Each individual sealed product filled with down and feathers, which have been audited to the DOWNPASS standard, can be traced back through an individualized verification number. This number can be found on the DOWNPASS label. It consists of one letter and 8 digits. This combination is assigned to a manufacturer. Check here if there is a valid animal welfare and quality audit:
Currently, three accredited testing and auditing organizations and another accredited testing laboratory are working for DOWNPASS. All of them have various locations in Asia, Europe and North America. This ensures that short-notice as well as unannounced inspections can take place.
With premises in the USA, Asia and Europe, the IDFL (International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory) is a leading provider of product tests for feathers, down and textiles. It inspects and audits bedding and textile producers, as well as their supplier chains, all over the world.
Since 1978, the world's largest feather and down institute has expanded its expertise to include the testing of all synthetic and natural fillings and fabrics.
Companies that wish to label their products with the DOWNPASS require a corresponding audit. The IDFL is the inspection partner for feather- and down-filled clothing and outdoor products and equipment, including sleeping bags.
For more information, please visit: www.idfl.com
QTEC（Japan Textile Products Quality and Technology Center) is an all-round testing & inspection institute for textile products based in Japan, China, Korea, South-East Asia, and South Asia, with reputable testing accuracy that supports our quality with accreditation of IDFB, EDFA, DIN-CERTCO (DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025), and ISO9001.
We provide the services of evaluation and verification on quality and performance of wide range of products such as apparel, textile, home products as well as down & feather products.We are the only institute of DOWNPASS traceability audit in Japan to support user companies.
Furthermore, we have been auditing sewing factories and inspection factories for many years based on the certification system that we established and implemented. Also we are the officially registered institute that conducts fair and neutral audit for “JIS (Japan Industrial Standard) mark labeling system” and “flame retardant labeling system”, complying with the Japanese laws and regulations.
For further information, please visit the QTEC website:www.qtec.or.jp.
WESSLING is recognized under the audits and quality inspections performed by DOWNPASS. This independent family-owed business has 25 branches, which operate in Hungary, Poland, France and China.
The specialized down and feather laboratory supplies analyses, consultation and certification of products for safety, environment and health.
Further information can be found online.
Only companies that have submitted an application to Downpass e.V. and want to use the label to prove the importance of animal welfare and consumer protection in their company are examined.
Subsequently, an auditing organization will be tasked with on-site inspections and document review. To do this, the company discloses the supply chain from which the down and feathers to be certified come from. Accordingly, the farms and service providers are visited and inspected on site by experts.
Only after a successfully completed audit, the company can order labels through a notary's office, where the audit reports are deposited to label finished products or loose goods.
Controls include documentary verification of supply chain disclosure and on site visits to farms, slaughterhouses, warehouses and production.
Here, the focus is on compliance with animal welfare criteria. After this test has been successfully completed, samples are taken from the goods to ensure that the quality requirements are met.
For the initial audit, the auditors announce themselves in order to meet the responsible persons of the respective enterprise and to be allowed to enter farms and enterprises. This is followed by unannounced inspections during the year.
In high-risk areas, 100% of the sites are always inspected unannounced.
Every two years, the audit must be repeated.
Meanwhile auditors are inspecting for the DOWNPASS Zero Tolerance Standard in 54 countries around the world. The main focus of their controls is on the European and Asian continents, since there is the majority of countries of origin for down. For a reliable statement whether all animal welfare requirements were met before the down was used as filling material, it is essential for inspectors to get an on-site impression
In various European countries and regions, this is now possible again despite the COVID19 pandemic, so that travel and auditing can be carried out in compliance with distance and hygiene rules.
In the Asian region, things look different to a large extent: China, for example, is sticking to a basic entry ban for foreigners as well as to considerable restrictions on air traffic. In order not to abdicate an on-site inspection under these conditions, the auditors conduct so-called remote audits. The auditor is connected to the business premises or the farm by means of a video call via smartphone or tablet and spontaneously instructs the person responsible to visit certain locations on the company site and to show live production processes. In this way, reliable monitoring of animal welfare conditions can take place under the given conditions.
Any business - be they farms, wholesalers, or manufacturers of down and feather-filled finished products - must be audited beforehand to be able to attach the DOWNPASS label to its goods. It does not matter where the registered office is located. Relevant are the stations of his supply chain, which must be fully disclosed. The auditors of the current three certification organizations working for the DOWNPASS are active in 54 countries around the world and check on-site whether the strict animal welfare and quality criteria are met.
For the quality controls after the products have been put on the market, so-called mystery shoppers are working - behaving like regular customers and buy down clothing, sleeping bags or bedding that has been labelled the DOWNPASS. Subsequently, these are sent to test laboratories, which check the composition of the filling material and its correct declaration. Violations are punished depending on the extent, which can lead to the immediate withdrawal of the label and fines.