Sustainability is such a hot topic right now. It seems that everywhere you look products and services are offering green initiatives or a reduced environmental footprint, but what does that really mean?
What makes a product truly sustainable, what factors go into these certifications and why is it important? These are questions we hear in our industry on a weekly basis and we’re ready to share our perspective on this topic. Consider this your down and feather field guide for understanding sustainability. Grab your notepad because we’re diving in!
Why is Sustainability Important?
Sustainability is the principle that, “everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment”, an article by the EPA explains. “To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which nature and humans can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations”.
There is so much spotlight on sustainability in the last several years, including fair trade, B-Corp certification and go-green initiatives that invite you to make the world a better place with your purchase. While these initiatives feel warm and fuzzy, it is important to take a step back and examine what sustainability truly means so you can be an informed consumer and together, we can advocate for a cleaner world.
How Do You Measure Sustainability in Bedding?
To help provide context for the rest of this blog, sustainability considers the carbon emissions of manufacturing processes, makeup of the product (including packaging, cotton and bedding fill) and transportation of the finished goods. When you stop and think about the supply chain between product components and the end product, the less steps there are, the less pollution is created. As a down and feather bedding manufacturer, our product is sustainable by nature because we’re repurposing a natural material into down bedding.
DOWN inc. Bedding is Sustainable
There are several contributing factors that add to the sustainability of natural down and feather fill including quality and resilience of the fill material. It’s been proven to outlast synthetic blends and has a smaller footprint than synthetic fibers. Let’s break it down:
- The qualities of down and feather are nearly impossible to duplicate. In the natural world, down and feather protects from water and weather, the fibers of down trap air serving as insulation for warmth; this is a difficult thing to manufacture.
- High quality bedding is made to last, the durability of our product will outlive synthetic fibers by years. You’ll buy less of our down bedding because it’s made to last which will save you money in the long run!
- Down and feather are naturally sourced and used as a byproduct to the food industry. By repurposing this natural fill material, rather than going to waste, we’re able to prevent it from going to a landfill.
Synthetic Bedding is not Recommended for Sustainability
Now that we’ve examined the benefits of investing in naturally filled down bedding, let’s talk about polyester-filled bedding. This synthetic fill requires factories to produce a petroleum based polyester fiber. This is commonly used due to the lack of allergens and cheap price point. It takes a lot of extra steps and resources to create polyester which effects our ecosystems, energy supply and climate change.
There may be a time and a place to choose synthetic bedding — for example, an allergy to down and feather may lead someone to purchase a synthetically filled blend. But, did you know our naturally-filled down and feather bedding is hypoallergenic? Contact our Customer Service team to learn more about of products!
A recent study commissioned by the International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB) compared the environmental footprint of down and feather versus polyester fill material. Interestingly, the study found “that down [and feather] fill material has between 85% – 97% lower environmental impact” than polyester fill material when compared across different environmental categories. The study known as a Life Cycle Assessment, looked at the raw materials, manufacturing process and waste outputs to determine the effects down and feather and polyester. For a full deep dive on the findings of the study, visit our post, The Sustainability of Polyester Vs. Down & Feather.
Ready to learn more?
If you’re ready to continue your research with sustainability, a good place to start is with the global leader in filled textile quality and assurance, International Down and Feather Laboratory (IDFL). IDFL conducted a comprehensive audit on our product and supply chain to verify that our down & feather suppliers are in accordance with the IDFL Down Standard for animal welfare and traceability. This certification confirms our Down & Feather suppliers respect, and are in compliance with, the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare. Visit our Animal Welfare & Down Traceability page for all the details and to read the traceability guidelines and standards we adhere by.
Because our product is verified by the IDFL, you can rest easy knowing you’re sleeping on ethical and sustainable down bedding — good for the environment and your REM cycle.