In cold weather (or even just particularly frigid offices) there is nothing better than a goose down coat. Lightweight, exceptionally warm, easy to smoosh down for packing (it’s technically called “compressibility”), and breathable, goose down keeps you warm and dry. Fjällräven, the Swedish company that’s been making incredible outdoor clothing and gear since 1960 (you’ve definitely seen their famous backpack, now the accessory of choice for Hipsters), is committed to the highest standards of ethically and sustainably sourced down for their incomparable jackets and vests.
The Fjällräven Sustainable Down collection has an option for every man: parkas, expedition-worthy coats, vests, even a down shirt. Each item is made to last, offering function and style. Their most famous design is the Expedition Down: puffy, warm, and hooded, perfect for city or country winters. Down Vest No. 6 is made with G-1000 fabric, which means it’s made to withstand all the manliest of activities like carrying the wood you just chopped for a nice log cabin, or flip it and wear the flashy blue side so that you’re highly visible. Or, maybe you’re looking for the perfect layer for hunting or skeet shooting: look no further than their Sörmland Down Shirt Jacket, with thoughtful design like low-placed chest pockets that don’t get in the way when shooting. All of them are filled with warm, soft goose down!
Which is what, exactly? Surprisingly, down is not the feathers: it’s the insulation that lies just underneath the feathers. There are, unfortunately, a lot of bad practices out there when it comes to harvesting down, including live plucking. Fjällräven decided that the down they use would be sustainable, but more importantly, come from closely watched, ethical farmers who protect the geese at every stage.
Fjällräven uses only one down supplier who has only a small number of farms and slaughterhouses in the Yangshou province in China. Fjällräven constantly conducts both announced and surprise inspections and enlists a Swedish veterinarian to ensure the conditions of the geese are healthy and humane. It’s required that all Fjällräven geese be allowed free range to swim, flock, and eat a healthy diet.
After about 90 days on the farm, the geese are allowed to flock together and walk up a specially built ramp into a specially designed truck. It was hugely important to Fjällräven that the geese have the least stressful transport to the slaughterhouse as possible, going so far as to train the drivers to drive slowly and carefully. Once at the slaughterhouse, the geese are allowed to rest before they’re stunned, rendered unconscious so they feel no pain. Also, unlike some other places, the meat is used in food production, cutting down on needless waste.
The down is washed in eco-friendly soap and the water used is purified before it’s released back out into the world. All down is consistently marked as Fjällräven’s to ensure that it can be tracked from the very beginning. Inspectors and Fjällräven representatives are on hand to maintain the strict standards of sustainability and ethical handling Fjällräven has introduced. You can learn more about their process with this video the company produced.
Fjällräven may not be the easiest name to pronounce, but wearing their goose down products is an easy decision. Warmth, quality, functionality, all thanks to sustainability and ethically-sourced down.
- Q&A with Ben Saunders before his First Solo Expedition Across Antarctica
- This Winter’s Best Parkas for Braving the Cold
- The North Face Gets a Face Lift from Pendleton in this New Collection
- How One Denver Restaurant is Introducing Native American Food to the Hungry Masses
- Pack It In: Essential Gear for Winter Camping