Frequently asked questions about down

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What is the difference between duck and goose down?

The properties of duck and goose down are actually the same, since both provide excellent insulation of your body heat. Since goose down usually has larger tufts of down, less filling is required, making the duvet is lighter. The ratio between the insulation value and weight is called the filling capacity. Goose down has a higher filling capacity than duck down due to the larger tufts of down. Since goose down is scarcer than duck down, goose down duvets are often more expensive than duvets filled with duck down.

How is the quality of the down determined?

The quality of the down is determined by its filling capacity. The filling capacity of down is measured by measuring the height of 30 grams of down in millimetres. Placing a weight on the down makes it possible to measure the counter pressure. If there is sufficient counter pressure, we measure the remaining height, which we refer to as the filling capacity. The stronger the down, the more resistance it offers and the higher the filling capacity. A filling capacity of at least 150 mm/30 grams is considered good. High-quality goose down has a filling capacity of at least 170 mm/30 grams and even higher than 200 mm/30 grams in extremely high-quality down. The higher the filling capacity, the greater the ability of the down to insulate. As a result, less down is needed and the duvet is wonderfully light and airy.

Where does the down in Auping duvets and pillows come from?

The down in our duvets comes from Masurian geese (Poland), which are primarily kept for their meat. The geese live outside in the open air, have access to water and receive natural nutrition. The down and feathers are left after the animals are slaughtered for their meet. Around the world, Polish goose down is recognized for its high quality. The Polish climate with its warm summers and icy winters contribute to this. Recycled down from the Auping assortment comes from high-quality down duvets that consumers have thrown away.

Is down an eco-friendly material?

Down is a natural product with a very low environmental impact because little processing is needed to prepare this material for use. Thanks to its low weight and high-insulating properties, a down duvet also requires less than half the amount of filling than a synthetic duvet. Down is also biodegradable and does not harm the environment should it enter the waste stream. Down from old products can be easily recycled as well. As a result, recycled down has an even lower environmental impact than new (virgin) down.

Are ducks and geese live-plucked for the down?

No, never for our duvets and pillows. In Asia and Eastern Europe, there are farms that are known to live-pluck geese, but this is prohibited by law in the EU. Western manufacturers of duvets and pillows do not allow the live-plucking of animals and strictly enforce this ban. This means that there is no possibility that down from live-plucked animals is found in European products.

How do I make sure I don’t buy a duvet filled with down that was live-plucked?

If you buy a down duvet, make sure that it bears the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) or Global Recyled Standard label, which guarantees that no animals were live-plucked to obtain the down in it. All of our duvets are RDS or GRS-certified. The entire production chain – from farm to end product – is inspected periodically by the independent certification body Control Union.

What is RDS?

The RDS is an independent, voluntary, global down standard that places a great deal of emphasis on the traceability of the down and feathers that are a by-product of the food industry. The standard is owned by the Textile Exchange and compliance with the standard is checked by the independent certification body, Control Union. The RDS was developed over a period of three years and reviewed with the support of animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands, and retailers. The standard recognises ‘best practices’ (the best methods/processes) in the field of animal welfare and traceability. The down in our products only originates from suppliers that comply with the requirements of the RDS and are certified in this regard.

Will duck and geese farming stop if I do not buy a down duvet?

Geese and ducks have been bred for their meat for centuries, long before down was ever used as a filling material. This will not change if down duvets are no longer produced. The down and feathers will simply be used for other purposes, such as being processed into animal feed and biofuel.

Does animal-friendly down even exist?

There is a lot of discussion as to whether animal products like meat, dairy and by-products like down and leather can even be called animal-friendly. We make sure that the down does not come from animals that have been live-plucked. In addition, we do not accept down coming from animals that are kept in cages or who are force-fed to fatten up their liver. The animals have the right to a sufficient amount of space, food and clean drinking water, while unnecessary stress and suffering must be prevented. The ‘responsible down’ label may only be used if all RDS certification requirements are met. It is up to the individual consumer to determine how animal-friendly he or she believes this to be.