That’s Part of it, Too: No More Down Feathers!

Animal suffering, but some human allergies too, can be altogether avoided if manufacturers forego using down feathers in clothes production.

Living in harmony with nature. Sustainability. Awareness for the environment. Big words and heady stuff to be sure. And it would be just grand if everybody would simply be mindful of nature and all things living at all times. But they simply don’t. In order for things to happen at all, you have to start somewhere - preferably somewhere where you yourself can make a difference. So much for the theory.

However, we at Elkline are less given to theorizing and more to taking action. This is why we constantly examine our product range for concrete and effective improvements not only in terms of the use of chemicals but also when it comes to the fillers of our warm clothes. Traditionally this role falls to down feathers, the base-layer feathers of various fowl, won by live-plucking or slaughtering of the animals. The animal suffering that goes along with this, needs hardly be described in detail here.

Actual allergies, triggered by the animal creatine contained in feather pins, are comparably rare, but when occurring may very well lead to dangerous symptoms. As with all other allergies, the same goes for down allergies: why run the risk if it can easily be avoided.

Filling: 100% Polyester Down Feel comfortemp® made by Freudenberg

Filling: 100% Polyester Down Feel comfortemp® made by Freudenberg

It’s not long ago that there didn’t really exist any feasible alternatives to the warming properties of natural down. Most of the artificial down / fillers – serious outdoor practitioners and mountaineers will readily attest to this – did not nearly have the same warming effect as animal down. In addition to that, clothes made with artificial fillers have always been a lot heavier, making it less comfortable to wear and a lot harder to pack and lug around. The only advantage of artificial fillers was that it retained some of its warming effect even when it was damp or wet; something that can hardly be said of down.

But the past few years saw some vast improvement, and by now Elkline only uses fillers that are completely free of animal down. Freudenberg, the company Elkline relies on for their fillers and wadding has also developed materials that not only hold their own against down when it comes to warmth but also features a number of other functionalities.

We at Elkline have been using Freudenberg’s comfortemp® down feel fillers for our super warm apparel. Their R&D has produced an extremely soft wadding that completely does away with bunching and that jumps back into shape instantly when released from its compression bag. Also, these new fillers and waddings are actually breathable, and anybody who has ever oscillated between drenched and freezing cold (a regular occurrence in outdoor sports…) will know what that means. To top it all off: comfortemp® down feel fillers also handle moisture very well, while still keeping you warm when damp, and easy to dry.

As to the sustainability side of things: Freudenberg products, as used by Elkline, are made from 100% recycled fiber, manufactured with water-based chemicals only. Since 2017, Freudenberg is a systems partner of bluesign technologies®, a global network that uses rigid certification to establish sustainability standards in the apparel industry and along the entire supply chain.

Elkline jackets that profit from this groundbreaking new technology are "onthemove” for men, “readytogo” for women and “yeararound” for kids.

And just so you can see that we at Elkline always put our money where our mouth is, you can simply click on “full transparency” on any of the product pages, and you’ll see an open-source map with the entire supply chain for each product.

Carry On!

Your Elkline Team