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Mar 15, 2023
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Down: Peta calls for transparency on H&M sourcing

Translated by
Mar 15, 2023

The animal rights organisation Peta, as a shareholder of H&M, is calling the Swedish group to account for its down suppliers, and in particular for its slaughter methods. It also questions the sincerity of the company's claim to transparency.


Peta's shareholder resolution to H&M calls for a report on the slaughter methods used by their down suppliers. "H&M provides no information on the farms and slaughterhouses that supply its products, which completely debunks its own misleading claims that it has prioritised both traceability and transparency in supply chains.

Peta's approach is notable in that it takes an administrative approach, putting into perspective the perceived gap between rhetoric and brand reality. An unstated accusation of "greenwashing" which exceptionally takes precedence over the mention of the fate of geese and ducks. An element that is not forgotten, however.

Peta stresses that all feathers come from animals that have been "violently killed" (the animals are normally stunned before their throats are slit, then placed in boiling water). The organisation bases its findings on a recent investigation of a Vietnamese producer, Vina Prauden, whose practices were deemed unnecessarily violent. A supplier of "responsible down" that previously supplied H&M.

Peta has now tackled another NGO: Textile Exchange. Peta claims that H&M is phasing out the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) label designed by Textile Exchange from its business pages. "Indicating that [H&M Group] knows that RDS is a sham," says Peta.

Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, Textile Exchange says that animal welfare is a top priority for the organisation. "This is why the Responsible Down Standard was introduced in 2014 to help set a standard for these animals to be treated humanely," the NGO explains. "We take any violations very seriously and are always ready to collaborate and investigate cases where the standard is not met, ensuring that due diligence is followed and appropriate action is taken." 

Also contacted by FashionNetwork.com, the H&M Group only says it welcomes "Peta's commitment to this issue and its work to uncover unacceptable breaches in our industry, which ultimately helps to improve industry standards and practices in relation to animal welfare."

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