About the Down Stakeholder Round Table

A number of years ago, the textile industry’s interest in down was accelerated by animal welfare campaigners raising awareness of live plucking of ducks and geese for feathers and down. As a result, a number of standards were developed, including Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard (RDS), the Traceable Down Standard (TDS), and Downpass. While the topic was concerning, it brought members of the industry together to better understand the risks, improve transparency, and generally mobilize to improve welfare standards and protect their reputation from this supply chain risk.

The Down Stakeholder Round Table 1.0 was initiated by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) in 2014. It was transitioned to Textile Exchange in 2018 with a focus on creating 2.0 and paving out next steps for the industry.



Team work and collaboration are key in bringing initiatives like this to their full potential and we are always looking for partners for the Down Stakeholder Round Table. For details of how to support the work of our Down Stakeholder Round Table in 2019, please get in touch with the team at


If you are interested in partnering one of this year’s Round Table meetings, please contact and we will be happy to send you some more information on the opportunities available.


More than 50 stakeholders with different expertise and backgrounds including suppliers, brands, standards, quality control organizations and NGOs participated in the Down Stakeholder Round Table Summit at Textile Exchange’s Textile Sustainability Conference in Milan on October 22, 2018. The Round Table, kindly sponsored by European Outdoor Group, was moderated by Pamela Ravasio.

Download Slide Deck
See Full Agenda
2018 Partner


The Down Stakeholder Round Table started with an overview of industry facts and figures, presented by Textile Exchange. This overview included results from the Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report, the Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark, and the recent Down Stakeholder Survey.

The figures showed an increasing interest in preferred down. Standards such as the Responsible Down Standard, Downpass and the Global Traceable Down Standard are gaining importance. More information is available in the reports, linked to above.


Industry updates were then shared by standards, suppliers, brands and NGOs (listed below right).

Standards updates were provided on the Responsible Down Standard, the Global Traceable Down Standard, and Downpass, followed by insights from IDFL and Control Union. The supplier perspective was shared by Allied Feather and Down as well as Sustainable Down Source. The consumer trends perspective was presented by the brands Patagonia and The North Face as well as the NGO Four Paws.

The insights showed an increasing interest in preferred down but also some areas where further action is required. One key insight was that not everything can be solved by standards; it is important to also look at drivers beyond certification. Another discussion point was how to share the costs along the supply chain. A specific action area identified was the role of parent farms.

Standards/Certification – A portfolio of options

Bryan Mortenson, Global Audit Manager, IDFL
Stacey Mack, Sustainability Business Unit Manager, NSF
Amber Dzikowicz, Business Unit Manager, NSF
Ashley Gill, Senior Manager of Industry Integrity, Textile Exchange
Mark Prose, Team Manager Textile & Social Compliance, Control Union

Industry trends – What are suppliers and brands and retailers doing?

Daniel Uretsky, President, Allied Feather & Down
Caroline Zapf, CSO, Sustainable Down Source

Consumer trends – What does the consumer think?

Nicholas Allen, Traceability Manager, Patagonia
Carol Shu, Sustainability Manager, The North Face


WORKING SESSION #1 – “Why still down?”

Participants concluded that the key reasons for down are its quality (warmth to volume ratio, performance) and sustainability characteristics (naturally biobased instead of petrochemical based, reusable / recyclable / biodegradable, no microfiber shedding, by-product of the meat industry).

WORKING SESSION #2 – “What should the role of the Down Round Table 2.0 be?”

The main aspects identified included sharing of information (market statistics, down impact data, standards updates and also identification of issues that standards should tackle and standard alignment), eventually also consumer-facing information.

It was also encouraged to expand the Down Stakeholder Round Table to further stakeholders, particularly the meat industry and stakeholders in Asia. It was suggested to host the Round Table in different regions each year including e.g. China. Beyond that, the importance of training for farms and slaughterhouses was discussed.

­­Textile Exchange wants to thank all participants of the 2018 Down Stakeholder Round Table, particularly EOG for sponsoring and hosting the meeting, and very much looks forward to continuing the discussions.

Quick Links

About organic cotton

Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards.

Learn more


Preferred Fiber & Material Round Tables


2018 Market reports

The 2018 Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report and the Organic Cotton Market Report are now available.

Read more

Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark

The Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark helps companies measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber & materials strategy.

Read more


A framework for assessing the environmental, social & economic impacts of organic cotton agriculture.

Learn more


A selection of some of the key terms and abbreviations used in the industry.


contact us

  For more information, don’t hesitate to contact the team at: