The world is undergoing harsh, record-breaking winters. And what better outerwear to use than trusty down jackets?
This staple is undeniably one of the top go-to outerwear for many people, especially during the colder and darker days of winter. It is extremely soft, it can easily be packed in your bag, and it can keep you as warm as toast all day long.
Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the most problematic materials being sourced and used today.
In the past few years, several big-name brands were called out due to the inhumane and unkind conditions animals were going through—just so they can produce warm outerwear for humans.
Now, many of them tried to address this. Some even changed where they source the materials, but there is still no guarantee that the down they use is really 100% ethically sourced.
The world is already experiencing harsher weather due to climate change and the many problematic ways humans have been handling the Earth’s resources in the past decades.
But despite knowing this, why are these packable jackets still so in demand?
What is Down?
Undeniably, this material can keep you warm all throughout winter since it is sourced from geese and ducks. They are known to have down clusters under their waterproof outer feathers, which keep them warm in the cold and wet conditions of their homes.
Down feathers also have soft, fine stalks, which are crowned with a puff of very fine fibers. In fact, higher quality down can be so light that you would not even feel it if a clump is placed on your hand. This, in turn, means that anything made of down is soft and comfortable to wear. This feature also makes them malleable, which is why this particular packable jacket has become a top choice for many.
On top of all of these, items made from down are also versatile and durable. When properly cared for, items made out of down can easily last a lifetime.
All of these features make down very in demand. Unfortunately, many manufacturers tend to overlook how inhumane the sourcing procedure is just so they can sell a few items. Many people turn a blind eye to the fact that down is produced by repeatedly plucking the feathers off of live animals multiple times right before they are put under a butcher knife.
Some organizations have even released exposés showing the cruel and unsustainable living situations of geese and ducks—just so humans can remain warm in the winter.
What are the alternatives to Down?
Luckily, there are now many other alternatives that can be used that have features that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Here are a few options you can look into:
- Polyester Synthetics: This material was originally developed in the 1980s for the U.S. Army as an effective alternative to down. It is resistant to water, chemicals, stretching and shrinking, mildew, as well as abrasion, which makes it a great material to keep people warm during colder weather.
- Air: Down can keep you warm because it keeps the air from going through the materials of your jacket or comforter, and this is why other brands have decided to skip using materials similar to down and just went straight to trapping air completely. They do this by creating items with built-in inflatable bladders you can adjust based on the level of insulation you need.
- Vegagooz: One of the leading alternatives to down right now is Vegagooz or Vegan down. Companies such as BOÏDA Athletica have been producing activewear and outerwear made out of 100% PETA approved vegan down-like insulation, which is derived from corn fibers and reinforced with patent-pending technology. This material can still provide you with an ultra-warm, comfortable, light, and packable jacket without harming any animals throughout the production process.
Why choose ethical diets, fashion, and home products?
The world is getting warmer every year, yet it cannot be denied that people have been experiencing one of the harshest winters in decades. This is due to the record-breaking cold snap caused by a split polar vortex that sent cold Arctic air across North America.
Climate change is real, it is happening, and we can definitely feel the consequences—it is only imperative that we do something to mitigate it.
One of the best ways to do this is by supporting brands with ethically-produced products, fashion, diets, and lifestyles.
Each purchase a person makes may feel insignificant at first, after all, they are just one person out of the billions living on Earth right now. But just imagine if everyone starts to be more mindful about their purchases.
Your purchase may not create waves of change right then and there, but if the person right after you decide to do the same thing, followed by the next person, and the next, your collective action would have then created an impact to your environment.
Winters are indeed getting harsher, but you should not just rely on the old ways of keeping yourself warm. Due to relentless research and improved technology, you can now try many alternatives that are undeniably healthier, safer, and more ethical for everyone involved.
How you live your life greatly affects the world around you, and making seemingly small steps towards making more informed purchases—even if it just concerns your winter outerwear—is already one big step in the long run.
This article is brought to you by Bitch New York, though all of the views and comments may not reflect their values. For more information about Vegan marketing, please visit us at Ardor SEO, to spread the word about healthier and safer lifestyle alternatives that can create a lasting impact on the world.