For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Stockholm – A pointed message is on its way to H&M Group CEO Helena Helmersson over the company’s support of the down industry, which cuts the feet off live, struggling birds and hacks at their necks with axes before their feathers are stuffed into jackets. The package—containing a fake bloody duck foot and an “axe”—will include a letter from PETA reminding the H&M executive about the footage that shows cruelty and asking the company to ditch down and leave birds in peace.
Top: An injured, bleeding duck at a facility that sells RDS-certified down to suppliers. Bottom: PETA has mailed a “bloody duck foot” and an “axe” to H&M’s CEO.
Contrary to H&M’s claims that “no animals should be harmed” in the making of its products, PETA Asia’s 13-month investigation into duck farms and slaughterhouses across Vietnam—which provide so-called “responsible” down to suppliers, including one that listed H&M as a customer—revealed ducks suffering from gaping and bloody wounds inside dirty sheds and on lots strewn with feces and being stabbed in the neck. At another operation in Vietnam certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), ducks’ feet were cut off while they were still conscious. PETA Asia also investigated “responsible” down farms in Russia, where a worker was seen stretching the necks of geese across a stump and repeatedly hacking at them with a dull axe while the birds shrieked and struggled. H&M has removed the “responsible” down label from its online offerings in the U.S.—indicating that it knows that the designation is a sham—but it continues to sell down jackets.
“H&M’s down sales help prop up an industry that exploits and slaughters terrified birds, who have every bit as much desire to live without fear and pain as any of its executives do,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “H&M already sells affordable and stylish vegan clothing, and PETA is urging the company to ditch all down in favor of these innovative options.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.