Any time a waste stream can be turned into a resource, it’s a good move for the planet. So for a company that’s always on the hunt for more sustainable solutions, a breakthrough as big as Recycled Down feels like winning the lottery. Below we look at how recycled down is collected, clean and certified, allowing us to create premium products from reclaimed duvets and pillows.
Down is the lightweight, cluster-like feathers that birds use for thermal regulation. Down’s structure creates a matrix of air pockets, making it a superb insulation material. Primarily sourced from geese and ducks, down has an extraordinary warmth to weight ratio; as a result, it has become the standard for lightweight insulation in jackets, sleeping bags and bedding.
Just like the name says, recycled down is goose and duck down that’s been recycled from post-consumer sources—primarily down duvets and pillows. A high-quality, sustainable alternative to virgin down, it offers the same warmth-to-weight ratio at a fraction of the environmental cost.
Starting with reclaimed duvets and pillows, the down and feathers are removed, cleaned, and then sorted according to their quality. This allows us to select recycled down with the exact same specifications as virgin down, and thus identical performance characteristics. At Nau, we use 650-fill and 700-fill recycled down in our high-quality insulated jackets.
The factory from which we source our recycled down is in California.
Because recycled down is sorted and cleaned according to the same process as virgin down, the performance of 700-fill recycled down is identical to that of 700-fill virgin down.
Fill power is a measurement of density: the number represents how many cubic inches a single ounce of down will fill. Just like virgin down, recycled down can be specified in a wide range of fill powers. We choose 650-fill and 700-fill recycled down because of their extremely high warmth-to-weight ratio.
To ensure our down supply is truly traceable and 100% recycled, we work with independent organizations, including the Global Recycled Standard and SCS Recycled Content Certification to verify the source and composition of our recycled down products.
We first began using recycled down with our Fall 2015 Collection. At that time, about half of our down styles used recycled down. We were so impressed with the results and the reduced environmental impact that starting in the fall of 2016 we shifted to using 100% recycled down exclusively in all of our down insulation.
While recycled down offers the same performance as virgin down, it also requires the same care. Don’t store any down piece bunched up, as this will decrease its loft. Reapplying water-repellant finishes, such as nikwax, to the shell fabric will help keep it from wetting out. Wash and dry according to care instructions. And when drying, use a low heat setting along with a tennis ball or two to aid in breaking up down clumps.