implementation of the standard. Visit the new site at http://responsibledown.org.

About The North Face®
The North Face®, a brand of VF Corp, was founded in 1966. Headquartered in Alameda, Calif., the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

About Textile Exchange
Textile Exchange is a non-profit dedicated to accelerating sustainable practices in the textile industry. TE envisions a textile industry that protects and restores the environment and enhances lives. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit the website: http://textileexchange.org/.

For more information, please contact:
Emily Chang- The North Face EMEA PR
Emily_Chang@vfc.com
Anne Gillespie- Director of Industry Integrity, Textile Exchange
Anne@textileexchange.org