ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OUTDOOR RETAILER TRADESHOW – The North Face today announced its Fall 2016 line, including more than 500 down product styles that feature certified responsible down through the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). Officially launched in January 2014, the RDS is the most comprehensive, global, third-party certified animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers available for use by any company. The North Face initially committed to include 100 percent certified responsible down in all retail and wholesale down products by Fall 2017, and was able to achieve the increase a year sooner than anticipated.
New Product Highlights
The North Face brand’s Fall 2016 line incorporates more than 500 down-insulated apparel pieces globally including The North Face Morph Jacket, an 800 fill, weather-resistant, extremely compressive piece using woven-baffle construction instead of stitched or welded baffles.
"Down provides the most compressible warmth without the weight, offering superior insulation and comfort,” said Joe Vernachio, Global VP of Product, The North Face. “We’ve been working hard to integrate RDS-certified down across our entire down product line. It took a team effort, and we’re proud to say that now our customers can take comfort in knowing their down products were sourced from the highest quality, responsible down available."
Our Commitment to Animal Welfare
The North Face has remained committed to improving animal welfare and traceability in the down and feather supply chain since 2012, when the company partnered with the nonprofit Textile Exchange and Control Union Certifications, an accredited third-party certification body, to create the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The primary mandate of the RDS is to prevent practices such as force-feeding and live-plucking, as well as provide strict requirements on issues such as food and water quality, housing, stock density, outdoor access, animal health, hygiene and pest and predator control, among others, all supported with traceability from hatchling to final product.
The North Face gifted the RDS to Textile Exchange with the goal of scaling the standard to other brands and industries. Today, that vision is being realized as illustrated by the following milestones:
- More than 40 brands from the outdoor, apparel and home industries have initiated certification of their supply chains to the RDS
- An estimated 500 million birds are under RDS certification at the farm level
- Over 1,200 sites in Europe, Asia and North America are certified by RDS to date, including 900 industrial farms.
“We’re thrilled to see complete integration of RDS-certified down into The North Face down products this fall,” said Anne Gillespie, Director of Industry Integrity for Textile Exchange. “Over the last year, many farm groups, processors, garment factories and trading units all became certified by RDS, providing a surge in the availability of responsible down to the growing number of brands who are demanding it. The North Face has been a real driver in creating the demand that has fueled the momentum we are seeing.”
The RDS aims to recognize and encourage best practices in animal welfare and to enable traceability so that products can be labelled accurately and give consumers the ability to make informed choices.
About The North Face®
The North Face, a VF Corporation brand, was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world's leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.
About the Responsible Down Standard
The RDS is the most comprehensive, global, third-party certified animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers. Down, which comes from geese and ducks that are grown for the food industry, remains one of the highest quality, best performing materials for use in apparel, bedding and home goods. In late 2012, The North Face combined forces with Textile Exchange and Control Union Certifications to create and implement the RDS across primary sourcing regions in Europe, Asia and the U.S. This included working closely with leading suppliers Allied Feather & Down and Downlite to analyze and certify every step of the down supply chain. Upon completion of the standard, The North Face gifted it to Textile Exchange. TE owns a number of standards including the Organic Content Standard, the Recycled Claim Standard, the Global Recycled Standard and the Content Claim Standard. As a standards owner, Textile Exchange ensures access, quality and continuous improvement.