Maximum Animal Welfare: Global Traceable Down Standard

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The Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS) is the strictest animal welfare standard in the down industry. It was launched in 2015 by NSF International, a US non-profit organization that develops and monitors standards for different companies in 156 countries worldwide.

The US-based NSF has been awarding the Global Traceable Down Standard certificate since 2015.
The US-based NSF has been awarding the Global Traceable Down Standard certificate since 2015.

The Global TDS is the result of a collaboration between the outdoor brand Patagonia, stakeholder organizations in the industry, animal welfare organizations and other NGOs. Certificates are not just awarded on a product level, but also taken into account the entire supply chain.

Global TDS certified down must not be sourced from live plucking, nor may it come from force-fed birds. The controls in place not only monitor the period between hatching and slaughter, they also take into account the living conditions of the parent birds.

The NSF logo: producing sustainable down.
The NSF logo: producing sustainable down.

This is important because parent birds are most often subject to live plucking. Parent birds live longer because they are kept for breeding rather than for meat production, making live plucking more profitable and more likely. Both large companies and small farms alike can be certified.

NSF and Textile Exchange Want Common Standards

The certificate is valid for one year, and down producers are regularly audited through surprise inspections. The criteria and requirements of the standard and control procedures are fully transparent and available online for all to see.

The collaboration between the NSF and the Textile Exchange, which awards the Responsible Down Standard, now sees both organizations working together to harmonize their standards.

Dr. Regina Henkel Author: Dr. Regina Henkel