While the thought of wearing the filling of people’s old blankets might seem a bit skeevy, Patagonia assures the recycled materials meet their high standards and aren’t in the least bit gross. Also, their products are specifically labelled to let you know recycled materials were used:
Here’s their pitch for the recycled down program:
“Recycled Down is a mix of 600-fill-power goose and duck down reclaimed from cushions, bedding and other used items that can’t be resold. It is hypoallergenic and offers the identical performance benefits to virgin down.
There was already a market in Europe for recycled down and feathers, but it took some time before we found the perfect partners who were able to meet our high-quality standards; the legwork really paid off. Both the collector and the processor we partner with are family-owned and share our values for high quality and uncompromising performance.
Our demand for high-quality Recycled Down has already led to an increase in supply. As other apparel companies follow our lead, we expect their demand will boost down recycling in even more countries. By plucking some of our down (and associated fabrics) from the trash, we reduce discards; help expand and add value to the recycling stream; and more fully realize our mission to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”