Certification of these manufacturers expands the availability of traceable down that is used in the production of animal welfare/responsible down products.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.  – NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International, has certified the first manufacturers to the Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS). Youngone Corporation (Seoul, South Korea), Quang Viet Enterprise (QVE) Co., Ltd. (Taipei, Taiwan) and Shen Gang Tungsang (ShenZhen), Co., Ltd., (Shen Zhen, China) have all achieved certification to the Global Traceable Down Standard. Certification to the standard enables an organization to demonstrate the down it processes is from farms that practice the highest levels of animal welfare and that the down is fully traceable throughout its supply chain.

“NSF International is proud of these companies for achieving certification to the Global Traceable Down Standard,” said Jenny Oorbeck, General Manager for NSF Sustainability. “These companies have committed to full traceability in handling certified down and ensuring that products labeled Global TDS contain only certified down. With certification, these manufacturers are able to offer brands the assurance they need for full accountability and traceability to original down sources.”

All three of these manufacturers are leading suppliers to the down outdoor apparel and sporting goods markets, supplying high quality products to many leading brands.

Two of the companies, QVE and Youngone Corporation, are suppliers to outdoor apparel company Patagonia. Based on Patagonia’s commitment to animal welfare in its supply chain, it requires manufacturers in its supply chain to be fully certified to the Global Traceable Down Standard. Shen Gang Tungsang Co., Ltd., the other manufacturer to be certified, is a prominent designer and developer of insulated outdoor products, particularly sleeping bags.

“With certification to NSF International’s Global Traceable Down Standard, Youngone Corporation is proud to be one of the world’s first manufacturers that have developed capabilities to support brands with aspirations to achieve high standards in animal welfare and full traceability from original sources of down,” said Ms. Rae Eun Sung, Executive Vice President, Youngone Corporation.

The Global TDS is an industry-wide standard for brands and manufacturers that want to source down responsibly. The rigorous criteria include on-site audits to confirm full traceability of down from parent farm to final manufactured product and to verify the ethical treatment of birds throughout their lifecycle.

“We have gained greater knowledge of our business partners through the process of certification to NSF International’s Global Traceable Down Standard,” said Darren Li, Vice President, Shen Gang Tungsang Co., Ltd. “We can now provide higher value to the marketplace with our certified product.”

NSF’s Global Traceable Down Standard goes beyond other existing programs, which start at the hatchery, and extends animal welfare procedures to parent farms where animals typically live for at least four years and would be at greatest risk for live plucking. No other down standard ensures this enhanced level of animal welfare and protection from practices such as live plucking to increase down yield or force feeding birds for foie gras production.

“We are proud of our certification to NSF International’s Global Traceable Down Standard,” said Charles Wu, Owner and President, QVE. “We recognize that our achievement reinforces our relationship with Patagonia and helps strengthen consumer confidence that down products are coming from ethical sources. QVE is committed to safeguarding the environment and transparency in ensuring the welfare of animals. QVE is also committed to using sustainably processed down while driving innovation."

Traceability audits ensure compliant down and feather material is fully documented as the only material used in finished goods. All organizations handling the down are also audited to verify they have good management systems to keep the sustainably-sourced down segregated from conventionally-sourced down.

The Global TDS was developed in a consensus-based process in partnership with stakeholders from industry (manufacturers and retailers), animal welfare groups (such as Four Paws International), trade associations and other non-governmental organizations. These key groups developed, defined and agreed to the criteria for the final standard.

All companies that use down are encouraged to adopt NSF International’s Global Traceable Down Standard to set the highest bar possible for animal welfare.

For more information on the Global TDS or on certification through NSF Sustainability, contact Phil Alexandrin at sustainability@nsf.org or visit the Global TDS webpage.

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with Jenny Oorbeck, General Manager of NSF Sustainability, contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at media@nsf.org or +1 734.418.6624.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and commercial and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF Sustainability offers a range of standardized and proprietary methods of measuring sustainability for organizations, products, processes, supply chains and services. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF International has developed animal welfare and sustainability standards for product categories such as down, chemicals, building products and materials, and water quality. NSF works with leading regulators, scientists, engineers, public health and environmental health professionals, and industry representatives to develop these transparent, science-based standards, protocols, and product category rules.

About Shen Gang Tungsang Co., Ltd.: Shen Gang Tungsang Co., Ltd. is the manufacturing arm of Tungsang Performance Outdoor Ltd., a leading provider of design and development for insulated outdoor products. Since being established in 1981, Tungsang is committed to provide quality product for many outdoor brands worldwide. Tungsang’s specialty is sleeping bag and developed multiple patented construction technologies which can be found inside of numerous award-winning products.

About Youngone Corporation: Youngone Corporation is a leading global manufacturer of outdoor and athletic clothing, textiles, and equipment, with a history of innovation, partnership and trust. It was founded in 1974 by Chairman Kihak Sung. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Youngone today owns and operates production facilities in Bangladesh, Vietnam, China and El Salvador. Continuous improvement of our people and products is at the heart of our operations, and has contributed to Youngone’s exceptionally diversified portfolio of products and services. Our commitment to high ethical standards in production has enabled us to play an important role in the socio-economic development of the countries we work in.

About Quang Viet Enterprise Co., Ltd.: Quang Viet Enterprise Co., Ltd. is the one of world’s leading suppliers of garments for the outdoor sports industry with headquarters in Taipei City, Taiwan and having successfully built manufacturing locations in Vietnam and China. It began in 1996 and the past 20 years has cultivated strong management and operation teams that embrace and are passionate about driving innovation. Quang Viet's expertise lies in the attention to detail and merchandising teams with years of industry experience working in partnership with brand product creation teams on creative, tailored new construction details. One of its strengths is its willingness to seek out efficient methods in executing new ideas and technology on seam sealed, thermoball, padded, bonded, soft shell, down jackets in the industry. Gore-tex certification gives its operations the ability to produce many of the Gore-tex series for existing products.