The down puffer jacket collection is C&As first such collection produced with sustainability in mind

The down puffer jacket collection is C&A's first such collection produced with sustainability in mind

Fashion retailer C&A Europe is to launch its first collection of down puffer jackets certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) – and pledged that all of the down and feathers in its products will be RDS-certified from autumn 2016 onwards. 

The new range will be available in all C&A stores throughout Europe and online, and is the company's first such collection produced with sustainability in mind. It also marks a move, the company says, to strengthen its public commitment to the responsible sourcing of down and feathers. 

"The RDS is a standard we hope will influence best practices, improve traceability throughout the textile industry, enable more well-informed consumer choices and ultimately improve animal welfare in C&A's supply chain," says Jeffrey Hogue, chief sustainability officer for C&A Global. 

The Responsible Down Standard is an independent, voluntary global standard created by Textile Exchange and certified by third party certification bodies.

It encourages best practices in welfare and prevents harmful practices such as force-feeding and live-plucking. It also enables traceability from hatchling to the final product. The standard was developed over the past three years with input from animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands, and retailers.

Updated Responsible Down Standard launches

C&A previously advocated animal welfare by banning live plucking of feathers for production of its products, as well as only using down and feathers that are by-products of the food industry and are selected to ensure they come from suppliers who adhere to strict animal welfare standards.

The retailer, which has over 1,575 stores in 20 European countries, now says it will only use down and feathers from supply chains where RDS-verified animal welfare standards are applied.