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Working with an animal by-product, it has always been important to ALLIED that the welfare of all birds throughout the supply chains used were being raised according to best practices of animal husbandry to ensure that all ALLIED down was ethically and responsibly sourced. 

Long before any real discussion of animal welfare within the down supply chain, ALLIED was auditing supply chains with third party auditing bodies and implementing the strongest and most transparent traceability initiatives in the industry. And even when many down suppliers continue to supply “certified” down alongside that which comes from force fed birds, ALLIED made the commitment to not source from these supply chains at all and to ensure all birds within the ALLIED supply chain were treated in accordance with Brambell’s five freedoms of animal welfare.

Freedom fromHunger and Thirst. 
Pain, Injury or Disease
Fear and Distress
Freedom toExpress Normal Behavior

We face very real challenges in parts of the supply chain with force feeding for the Foie Gras industry and live-plucking practices that can exist on the parent farms. This is why, even though ALLIED had been doing independent robust audits, we worked with The North Face and Control Union to help develop the Responsible Down Standard; gifted to Textile Exchange to be used by the industry as a whole upon completion in 2014. 

ALLIED continues to lead the industry by certifying 100% of our supply chain and working with many large brands and international fashion houses to build even more robust supply chain certifications and initiatives. 

In 2013, ALLIED set out with The North Face and Control Union to build a much-needed industry-wide standard. With as much auditing that was already being conducted throughout the ALLIED supply chain, there still was not a singular industry standard with the appropriate stakeholders from which to audit against. 

The RDS has the largest brands and global animal welfare groups as important contributing stakeholders and certifies that all birds come from farms that abide by the five freedoms of animal welfare throughout all aspects of their lives – including travel. The RDS also requires a level of traceability for those certified brands and is built upon the content claim standard. That ensures that any RDS labeled product has been audited and certified throughout the entire supply chain – from farms through manufacturing. 

In order to ensure that best practices from a sourcing and animal welfare perspective continue to move forward, ALLIED regularly works with Fier Voten (Four Paws) to understand some of the issues they see in the industry and how we can develop a strategy to rectify on an industry-wide level. 

We never simply rely on any standard, we make sure we audit all supply chains ourselves and relationships like this are invaluable to not only make sure best practices are being followed, but also constantly reconsidered to best protect the welfare of these animals. 

“ALLIED has shown true leadership and has proven that regardless of a suppliers’ size, if they want to be cruelty-free they can. We call on all suppliers to follow ALLIED’s example and fully exclude down feathers from force-fed or live-plucked animals from their supply.

FOUR PAWS has called for prohibiting parallel production at the supplier level since the inception of those standards. We applaud ALLIED Feather and Down for being the first major processor to concur and understand the importance of such a measure,” – Melanie Lary, Four Paws

Down is amongst the most sustainable ingredients in the textile industry from a raw material perspective. But how it is processed can have a tremendous impact on not only the quality of the insulation, but that insulation’s impact on the environment. A lot of time and money can be saved by using harsh chemicals and bleach to produce a “clean” down, but at what cost? ALLIED differentiates itself from those cheaper down supply chains by making sure that every detergent used is not only safe for the environment, but also palm oil free. 

ALLIED also has a robust water recycling and treatment system to ensure that all water used in the processing of the down can be reused and done so that also reduces the amount of detergent needed in a typical processing. 

ALLIED was the first down supplier to achieve bluesign® system partner status and continues to work with bluesign® in addition to Oeko-Tex so all down from ALLIED is both an official bluesign® approved and Oeko-Tex 100 certified ingredient. 

ALLIED also works with the HIGG index and closely monitors all carbon emissions in all facilities. Our annual sustainability report can be accessed at the top of the page.

As stewards, ALLIED has partnered with Protect Our Winters and other important organizations to help change the way we, as a community at large, change the way we think about the things we use and how we impact the planet looking towards a cleaner, brighter future.

Working closely with LCA groups and energy consultants, ALLIED has built a roadmap looking toward a carbon neutral future. Too many companies rely on simple offsets to claim carbon neutrality, but we look to adopt a reduce – reuse – then offset approach. 

With new innovations launched in 2021, we have already reduced processing emissions by more than 30% and continue to look at further efficiencies in an already low impact material.

ALLIED has an aggressive plan to provide the first carbon neutral down insulation to all partners by Fall 2023 and work toward carbon neutrality on a company-wide scale through our reduce – reuse – then offset platform in the following years.