Responsible Down Standard
Down insulation is where Rab® started. From the early days in Patagonia and Sheffield where Rab Carrington harnessed his knowledge of clothing and equipment design, through to present day Derbyshire, we continue to redefine the future of insulation technology. Down is an integral part of our heritage at Rab. That is why all down used in Rab products is certified by the Responsible Down Standard.
The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) is a voluntary comprehensive global, third-party-certified, animal welfare and traceability standard for down and feathers. The RDS ensures that the down in a product does not come from birds that have been live-plucked or force-fed and that their welfare has been protected throughout their lives.
Independent, professional certiﬁcation bodies inspect each part of the supply chain: farms, collectors, slaughterhouses, down processors, sewing factories and distribution centres on an annual basis.
For more information, you can read about the RDS here - http://responsibledown.org/
Here at Rab we have been carefully monitoring the emerging environmental concerns about PFCs and working hard on this issue behind the scenes.
PFCs (Perfluorocarbons) are compounds that are widely used in many different industries, including the manufacture of durable water repellent finishes (DWRs) commonly used on outdoor apparel. The use of effective, durable water repellents prevents clothing from “wetting out”, which can have serious consequences to wearer safety and comfort in the mountains and outdoors. The active water repellents themselves are tightly and durably bound to the fabrics but there are trace levels (at parts-per-billion levels) of unfixed PFC’s that can enter the environment. The primary concern is that many PFC’s are persistent and do not biodegrade.
What we know is that DWRs based on PFCs provide the best performance out of the currently available chemical finishing technologies; they ensure that outdoor apparel is properly and durably water repellent.
At Rab we have always taken our environmental responsibilities very seriously and in the absence of coherent, scientifically derived legislation we are working proactively to manage PFCs responsibly with the information available.
Previously we have already voluntarily made a transition from long chain fluorocarbon finishes C8 to shorter chain C6, due to the reduced bio-persistence of C6 species in the environment, and we continue to search for PFC-free alternatives without compromising the performance and durability we know our customers need.
We have been consulting with the scientific community both in the UK and Europe, with independent experts and legislative bodies and our many technical suppliers.
We are committed to acting responsibly whilst continuing to deliver the correct level of technical performance for our customers. This work is progressing well. Subject to equal or improved technical performance being achieved, we have now committed to a goal of switching from PFC-based technologies for all our products by 2020. We will also continue to monitor the legal landscape for objective, scientific derived guidance on PFC’s and alternatives to ensure we arrive at the best solution for customers and the environment.
As this project continues we will let you know what steps we are taking and will update you on our progress towards our goal.
Our responsibility to the environment includes being compliant with the Consumer Information Obligation; in order to meet this, we provide information detailing recycling advice and guidance for our customers, including how and where to recycle, a guide to recycling symbols and top recycling tips. The overall aim is ensuring our customers are aware of their recycling responsibilities and have the correct information to become more environmentally friendly, in the home and work-place, all of which is focused around the traditional waste hierarchy principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This information is available via the following link: https://www.complydirect.com/the-recycling-room