The supply chain begins at the parent farm. Birds remain here about four years while laying eggs. This is where they are at greatest risk of live-plucking. Following the Traceable Down Standard, independent auditors visit parent farms in our supply chain to ensure best practices are followed for animal welfare. This includes no live-plucking.
Eggs laid at parent farms come to the hatchery to incubate and hatch. Following the Traceable Down Standard, independent auditors visit hatcheries to make sure baby birds are treated and transported humanely.
Newly hatched birds remain at the raising farm about four months, which is roughly how long it takes for their meat to become tender enough to eat. It's at this level of the supply chain that birds are at highest risk of being force-fed. Following the Traceable Down Standard, independent auditors inspect raising farms to ensure best practices are followed for animal welfare. This includes no force-feeding and no live-plucking.
Birds in our supply chain are raised primarily for their meat. Down and feathers are just a byproduct of that industry. As its name indicates, this is where birds are slaughtered. It's also where we get the raw feathers that contain our down. Only birds raised for their meat under strict non force-fed, non live-plucked requirements are slaughtered here. Following the Traceable Down Standard, slaughterhouses observe best practices for animal welfare including the transportation, holding and slaughtering of birds.
Down from the slaughterhouse is washed and separated from feathers. Down is the layer of fine, soft feathers that lie beneath a bird's coarser feathers, which have hard quills and less value. In nature, down serves to insulate waterfowl. In our products, it provides the best warmth for its weight of all insulation. Strict segregation processes outlined in the Traceable Down Standard are in place to ensure nonforce-fed, nonlive-plucked Traceable Down is not mixed with down from untraced sources.
The final sorting, washing and sterilization of down takes place here. Following the Traceable Down Standard, all of our down remains segregated from down belonging to other brands to ensure 100% traceability.
Patagonia® 100% Traceable Down arrives from the down processor (our direct supplier) in bags clearly marked with our name and Traceable Down ID. The bags are segregated and stored in clearly demarcated areas to avoid mixing. Workers who sew our down products receive special training for handling the down. Patagonia products are shipped from these factories to our distribution centers and then on to you.