Christopher Raeburn‘s AW09 menswear collection caused a stir at Paris Mens Fashion Week. Only one year old, his line of “ethically-aware garments” created from recycled European military stock is almost entirely made of parachute material. Utilitarian, intelligently structured, and light-weight – these clothes are made for the active man.
Paris Menswear Fashion Week:
In the past, Raeburn has used some fur in his womenswear collections. There does not appear to be any in his 2009 collections, and we hope he sticks to that trend. If one is going to claim to be “ethically-aware” on their website, yet use the skins, furs, feathers or other body-parts of animals, the integrity of these ethics simply must be questioned.
While the recycled textiles used are eco, some of the Paris Menswear Fashion Week runway collection that Raeburn collaborated on with established British designer Tim Soar were quilted jackets stuffed with duck feathers. It is not stated whether the feathers are also recycled. Are there alternatives to feather down? Of course! Thinsulate, Primaloft, Polarguard, Thermolite, Dryloft, Hollofil, Liteloft, Microloft, Quallofil, and Thermoloft are all hypoallergenic, warm, cruelty-free alternatives.
* UPDATE: after talking directly to Christopher Raeburn, he has confirmed that the feathers are indeed from recycled duvets.
Most feather down is collected after slaughter, providing additional income to the Foie Gras and meat industry. Live Plucking still continues in some cases. Imagine having your fingernails torn off, because that is what feather-plucking feels like to a duck, goose, or chicken. Even the celebrated “sustainable”, “found” down is most commonly taken from nests, leaving eggs exposed to the elements, and often unable to hatch. Protected Eider ducks are the most common victims of this nest raiding. More on down/feathers.