Down jackets’ warmth and comfort are very popular during the winter and mainly for those who enjoy the outdoors during the colder season.
What are down jackets you ask? Well, they consist of feathers plucked from the softest point on a duck or goose.
According to a report by Salon, the term “down” is described as:
“A single piece…of “plumule,” basically a multidirectional puff. These plumules interlock and trap tiny pockets of air — it’s actually this layer of air that keeps the cold out and the warmth in. Down provides about three times more warmth per ounce than synthetics; that is, it’s warmer and lighter and doesn’t mat down over time as synthetics will do.”
Other down products also include: furniture, blankets, comforters, pillows, and other sorts of clothing. Thus, down is generally used in coats and jackets.
Due to the fact that down jackets last longer and provide undeniable warmth, many are being donated to help the needy.
However, these jackets come at a great price for those birds that are stripped of their God-given, natural warmth, which is used to benefit the fashion industry.
PETA.org describes in an article how a bird’s feathers are typically pulled while they are alive, leaving open and bloody wounds:
“Live plucking causes birds considerable pain and distress. Once their feathers are ripped out, many of the birds, paralyzed with fear, are left with gaping wounds—some even die as a result of the procedure. Workers often sew the birds’ skin back together without using any anesthetics.”
The cruelty-free organization believes that the buying of down products also continues to support the meat industry because they too make a profit from having their chickens plucked before killing them.
Down is seldom produced in the U.S. but is still one of the most trendy for big-time jacket company North Face.
It doesn’t seem like the popularity and usage of down jackets will be depleting anytime soon among the fashion or charitable industry.
So, what do you think is more important: continuing the donation of down jackets to keep the homeless warm or refusing to invest in down products to ensure the safety of birds?
I know it's a hard decision to make.
Here is a short video on how to find cruelty-free down clothing.