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The ethics of wearing feathers: It’s not just live-plucking that’s a problem

Workers in China – the source of 80% of the world’s down – forcefully restrain geese and rip their feathers out as they struggle and scream.

SCARLETT CONLON: ‘Feathers are suddenly everywhere again not only in the wardrobes of glossy style icons, but also… in a sizeable proportion of the nation’s pillows, parkas and duvets. Yet, in some quarters, there is a growing discomfort with them… This pervasiveness goes some way to explaining why feathers have not rung the same alarm bells in the public consciousness as animal products such as fur and exotic skins.

“Opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of Brits would never dream of wearing real fur – because most have a clear idea by now of the ways in which animals suffer on fur farms and when caught in steel-jaw traps in the wild,” says Yvonne Taylor, the director of corporate projects at Peta. “However, many shoppers are still unaware of the cruelty inherent in the down and feather industries”… Peta recently made headlines when it accused Canada Goose of mistreating the geese in its supply chain…

Peta claims that “workers in China – the source of 80% of the world’s down – forcefully restrain geese and rip their feathers out as they struggle and scream”… and suggests that designers make vegan alternatives to animal products from recycled and sustainable materials, just as British designer Stella McCartney does for leather, but in an ideal world it wants all retailers to follow the lead of Topshop, Sweaty Betty and Asos by banning feathers from their products’. SOURCE…

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