DOWNPASS Partners in the Spotlight

Get to know producers, retailers and partners who work with the DOWNPASS - the animal welfare and quality standard.

We introduce you to the people behind the companies. We have asked them about personal attitudes towards animal welfare, environmental and climate goals and their mission of "good sleep".

Sanders-Kauffmann – Innovations for Sleep Quality

Company profile Sanders-Kauffmann

Sanders-Kauffmann is a leading European manufacturer of high-quality bedding. The internationally active company with headquarters in Bramsche, Lower Saxony, has locations in Eastern Europe and Asia. Originally founded as a weaving mill at the end of the 19th century, the company initially concentrated on the production of down and fibre-proof fabrics. Soon after, finishing and sewing were added, followed by the production of bedding. Today, Sanders-Kauffmann is one of the few fully integrated bedding manufacturers with a high level of expertise in both fabrics and fillings.
Downpass talked to Alexander Singer, CEO at Sanders-Kauffmann. Read the interview directly online or use the Download.

How important are innovations for the success of Sanders-Kauffmann?

For us, success means the surpassing of goals that we have set jointly. We define our primary goals in terms of our clients:

  • healthy sleep,
  • optimal rest and
  • well-being at the highest level.

Alexander Singer

We see innovation as an essential part of consistently expanding our market leadership. Innovation refers both to the further development of our portfolio in order to meet the expectations of the market and to the development of our structures and organisation (in the sense of a "best fit"). We want to set trends. We want to promote innovation by:    

  • creating a climate to foster creativity and ideas: The working environment should offer everyone the opportunity to contribute creatively and to communicate their ideas openly.
  • enabling change: Only if we are willing to face and to implement change, we are able to innovate and develop efficiently.
  • seizing opportunities responsibly: We want to seize opportunities that present themselves to us if they are conducive to the company's goals.

We recognised early on that the perfect climate control of bedding is an elementary component for particularly high sleep quality. Many of our innovations therefore deal with this important topic. One example is the CLIMABALANCE® system, which is patented worldwide: We have virtually "broken up" the homogeneous structure of a down duvet and provided it with ventilation zones that enable sleepers to be relieved of excess heat. At the same time, the moisture released during sleep is removed so that a perfect and healthy climate can develop.
The lightness of bedding has always been a major issue at Sanders-Kauffmann, therefore the development of fabrics with the lowest weight combined with the highest safety and best usability properties has been driven forward in Bramsche. This was indispensable for today's trend towards ever lighter, yet warming quilts. Our fabrics, which are offered on the market as "Bramscher Tuch", are produced by a refinement process that has been optimised again and again over many years. The sum of the individual steps is unique and bears the name SanProCare® sensitive.

Last but not least, Sanders-Kauffmann has also focused on innovation in quilted articles - with new trendy and also particularly precious fillings. The latest example of this is the Vicuña duvet. The particularly rare hair of the camel-like animals is sourced from the high Andes of Peru and processed into fine fleece in an elaborate process. The result is a duvet with an exclusive filling that is hard to beat in terms of lightness and softness - of course with all the advantages that nature has given the finest natural hair and cotton, such as natural climate balance and perfect moisture transport - for a healthy sleep, optimal relaxation and well-being at the highest level.

As a European company with headquarters in Germany, you stand for high-quality fabrics and first-class fillings in the bedding market. You have sites in Germany, Ukraine and China. What importance do you attach to the complete traceability of your supply and production chain?

Sanders-Kauffmann is in the focus of national and international comparison as a provider of top quality and takes a pioneering role in various areas. We are very aware of this responsibility. The current discussion about animal welfare has always been supported by our company, and we have already been able to set pioneering accents in the market with a self-defined standard - "Down-Right-Down". We consider complete traceability and transparency to be absolutely necessary and support corresponding targeted measures to the best of our ability. This is the only way we can prove our responsibility in an ethically sustainable supply chain.

Sanders-Kauffmann prefers to work with natural materials. What can cashmere, camel hair, wild silk and down do better than other filling materials to help develop the perfect product?

In its origins, the company Sanders-Kauffmann has always worked with natural materials. For example, Sanders has always used fine-threaded cotton fabrics for upholstery, which have incomparably good properties compared to synthetic materials. Kauffmann has traditionally worked with feathers and down, and here, too, synthetic substitutes cannot come close to the properties of natural materials; neither from a technological nor an ecological point of view.  

A relatively new field in our overall portfolio are quilts, which are preferably also wrapped in cotton fabrics from our own production and filled with fillings such as cashmere, camel hair, wild silk and recently also flax and linen. Each of the fillings mentioned is incomparable in its own special way and impresses with natural properties such as particularly good moisture management, softness, lightness, durability and last but not least sustainability.

