Down: nature's best insulator
Down is considered to be nature’s finest insulator. Down owes its ability to capture and retain air and warmth to the three-dimensional nature of its down clusters. The loft volume of a down product is a measurement of the fluffiness of the down contained therein; it refers concretely to the number of cubic inches (roughly 16 cm3) that an ounce (28g) of down can fill.
The larger the down cluster, the higher the insulation capacity, as a larger cluster can trap more air and heat. Geese are larger than ducks and are therefore equipped with larger down feathers and clusters. Due to the greater insulation capacity of goose down, its price on the market is accordingly higher.
Our goose and duck down have a fill power of 750 and 575 cuin, respectively.
Why we only use European goose and duck down
We opted to use goose and duck down from Eastern Europe for two main reasons: quality and environmental-friendliness.
According to the Swiss Bedding Manufacturer’s Association, European down is generally larger than down from Asia; as we said above, the larger the down clusters, the higher the quality. Eastern European down is particularly prized in the textile industry, as the geese and ducks raised in that region grow thicker, more insulating down clusters due to the cold climate.
We also use down from Europe for ecological reasons. The fact that our down comes from Europe and not from China means that it doesn’t have to be shipped from halfway across the world in order to reach us here in Switzerland. The shorter transport routes translate to lower CO2 emissions, which is the most important front in the fight against climate change.
With DownPass, ethically-responsible and traceable down
Down isn’t produced in Switzerland, so we opted for the next-best choice in terms of quality and locality, namely Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, this meant that our FairTrace QR code wasn’t an option.
While Eastern Europe isn’t so far from Switzerland, it’s not so close that we can stop by for a visit. As such, we need to turn to a third party to ensure that our down was obtained under conditions that are in line with our principles. Our primary concern was to ensure that our down doesn’t come from force-fed or live-plucked animals, as this is unfortunately a common occurrence in the down industry, especially in countries with laxer standards than in Europe, particularly China.
This is why we turned to the DownPass label. They have a zero tolerance policy regarding geese or ducks which are raised for foie gras or live-plucked. Announced and unannounced visits to our farms are regularly carried out to ensure that these guidelines are adhered to.
In addition, DownPass also certifies that the down in your duvet can be traced back to the farm from which it was sourced, though we unfortunately can’t do so by means of something so simple as the scan of a QR Code.