Montbell and Ambiguous Down-Sourcing
Mar 6, 2020 at 10:44 am #3634504MattBPL Member
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
I was (emphasize, was) looking to replace a Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket. Using ethically-as-possible-sourced down is important to me. Not for everyone, but for me. Montbell claims that it only sources down from suppliers that raise geese and ducks for the meat industry. Consequently, its suppliers do not live-pluck. Great, but that being said, nothing is mentioned about suppliers that might force-feed geese to supply the foie-gras industry.
Two e-mails to the company seeking resolution of this question have gone unanswered. A later phone call to customer service resulted in these sketchiest four minutes of hedging and double-speak that I could have ever imagined. My conclusion was that the rep had no solid idea whether or not Montbell actually supports suppliers that force-feed, but that didn’t stop him from skirting the issue and trying to leave me with the clear impression that they didn’t, without expressly saying as much. The hedging and evasiveness even made this lawyer cringe a little bit.
Manufacturers are free to decide the ethics of their own business. But I want them to be open and honest about those choices. Because I believe Montbell was not, I thought I’d share this experience for those who consider the sourcing of down an important factor in gear-buying decisions.Mar 6, 2020 at 11:16 am #3634510Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Is there a goose paté industry in China?
Seems like you are asking Montbell whether they are a member of one of the “ethical sourced” down certiciation consortia.Mar 6, 2020 at 2:58 pm #3634554MattBPL Member
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
I was REALLY hoping they would say that they didn’t support suppliers who force feed, and that their explanation could be more specific, for the better. I didn’t expect that result because they would likely join one of the official groups if they did. But I was hoping, because I love the Plasma 1000.
And again, fair enough if they don’t wish to choose fully-certified suppliers. And applause for the efforts they do make. But I would like them to be crystal clear about their full position, both on-line and at customer service. I just don’t think this is an issue to fudge on, unlike “breathability” :)
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