With the recent controversy surrounding the ethical procurement of down, Nau decided to cut down on the use of virgin down going forward and instead use down recycled from discarded products. As feathers are highly resilient and durable, it only makes sense to extend the life of this expensive raw material. In doing so, Nau becomes one of the first brands in the apparel industry to use recycled down insulation.
By using recycled down, Nau eliminates the use of all 650-fill virgin down going forward, while cutting back on post-consumer waste. Nau worked closely with a number of partners over the course of several years to bring recycled down to life.
A third party facility located outside of Paris collects post-consumer down pillows and duvets donated for recycling. Items are inspected at cutting stations and are broken down to collect raw materials. During this breakdown process, an internal quality check is performed and the down insulation is divided into nine categories. The raw material is put through a sorting machine and the top quality down from this process is collected, labeled, and shipped to the cleaning facility.
The collected down is received at a family-owned facility near Budapest where small samples are taken from each bag to ensure the product matches quality standards. Upon meeting requirements, the raw materials is sorted, washed, and sterilized–the same cleaning process applies to both virgin and recycled down. The down is sterilized in a specialized drying system at 135-degrees Celsius. At the end of the process, samples are taken again to ensure the cleaned product meets all standards. All approved product is packaged and then shipped to design factories to produce final garments. The resulting 650-fill power blend of goose and duck down maintains the same weight, quality, and insulation properties as virgin down insulation that is sourced directly from waterfowl.
Nau’s recycled down insulation makes its debut in six new outerwear pieces this fall: the Copenhagen Down Trench for men and women ($495), the Blazing Down Jacket ($395) for men, and the Cocoon Down Trench ($360), Allee Down Pullover ($300), and Down Hoody Jacket ($350) for women.