In Europe, the feathers and down used for bedding (duvets and pillows) and clothing usually come from waterfowl (geese and ducks). They represent high-quality and unique natural products that offer breathability, moisture transport and heat insulation, coupled with a light weight. In addition to ensuring the even distribution of feathers and down in a duvet, for instance, these special features mean that even small quantities are sufficient for filling products.
No duck or goose is bred or kept for the sole purpose of harvesting down or feathers. Poultry is predominantly farmed for human consumption. Approx. 98%* of the down and feathers produced worldwide are a natural by-product of poultry breeding or meat production.
Bed feather manufacturers procure this by-product from slaughterhouses, and must be certified and veterinary-approved in the industrial sector 'Poultry Slaughtering - By-Product Processing'. After meticulous hygienic preparation (washing in water, steam drying, sterilising, sorting), the down and feathers can be processed further as filling material.
* This figure was obtained by a member survey carried out by the association.