Responsible Down Standard – RDS

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certification ensures that down and feathers used in products come from ethically sourced and humanely treated ducks and geese.

Overall Score:


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Responsible Down Standard – RDS






The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) serves as a benchmark for ethical practices in the down and feather industry. It ensures humane treatment of ducks and geese from hatching to slaughter. The standard is relevant to companies and consumers seeking responsibly sourced down and feathers in various products. The certification maintains the identity of RDS down from farm to final product, although parent-farm certification is optional unless down is harvested at that level.

Key Features

  • The certification prohibits the use of down from live-plucked or force-fed birds.
  • It ensures that all animals have access to the Five Freedoms of animal welfare.
  • The certification can be applied to various stages in the supply chain, from farms to final products.


To obtain the certification, organizations undergo an annual audit conducted by a third-party certification body at each stage of the supply chain. This process ensures that the standard is both reliable and robust.

Duration and Renewal

The RDS certification is valid for a maximum of 14 months, requiring an annual renewal. A follow-up audit must be conducted to confirm ongoing compliance with the standard.

Impact and Significance

Obtaining the RDS certification offers multiple benefits. For organizations, it serves as a testament to ethical and humane practices in sourcing down and feathers. For consumers, it provides a reliable way to choose products that adhere to high animal welfare standards. However, the optional nature of parent-farm certification could be a limitation for those looking for comprehensive supply chain accountability.