Every year, with humankind dumping massive millions of tons of waste, recycling is no longer a choice it has become a need. Starting with household waste to the rubbish accumulated out and about to the unwanted clothing in people’s wardrobes the amount of environmental damage is huge. But sustainability has become a trend adopted by big brands and technological advancements are creating magical wonders by providing a way to give plastic bottles to old pillows a new life.
What happens to waste once it’s out of our hands? It could be your next pair of shoes or running tights, thanks to modern technology! The fashion industry is known for producing a huge amount of yearly waste as most clothes are made with virgin fabrics. To control this, the process of recycling down was put forward and it has been a great aid to the environment.
What is Recycled Down?
The Recycled Down method uses a mix of 600- or 700-fill-power goose and ducks down reclaimed from cushions, bedding, and other used items that can’t be resold—the stuff that ends up in our growing landfills—to make brand new products. Taking from the trash reduces waste and facilitates the down-recycling stream.
What is the history of Recycled Down?
For the past 50 years, down suppliers have been collecting and recycling, but up until recently, it was only offered at a lower quality. For a long time, the products that were made from recycled goods ended up being of low quality which made the production cost higher than the sales. This is the reason it was mainly practised in eastern Europe. Now we recycle down from Europe, Asia and North America to make our recycled down products.
In the case of India with China’s door closing for the import of many recyclables, India has imported a slightly larger number of scrapes which led to growth in the recycling industry.
A detailed process for making Recycled Down?
Recycling down is an ancient practice that involves no usage of any kind of chemicals and with high-end technology, it produces the best quality goods. Re-down is a step-by-step process –
- Collecting- This involves collecting waste from all over the world and accumulating them in one place.
- Sorting- The companies then sort the waste in containers depending upon the down products and other textiles.
- Storage- Then the materials that are used for re-down are sent to the storage facilities
- Checking- Every single material collected is checked to ensure quality.
- Extracting- The down and feathers are removed from the containers during this process.
- Separating- The raw material is then sorted by separating the fine down clusters from the feathers.
- Washing- The down is then washed with warm water, ensuring 100% cleanliness and the best recovery of the down clusters.
- Drying and sterilizing- The down is usually dried at 135 Celsius degrees for 30 minutes resulting in a perfectly sterilized down
- Quality check- The quality of the down is checked at every production step.
Do recycled feathers make your down coat more ethical?
Recycled Down is emerging as a new trend as many big brands have used this method to make winter items. Brands like Ternua and Nau both offer jackets and vests recovered from old blankets and pillows.
But the use of feathers in the re-down process has raised several questions regarding how ethical it is. According to animal rights advocates plucking feathers from birds for the making of down, products does not seem like much of an improvement in terms of sustainable and ethical cloth making.
Keeping all such points in mind these brands are trying their best to change the perspective from down products to a more ethical and eco-friendly way of producing clothes. The only advice that we can provide the consumers is to buy something that is sourced from a responsible brand and also buy something that they like and will use for a long time.