H&M has come under scrutiny for where it sources down from, used primarily for products like puffer jackets and outerwear.
The need for transparency comes as PETA Asia recently led an investigation which saw a down supplier in Vietnam not adhering to international animal welfare regulations. PETA uncovered cruelty and suffering caused to ducks in the factory's plucking processes. The factory was previously a supplier to H&M.
PETA submitted a shareholder resolution to the H&M Group urging the board of directors to prepare a report on the slaughter methods used to procure down for the company.
Will H&M ban down?
While on its website H&M outlines its animal welfare policy, stating “no animals should be harmed in the making of our products” there is little transparency in down origins, processes and procurement. H&M said it previously placed bans on angora wool and fur, in addition to adding stricter protocols for where it sources its cashmere.
PETA calls the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard (RDS) ineffective, and said in its resolution that H&M began removing the RDS label from its online offerings. PETA asserts that H&M provides no information about the farms and slaughterhouses that supply down for its products.
“H&M states that no animals should be harmed for its clothes, so it should jump at PETA’s request that it hold a microscope up to its supply chain to ensure just that,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Every down item represents the pain and suffering of terrified birds, and deceptive labels and lip service only serve to absolve companies and dupe well-meaning consumers.”
PETA entities have released nine exposés of the down industry. In 2022, exposés of facilities in Russia, Vietnam, and Poland—three of the world’s top down exporters—revealed that cruelty, gross lapses in oversight, and multiple violations of both national laws and so-called “responsible” standards, which H&M boasts on product tags, are rampant in the down industry.
Article source: PETA