Downlite, the manufacturer of down and feather, and synthetic bedding products, embarked on its latest sustainability program. The company recently engaged an outside organic recycling company to utilize the large waste feathers that traditionally end up in landfill, and instead, treat them for soil compost.
Much of the by-product Downlite’s collaborative recycling company receives for compost is food waste that has a high moisture content. The dry feathers help make the compost more manageable when mixed with other matter. Additionally, feathers have an added pore space that degrade the organic matter of the compost more efficiently. Lastly, feathers are rich in keratin, a protein that slowly releases nitrogen when added to compost. The slow release of nitrogen allows for long-term plant growth stimulation.
Downlite’s composting program is the most recent in a series of ongoing environmental and sustainable initiatives. Last fall, the company installed a waste water recycling system (WWRS) to treat and recycle water used to process down. To date, Downlite’s WWRS has successfully allowed the company to treat and recycle over 20 million gallons of water – exceeding company expectations.
“Our sustainability efforts go well beyond our sourcing and production processes, they also serve as the foundation for new products that we create for our partners,” said Chad Altbaier, VP Downlite Outdoor. “To help manage the upward costing pressure down is now facing, we will be introducing exciting hybrid insulations involving natural and recycled materials, which offer the dual benefit of enhancing the performance of the material, while being grounded in our core value of environmental stewardship. We look forward to announcing more information about our performance hybrid fills soon.”
At the forthcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Downlite will present its new GRS certified re/charged down, which the company introduced earlier this year. Not only is re/charged down 100 percent recycled, it is also 100 percent post-consumer, thus eliminating tons of material going into a landfill. re/charged down provides unprecedented performance levels for 100 percent recycled down due to its ability to ‘boost’ the down to a higher cluster and resulting fill power. Downlite is proud to have already commercialized this product with its outerwear brand partners for the FW18 season, and will be donating 1 percent of its sales to 1% for the Planet.