PETA DUST-UP: Executives at Lands’ End and Eddie Bauer are not taking lightly PETA’s allegations that the retailers used down suppliers in China that mistreated geese.

PETA has called on both companies, as well as Hollander Sleep Products, to stop selling down products and to replace them with high-tech down-free products. In a press release issued Thursday with video footage, PETA claimed that workers on the goose farms in question pin geese down and “rip their feathers out” even though the retailers sell their down products as being certified by the Responsible Down Standard. Those guidelines prohibit live plucking. PETA alleged that New White Goose Farming Cooperative of the city of Lu’an in the Jin’an District sells feathers and down to an intermediary which sells to Allied Feather & Down Corp. The RDS-certified Allied supplies Lands’ End and Eddie Bauer among other brands, according to PETA.

Asked whether Lands’ End has a response to the claim, a company spokeswoman said, “Lands’ End does not use, purchase or source live plucked down, which is a barbaric practice that is completely out of line with our values. As an industry leader, we have worked tirelessly to operate with a zero tolerance policy to ensure that our suppliers, vendors and all involved parties of our supply chain adhere to the highest standards of compliance and ethics. Our customers can be assured that we are fully committed to having a responsible, trustworthy and ethical supply chain. We take all allegations extremely seriously and, effective immediately, we will vigorously investigate our suppliers to ensure that all needed actions are taken, including suspending any supplier that does not live up to our high standards.”

An Eddie Bauer spokeswoman provided the email exchange between the company’s chief executive officer Mike Egeck and PETA. After its own investigation, Egeck has notified the animal rights group that Eddie Bauer does not purchase live plucked down for its products, and that there is no evidence of any live-plucked goose down in our supply chain.

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