Recycled wool and the outdoor sector21 July 2017
More wool is now being used in our sector, and this new (to us) material, brings with it fresh and novel opportunities for innovation.
The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has revealed the results of a new survey of the outdoor sector’s use of down. The work was undertaken in response to requests from EOG members and was done to establish the type, quality and quantity of down used across the manufacture of outdoor products. Valuable support was given to the EOG by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), which encouraged additional north American companies to contribute to the research and help make it more accurate. The results will provide valuable information to the brands and the wider industry and will be used to positively influence the impact that their products may have on the environment, communities in the supply chain, and animal welfare.
Based on the brands who replied to the EOG’s down survey, a total of 1,058 tons of down was measured and the association has estimated that this represents somewhere in the region of 65%-75% of the down used by European/American outdoor brands. This gives a projected outdoor market volume of between 1,410 and 1,630 tons of down annually. Although this is at a time when down usage within the outdoor industry is at an all-time high, it equates to less than 1% of the total global production of down (estimated to be at least 270,000 tons).
Mark Held, general secretary of the EOG comments:
“It is common knowledge that over the last few years there has been a growing focus from NGOs, retailers and consumers on the ethical sourcing of down within our industry. Meanwhile, numerous brands are working hard to ensure that their use of down meets high ethical and environmental standards. At the EOG, we have continued to maintain our approach of providing research support for our members and thereby facilitating both the debate and the move to best practice in terms of sourcing.
“The fact that our industry’s volume of down use equates to less than 1% of total production suggests one reason why our leverage across the supply chain is limited and requires a combined effort. We are confident that we are following the correct approach in trying to work together as an industry and promote best practices, while encouraging the wider down users and supply chain to get further engaged. This research is an important step in achieving our long term aim, which is to help find a way to achieve one single industry standard, that is held by an independent body, is cost effective, and acceptable to both businesses and NGOs.”
The data that has been collected will be used to inform the future direction of the association’s CSR/sustainability programme.
Full details of the down research results are only available to participants, but exceptions are possible in the case of companies that are prepared to actively support the general aim of an improved supply chain. Should you wish to view the full overview or discuss the feasibility of having access to the full research results, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If you are requesting the report overview, when you send your email please take care to state the following in the body of your text:
In sending your request you automatically agree to being contacted by the EOG in connection with its down traceability and welfare work as well as the terms of confidentiality in the report.