Urban Outfitters Hit With Down Industry Exposé

Footage Released by PETA Germany Shows Workers Slitting Likely Conscious Birds’ Throats

London – A new video investigation released by PETA Germany exposing the down industry in Poland – the world’s second-largest exporter of the material – reveals rampant violence to birds, and now, PETA is pressing Urban Outfitters Inc to stop using down all across its brands. The company – which owns Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters – sells down from third-party brands using suppliers that source from Poland.

As the footage shows direct violations of the Council of Europe’s handling recommendations, PETA Germany has reported the abuse to the public prosecutor’s office and an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

The eyewitness footage reveals workers dragging ducks and geese across grated floors, kicking a duck with full force, and carrying animals around in one hand by their legs or wings. Many birds were apparently subjected to botched stunning in an electrified water bath. Some still wildly flapped their wings or even tried to lift their heads after their throats were slit.

“Consumers today want nothing to do with an industry that abuses and tortures sensitive animals for fashion,” says PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on Urban Outfitters to do the right thing and cut ties with the down trade for good.”

PETA has released five exposés of the down industry, uncovering similar abuse at facilities around the world. Ducks and geese are packed into barren sheds and enclosures by the hundreds or even thousands, and the controversial practice of live plucking, in which workers tear feathers out of live birds’ sensitive skin, is widespread. The eyewitness footage from Poland shows thousands of birds standing in their own waste on farms, with no access to open water for swimming. These unsanitary and crowded conditions can pose a risk to public health, as they create a perfect breeding ground for dangerous zoonotic diseases like bird flu.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]