Down supply chains can be complex, but once they are mapped out, the auditors will visit either every part of the supply chain or a representative sample, depending on the scale and complexity of the supply chain.
The audits cover a broad range of criteria. Still, under Responsible Down Standard audits, failures to meet specific standards will result in an immediate failure (for example, any evidence of live plucking, live harvesting, or force-feeding). A broad range of other criteria that contribute towards the overall welfare of the bird are also considered; some of these are mandatory and must be met, while others might be optional or recommended. The audit also seeks to educate and enlighten suppliers on best practices by demonstrating a range of criteria beyond the principle rules.
Audits extend beyond the farms and slaughterhouses, too. Our down wholesalers are audited, our factories who make our garments and equipment are audited, and our office and warehousing facilities are audited to ensure that we know precisely what down has been used in our products.
In addition to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) audits, we work only with supply chains recommended to us by our down wholesalers and who meet additional requirements regarding transparency and information sharing.