Whistles Ditches Down After Learning that Feathers are Violently Torn from Birds

For Immediate Release:

2 June 2016


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 2078376327, ext 235; [email protected]


PETA Sends Fashion Brand Flowers and Chocolates in Thanks

London – Courtesy of PETA, flowers and delicious vegan chocolates are on their way to London-based fashion house Whistles as thanks for its ban on down products. After the beloved brand – worn by Kate Middleton and Samantha Cameron – learned that birds’ feathers are yanked out so hard that it often leaves gaping, bloody wounds, it saw the decision to ditch down as a no-brainer in 2014, and after hearing from PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”), it will be updating its supplier manual and website to reflect the feather-free policy.

“After realising that down entails ripping out live birds’ feathers, more and more fashion brands are refusing to support the cruel down industry”, says PETA Senior Manager of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor. “PETA applauds Whistles and urges all kind retailers to ditch feathers in favour of natural or high-tech synthetic fillers that are hypoallergenic and warm, and insulate even when wet.”

A new PETA US exposé of goose farms in China – the source of 80 per cent of the world’s down – shows that workers pin geese down and rip their feathers out as they struggle and scream. Many endure this torture multiple times before finally being slaughtered. All the farms in the video footage have connections to retail suppliers that are certified by the so-called Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which prohibits live plucking of geese – raising concerns about the legitimacy of the RDS certification.

The down industry also helps support producers of foie gras – which is made by forcing tubes down the throats of geese and ducks and pumping grain into their stomachs until their livers become enlarged and diseased – as the feathers of many of the birds on foie gras farms are sold for down.

Whistles joins other brands, including ASOS, in banning products made with down.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.