We are committed to improving animal welfare and traceability in our goose down and feather supply chain. We use down in our outerwear, sleeping bags, footwear, and accessories because of its superior insulating properties and warmth-to-weight ratio. In 2014 we launched the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) in partnership with Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit dedicated to sustainability in the apparel and textile industry, and Control Union Certifications, an accredited third-party certification body with expertise in agriculture and farm systems. The RDS ensures that our down does not come from animals that have been subjected to any unnecessary harm, such as force-feeding or live-plucking, provides traceability in our supply chain, and helps validate and track the down used in our products from farm to finished garment. We have been using certified down since Fall 2015 and in Fall 2016 100% of our retail and wholesale down products will be certified to the RDS.
The RDS has gained great momentum and adoption across the supply chain. In 2015 over 40 brands had initiated certification of their supply chains to the RDS and over 900 sites were certified in Europe, North America, and Asia, covering an estimated 150 million birds at the farm level. Additionally, around 240 processors, garment factories, and trading units were certified.