Mason, OH - December 7, 2017
With over 100 years of down processing expertise, which began in Europe prior to settling in the U.S. in the late 1940’s, Downlite not only knows a thing or two about down, but how the buying trends of this commodity have evolved over the years.
“Years ago, buyers’ primary concerns when purchasing down and feather for bedding and outdoor gear were that it was clean and delivered to factories on time,” said Chad Altbaier, VP Downlite Outdoor. “Today there are many additional factors involved in the buying decision such as where and how the down is sourced, a supplier’s stand on environmental and sustainability matters, product innovation and cost. We continually need to be pro-active and rigorously evolve on each of these fronts.”
Being in tune with customer needs and market conditions, Downlite has developed new down-fill innovations involving natural and recycled materials, which offer the dual benefit of enhancing the performance of the material, while being grounded in its core value of environmental stewardship.
At the forthcoming 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and ISPO trade show, Downlite will highlight the following new down fills and sustainability initiatives.
• GRS certified re/charged™ down provides unprecedented performance levels for 100% recycled down due to its ability to ‘boost’ the down to a higher cluster and resulting fill power. re/charged™ down is offered in both white and gray colors and can be combined with Downlite’s performance-enhancing technologies such as its proprietary PFC-free DWR treatments and Pur-Down™ anti-microbial solution. Downlite has increased capacity to meet increased customer demand for GRS certified re/charged™ down.
• Repreve®-down blend is an intimate blend of Repreve® – a brand creating GRS certified post-consumer recycled fiber made from plastic bottles – and virgin down and/or Downlite’s GRS certified recycled down blends. Repreve® down-blend offers a sustainable solution with enhanced performance benefits.
• Wool-Down HALO™ is a proprietary blend of nature’s best insulating materials. Wool-Down HALO™ uses a traceable wool sourced in the U.S. and has achieved new laundry durability standards. This fiber brings the temperature and humidity control benefits of wool together with the loft, softness, and compressibility of down.
• PFC-Free DWR Treatment Enhancements offering increased wash durability and performance in PFC-free DWR treated down and down blends.
• Waste Water Recycling System – A little over one year ago, Downlite installed an advanced waste water recycling system, which allows Downlite to dramatically reduce the amount of water needed to cleanse down and feathers to hypo-allergenic levels - two times governmental standards. To date, the system has recycled 36MM gallons of water. That’s enough water to fill nearly 55 Olympic size swimming pools!
• 1% For the Planet – 1% of the sales of Downlite’s GRS certified re/charged™ down, in addition to 1% of sales of the company’s eco-friendly Evolution of Comfort bedding collection from its Home Division featuring organic and recycled materials, earth-friendly components and chemistries, will be donated to 1% For the Planet.
• Composting – Downlite engages with an outside organic recycling company to utilize the large waste feathers that traditionally end up in landfill and, instead, treat them for soil compost. The dry feathers help make the compost more manageable when mixed with other matter. Due to feathers added pore space, they also 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 proudly supplies its performance down fills to the following prestigious brands: Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear, Ralph Lauren, lululemon, REI, Cascade Designs, Jack Wolfskin, Berghaus, Helly Hanson, Nemo, Mammut and Bergans, among others.
Downlite is America’s premiere manufacturer of down and feather, and synthetic bedding products. Its products – comforters, pillows, mattress pads, and feather and fiber beds – are sold under private label and national brand names in leading department stores, specialty stores, and catalogs, as well as to the Hospitality Industry. Downlite also supplies high-quality bulk fills to furniture, outerwear and sleeping bag manufacturers around the globe. Downlite is a bluesign® system partner, TDS and RDS certified, and a proud member of the American Down & Feather Council (ADFC).