Down and feathers are sourced in two ways; either from the bodies of slain ducks and geese intended for the table, or live plucking. The practice of live-plucking ducks and geese is standard on factory farms in countries such as China, Poland and Hungary, where approximately half of down and feathers have been live-plucked by experienced “rippers” who are paid piece-rate. A 2009 Swedish documentary reported that it might be as much as 50–80% of the total supply, a figure supported an industry representative. Live plucking is exactly what it sounds like: a goose or duck is held down by their neck or wings as the “targeted feathers” are torn from their skin. When the skin rips during this process it is sewn up with a straight needle (no analgesic or sterilization used) and the bird is left to recover before the next “harvest of feathers.” This process is repeated every 6-7 weeks before the bird’s eventual slaughter (or death from the trauma of the plucking process itself). Foie Gras birds, gray geese, are subjected to live plucking and being force fed, in Hungary, in particular.
While we most strongly RECOMMEND natural fibres such as cotton, hemp, bamboo or man-made fibres for filling, we recognise that getting suppliers to offer ONLY certified products guaranteeing that feathers and down used are not live plucked, may help end the market for suppliers, as there will, for the foreseeable future be a market for down and feather bedding.
So we are pleased to start with a list of suppliers who offer products approved by the EDFA = European Down and Feather Association, which since its introduction, means suppliers must certify that their products come from slaughtered animals or that feather collection has taken place during moulting in accordance with the applicable legislation. To check the accuracy of this information, regular audits are carried out by neutral experts or organisations.
These outlets carry only EDFA approved bedding lines:
CAPE UNION MART (K-WAY)
GRANNY GOOSE HQ 021 982 7890 ( On the supervisory board Int Down & Feather Bureau)
KLOPPERS BLOEMFONTEIN 051 400 5500
KLOPPERS GEORGE 044 802 3900
KLOPPERS KNYSNA 044 302 7800
LINEN & BATH 016 931 1953
LIFSON LINEN 021 448 5703
LIFSON PRODUCTS ONLINE STORE
LINENS 043 726 0000
LOVE OF LINEN BEDSTORE 044 533 3146 /76
LYONS WHOLESALERS CC 011 484 5826
LINEN CABIN 011 728 6056
MR PRICE 031 310 8000
SEDGARS 016 422 3804
THE LINEN BASKET 011 444 6444
THE LINEN WAREHOUSE & DECOR CC 00264 61 246 612
THE SNOOZZZZZ SHOP 011 435 9206
YUPPIECHEF ONLINE (PTY) LTD T/A YUPPIECHEF ONLINE 021 702 4969