Because the fillings are cleaned and bonded by purely physical processes, but are not chemically altered, the fillings and casings can be recycled at the end of the product life cycle by simple separation. In the area of feathers and down, professional bed feather cleaning is an option for processing high-quality down fillings and then allowing them to live another product life. This saves resources and avoids unnecessary waste.


How important are independent certifications for your success and why do you rely on the DOWNPASS seal as a label of animal welfare & quality?

The current discussion on the subject of animal welfare and the end consumer's desire for the security of a completely clean supply chain make it necessary for the legal and ethical framework conditions that we take for granted to be documented externally by seals of independent institutions. Our company has chosen the DOWNPASS because it is a valuable seal that on the one hand particularly supports animal welfare as a zero-tolerance standard, but on the other hand also emphasises the quality aspect of the bedding that has been labelled. Ultimately, this underpins the high requirements that our customers place on Kauffmann products.

Thanks to its broad network and the large number of audited partners, DOWNPASS offers us good opportunities to query and procure the required down and feather supply in the various regions. The lean but effective organisation of the DOWNPASS team simplifies the handling of the necessary work steps through short communication channels and a high level of competence.

All in all, the DOWNPASS - also due to its increasingly international orientation - is an important building block that contributes to the success of our company.

Société Nouvelle Interplume – Buy with your heart

Company profile Société Nouvelle Interplume

Société Nouvelle Interplume is situated in the Vendée province, Western France, one of the main areas of duck production in Europe. Interplume specialises in the treatment of feathers and down, natural by-products recovered from the agri-food processing industry. Not involved in the finished products business, the company is a supplier to different sectors offering a complete range of products, from feathers for upholstery & cushions, to the most sought-after down fillings for the bedding, apparel and technical clothing sectors, including sport/outdoor clothing & accessories for extreme cold.

DOWNPASS talked to Enrico Bagetta, Sales Manager at Société Nouvelle Interplume. Read the interview directly online or use the Download.


What makes working with down and feathers so demanding and what do you pay particular attention to in production?

Down and feathers have to be handled very carefully: they require special washing, drying and sorting processes. They are thermo-regulating, naturally hypoallergenic, retaining superior qualities of softness and smoothness, eco-friendly.

We source directly from the region. The collection of the raw material is carried out as it becomes available at the various sites throughout the day. In order to ensure the highest quality of production, it is paramount to process the feathers in the shortest possible time. At SN Interplume, all feathers are washed and processed in less than 12 hours from pick-up, enabling to guarantee the perfect quality of the products with sanitising and physical integrity after treatment.

While ensuring caring practices in the supply chain, we do the same for our production processes: A water treatment plant, green type (bacteriological), recycles our industrial needs. Indoor lights are all LED, for 2/3 less power than standard lights, and the outdoor lights are autonomous solar-powered streetlamps, zero grid-power. Thermal energy and hot water are from our partners across the road, a biogas producing plant recycling local agri-food sector waste for its production.

What can down do better than other filling materials such as man-made fibres? What is Interplume's recipe for success?

Enrico Bagetta

Down is light and breathable and can absorb and release moisture. They are also completely biodegradable. Thus, this natural product flows back into the natural cycle and leaves no "footprint" when the material reaches the end of its life cycle. Interplume only works with selected, regional partners and this has a positive effect on the eco-balance.

Interplume is an expert for down and feathers as filling material and does not produce any finished products itself. As a partner, you work closely with the clothing, bedding and furniture industries. How have the requirements for sustainability and animal welfare developed among your customers in recent years?

The greatest challenge is convincing a more significant share of the market to privilege eco-responsible materials and products, and this includes manufacturers and consumers alike. Lower price is often the first criteria that buyers apply – at least in our industry segment – with sustainability down the list after quality and traceability.

The key to change could be governmental initiatives encouraging green models of production. Perhaps Tax Credits, rewarding low-impact manufacturing, favoring goods made with environmentally and animal-friendly materials, promoting circular economy, hence costs reducing economies of scale to drive such change.

Eco-responsibility must be integrated within the industrial processes of every manufacturer to strengthen its commitment towards the environment. Without it, the damage to the environment, already sizeable, will keep growing significantly as well as its adverse effects on human, animal, and plant life.

How important are independent certifications for your success and why do you rely on the DOWNPASS seal as a label of animal welfare & quality?

Interplume has its supply chain and products monitored for quality and traceability by several independent certification organisations - this is a key feature of our way of working. For us, this means credibility and reliability.

Therefore, we are trying to influence people to buy more with their heart, at a little higher cost perhaps, but driving home the need for ethical considerations to brands and manufacturers.

Having a Certificate stating that you care for animal welfare should go together with actions that demonstrate the same level of care and commitment for all bionetworks. And we demonstrate that we are fulfilling this commitment via the DOWNPASS label.