Down and out... 30 Aug 2018

This two-part feature by Janice Raycroft looks at the choice of duvets available and top tips for keeping them clean and fresh

DOWN AND OUT duvet laundry linen cleaning
Microfibre duvets from Richard Haworth provide a luxury feel with their plump pockets of filling

PART ONE: Duvet Choices.

When fashion retail giant ASOS announced that it was to stop selling feathers (among other animal-related materials) this hot topic swiftly moved on to home accessories, particularly feather and down bedding. 

Whether you are cleaning duvets, supplying them or keeping guests cosy with pristine bedding in hotels and guesthouses, it helps to be up to speed with the latest trends – customers ask all manner of ethical questions these days. 

So be prepared to perhaps even be quizzed on your vegan credentials (no ruffled feathers, please), let alone full traceability of feather and down production processes and ethical best practice. The latter interest stems from campaigns aimed at halting live plucking and calling for any feathers used to be by-products of the food chain but not from birds which have undergone forced-feeding. 

As for the vegetarian and vegan issues, there’s more pressure here to come up with bedding that emulates the finest goose down duvets and pillows in luxury fibre fill products as an alternative to feather and down. 

As Claire Watkin, managing director of Trendsetter International – which manufactures leading UK bedding brand The Fine Bedding Company – explains, the issue of responsibly sourced feather and down has always been a factor within the industry, where historically legislation has been largely voluntary and not as closely governed as some other industries. “100 per cent of the feather and down we use for our filled bedding products is the by-product of the food chain. 

The current bird and animal welfare and ethical sourcing standards that we adhere to do trace feathers back to their source – and we can account for each and every stage of the production line; this is exactly why these standards have been introduced.” New standards – most recently Downpass 2017 – has given manufacturers clearer standards and requirements. Trendsetter’s head of procurement, Peter Roebuck, is president of the Downpass Association. 

It’s a partner to the bed, fashion and outdoor industries whose common goal is a globally traceable supply chain. Trendsetter is also a member of the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA), which is particularly committed to defending consumer interests and animal welfare.

"Like any product, you get what

you pay for when buying duvets"

(Continued in full article)...

You’ll find the full article in the September edition of Laundry and Cleaning Today. Subscribe here for your copy:

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