Textile Exchange has launched a new Web site, responsibledown.org, aimed at consumers, businesses and the media.

The site offers simple explanations about the standard and the supply chain; information about down and feathers, and stories, news and updates. Businesses now have a tool to help market their use of the Responsible Down Standard, as well as clear access to tools and information that will help them with their use of the standard.

The RDS was first developed with Textile Exchange, Control Union and The North Face, offering a comprehensive, global, third party-certified animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers. It can be applied to any waterfowl-based supply chain to ensure humane treatment of animals from hatchling to end product. This includes preventing practices such as force-feeding and live-plucking, as well as providing strict requirements on issues such as food and water quality, housing, stock density, outdoor access, animal health, hygiene, and pest and predator control.

Textile Exchange said the goals of RDS are to recognize and encourage best practices in animal welfare and to enable traceability so that products can be labeled accurately and give consumers the ability to make informed choices.

Upon its completion, RDS 1.0 was gifted by The North Face to Textile Exchange to make it accessible to the global industry. The Textile Exchange then created the International Working Group to work on RDS 2.0. The group included the European Outdoor Group, Outdoor Industry Association, The North Face, Adidas, Coyuchi, and animal protection organizations Four Paws and Humane Society International, as well as European Down and Feather Association and Pro-Down Alliance. As a result of the work of this group, RDS 2.0 was released earlier this year. More than 40 brands have adopted RDS, including H&M, Adidas, Black Diamond, Eddie Bauer, Marmot, Mammut and Helly Hansen.

Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and even reverse the negative impacts on water, soil, air and the human population created by this $1.7 trillion industry.

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