Your bed is a sanctuary: a place where you can completely relax after a long day. But it’s hard to sleep soundly if animals were tortured and killed for the down feathers or wool in your blanket and pillows.
Down feathers are often plucked from live birds. Multiple times in their lives, ducks and geese are held down by workers who tear out their softest feathers.
While some companies claim to use “ethically sourced” feathers that are certified by the misleadingly named Responsible Down Standard (RDS), PETA affiliates visited farms connected to RDS-certified companies in China and uncovered shocking cruelty that casts serious doubt on this certification.
Wool blankets and pillows aren’t any more ethically comforting. Huge chunks of skin and flesh are cut from the backsides of sheep used for wool – sometimes without pain relief – to make them easier to care for in Australia’s unsuitably hot climate. Shearing is fast and violent, and multiple investigations have documented that workers struck sheep in the face with sharp metal clippers, stood on their necks, and threw them out of sheds.
The best way to take a stand against this abuse is to avoid buying any items that contain animal parts.
How to Shop
On labels, look for fabrics such as PrimaLoft and Thinsulate – which contain soft, washable, down-like fibres that are often used in clothing and comforters – or “down alternative”, “polyester fill”, or “synthetic down”. A lot of down-free bedding is advertised as “allergy-free”, “hypoallergenic”, “anti-allergy”, or “allergy sensitive”, so keep an eye out for wording like that.
Shops like Myer, David Jones, Target, Kmart, Big W, and Bed Bath N’ Table all have animal-free options that are easy to find with a bit of label reading. You can find quilts and pillows filled with bamboo blends, Thermaloft, polyester, or microfibre, or if your dream is to be surrounded with soft fluff, check out these faux-mink quilts!
Aussie Vegan Brands Leading the Way
If you are in the market for new bedding and want to support local, cruelty-free, and environmentally friendly options, the brands listed below are leading the way.
This Melbourne-based bedding brand offers bedding made from bamboo, a plant that requires less than a 10th of the water of conventional cotton. Its quilt comes in both summer and winter weights (200 gsm and 400 gsm, respectively).
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This company offers certified organic cotton products, including blankets and quilt cover sets.
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Another Aussie initiative out of the northern rivers of New South Wales, Goldilocks’ products are filled with kapok, the silky fibres from the seeds of tropical trees.
Pro tip: Do you have some down bedding you’re no longer comfortable using? Consider calling animal shelters or rescues in your area to see if they could use some extra blankets.
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