Feather and down products
As a responsible retailer, we're committed to ensuring high standards of animal welfare in all stages of the supply chain. We require that our suppliers do likewise, by eliminating cruel practices in animal husbandry and providing the best possible conditions for animals whose by-products are used to make the things we sell.
In support of this stance, we've formulated a policy that's applicable to all products containing animal derivatives or by-products, whether branded or John Lewis own-brand. This includes the feather and down in pillows and duvets.
Much of the John Lewis own-brand pillow and duvet assortment is supplied by our own production unit, Herbert Parkinson in Lancashire. It sources feathers and down mainly from Hungary and Poland, all of it a by-product of the food chain.
Herbert Parkinson uses a German supplier which collects, washes and grades the down and feathers for us. This supplier does not purchase any live plucked goose down; it has been in this business since 1919 and is very committed to both animal welfare and biological production methods.
All Hungarian feathers provided by the supplier are certified by TUEV against the Hungarian standards on animal welfare. Among other things, these standards stipulate that the geese are cared for by veterinarians and kept in accordance with the regulations of the German Animal Welfare Act, and the recommendations of the Standing Committee of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes.
Any John Lewis own-brand pillows and duvets not supplied by Herbert Parkinson are made using feathers from either China or the UK. All down and feathers come from dead birds, and are a by-product of the food chain.
Our supplier, who sources from China, only uses birds kept on free range farms, and their technical team visits the farms regularly to ensure compliance. Our UK supplier can trace all feather and down through UK farms.
To summarise, our expectation from suppliers is that feather or down obtained by live plucking of birds is not permitted for use in John Lewis products.
In December 2013, we contacted suppliers about concerns raised by our customers around the sourcing of angora wool from rabbits. Although we found no evidence of unacceptable animal welfare practices, we decided to exclude angora in future from John Lewis own brand products. The exception to this is our Natural Collection mattresses, which contain responsibly-sourced goat angora.