While there are growing cruelty-free and vegan options in the areas of food, fashion and beauty, there are limited choices when it comes to duvets, doonas and pillows. Many traditional duvets, quilts and pillows are made with down feathers – the super soft feathers closest to the skin of a duck or goose usually taken from the bird’s chest or belly.
According to UK-based writer Sascha Camilli in her book Vegan Style, “plucking down from birds that are alive and conscious is very common in the [bedding] industry”. She asserts that even with the Responsible Down Standard, it’s near impossible to be 100% certain that quilts, blankets and cushions “aren’t filled with feathers from live-plucked birds”.
Identifying the need for peace of mind in the underserved vegan market, Australian sustainable lifestyle brand ettitude has announced the release of its Alternative Down range, marking the latest development in sustainable textiles from the six-year-old Melbourne-born brand.
“The Alternative Down range has been in the making for some time, as we’ve been exploring the most innovative ways to deliver comfort in a way that does not cost the earth,” says CEO and founder of ettitude Phoebe Yu.
The cruelty-free and vegan range of bedding includes a super soft quilt and pillows made from 60% recycled PET and 40% CleanBamboo™, the brand’s signature innovative fabric. The recycled PET used in the range is developed by taking existing post-consumer plastic waste collected from recycling facilities and spinning it into new fibres. The Down Alternative standard pillow, for example, consists of 29.6 upcycled plastic bottles.
Bamboo textiles often get a bad rap in the sustainable fashion industry due to the use of harsh chemicals in processing the plant fibre, but ettitude is committed to doing better. Instead of using standard rayon and viscose technology that can be toxic to human health and the environment, ettitude invested years in researching, refining and testing its signature textile to create an improved, lower-impact bamboo fabric.
Unlike conventional bamboo fabric, CleanBamboo™ is 100% biodegradable and is produced in a closed-loop system that minimises water waste and the use of toxic chemicals. All ettitude’s bamboo is sourced through sustainably managed FSC-certified forests and the fabric is OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified verifying that the fabric is free from harmful chemicals, allergens and artificial additives.
“The production of recycled PET requires less energy input and keeps plastics out of landfills, while our exclusive CleanBamboo is made from 100% organic, responsibly-sourced bamboo in a closed-loop system that recycles 98% of water without the use of any harsh chemicals,” explains Yu.
The release of ettitude’s Down Alternative comes on the back of the launch of its textile recycling program ‘Loop’, an initiative that aims to reduce the half a billion kilograms of unwanted textiles ending up in landfill each year.
All images courtesy of ettitude.