Written by Flora Davidson, Co-Founder of Supplycompass. Supplycompass is a sourcing platform that enables brands and manufacturers to find each other and work better together. Through the Supplycompass platform, brands get matched with a manufacturer, receive cost estimates, create tech packs, request samples and manage production all from one dashboard. Supplycompass is harnessing the power of tech to bring greater trust, transparency and collaboration to global supply chains.
Supplycompass interview with Eric Firmann & Tai Hwang, the Co-Founders of recycled feather and down
company Re:Down, about their business and the world of down recycling.
[Supplycompass] What is Re:Down ?
[Re:Down] At Re:down we recycle down and feathers from post consumer goods collected all over Europe.The down and feathers are extracted, washed and sterilised so that they can be re-used in apparel and bedding items.
[Supplycompass] How did Re:Down start?
[Re:Down] We started Re:Down after we realised that down is a precious resource and that there is not enough to supply the growing global demand. It's a durable material that can be recycled. We offer a large range of recycled filling materials, from 100% feathers up to 90% down / 10% feathers. But we also sell the organic fertiliser we make out of the down and feathers waste.
[Supplycompass] Tell us about the recycling process?
[Re:Down] The recycling process is pretty simple :
1. We collect post consumer goods through the textile waste containers. Down and feathers items are a small fraction of the huge amount of clothes and home textiles collected but still significant volume.
2. We check each single piece and classify the goods into 8 categories, according to the quality of the filling material.
3. We extract the filling material
4. We sort it to the composition down/feathers we want to reach
5. We wash and sterilise the material
We also take care of the fabric shells, that are prepared to be recycled into insulation. And our own down and feather waste is recycled into organic fertiliser.
[Supplycompass] Recycled down vs virgin down - what's the difference?
[Re:Down] In both cases, you are talking about recycled materials. Virgin down suppliers often present their material as a recycled product from the meat industry. Re:down is a recycled product as well but from post consumer goods. We close the loop of a circular economy system. And in this we help to reduce the amount of textile trash. Re:Down is also less water consuming :
1. We save the water used for raising more animals
2. We save the water used in slaughter houses
3. We use less water when reprocessing Re:Down because our raw material has less fat residues compared to virgin down
[Supplycompass] What products can be made using Re:Down?
[Re:Down] Re:Down has had a rapid growth in the past 3 years. More and more brands in activewear, fashion and decoration are using our products and it's only the beginning! Re:down can be used as filling material for down jackets, sleeping bags, duvets and pillows, and decoration inner cushions. There are lots of applications for it.
Eric Firmann & Tai Hwang, Co-founders of Re:Down