Slow Down

Increasing traceability and transparency in our supply chains.

Words by Monique Seitz-Davis

Quality of life: it’s something that every living being strives for and is deserving of, which is generally defined as “well-being.” And the beauty of well-being is that it can take many forms and is unique to each individual, as well as species.

At Cotopaxi, we understand the inextricable link between quality of life and quality materials. And we also understand that quality of life is something that is not restricted to the human experience: it extends to fowl, too, which is why we have a working relationship with Allied Feather & Down.

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) that Allied helped develop is an independent, voluntary global standard that ensures the geese and ducks that provide down and feathers for our products are treated well.

A Commitment to our Future

Back in 1987, Allied Feather & Down was founded with a mission to manufacture the highest quality down and feather product. As the company grew, the need for environmentally sensitive infrastructures and systems came about. One of the byproducts (as there are many) is the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which Allied Feather & Down helped create and implement. However, in addition to its RDS efforts, Allied is also bluesign-certified, was a founding member of the International Alliance for Pro Down Initiative, and is a member of the International Down and Feather Bureau. In so many ways, Allied’s reach goes above and beyond the ordinary insulation manufacturer and isn’t simply a Band-Aid atop bigger problems. It’s clear that Allied understands that down insulation requires much more than just a simple wash or a supplementary regulation infrastructure.

Speaking of entities that are much more lasting, if you’re unfamiliar with the Responsible Down Standard, the approach is quite simple. Allied Feather & Down ensures that the down product (that is being distributed to companies such as Cotopaxi, The North Face, and Feathered Friends, to name a few) comes from animals that have been treated well. This means no live-plucking or force-feeding. This voluntary global standard is audited by independent, third-party auditing bodies, which means brands, retailers, and consumers have the security in knowing the RDS-certified fill inside their products is the highest quality responsibly sourced down available. As a result, you’re able to track where the down in your product comes from—meaning you’re able to learn more about its unique properties and story. Allied has created the innovative traceability tool called Simply go to this website and plug in the lot number associated with your Cotopaxi product (e.g., the Sueño Sleeping Bag) to learn more about the supply chain and origin of the down.

A Face to the Name

More often than not, it’s easy to forget the humanity of a company and simply view it as a corporation. Now, Allied isn’t just a manufacturer: they’re a translator, a medium from which others can better understand where their insulation come from and why. After all, the very act of endeavoring people to slow down and become connected with their clothing is an artfully political ask. Though, in truth, it’s hard to get more political than Allied’s myriad of quiet and subdued efforts, all of which have ranged from the delivery of down-insulated coats and blankets to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock to the widespread circulation of unique and politically-inspired artwork.

And as a testament to their resiliency and innovation, Allied Feather & Down goes beyond the initial face time that most companies have to offer by way of working with partner companies who understand there’s more to down than just its loft. Some of Allied’s larger-known partners are The North Face, Helly Hansen, Eddie Bauer, Feathered Friends, Outdoor Research, Nau, Land’s End, and Haglofs. Not only that, but Allied Feather & Down helped Patagonia implement their Traceable Down Standard, which is now available throughout most of Patagonia’s down-insulated products.

The beauty of all this is simple: Allied has spread its wings and enabled the outdoor industry (as well as the home department) to grow and cultivate partnerships in a way that ensure a better world and a better tomorrow. So, at the end of the day, who better trust with your insulation than the ever-thoughtful, ever-conscious, and ever-innovative Allied Feather & Down? After all, quality products help ensure a lifetime of quality experiences and dependable performance.

Fill power is the volume in cubic inches that one ounce of down can fill. The higher the number (roughly 500 to 900), the greater the down’s loft, insulating value, warmth-to-weight ratio, and compressibility.