Commencing from January 8, 2024, the incentivised collection program will be accessible to consumers through Rab’s European Service Centre in Leusden, The Netherlands. In addition, Rab will establish a down collection point at ISPO Munich 2023 (booth A1/202), to engage with a wider audience. Rab will actively collaborate with retailers to implement end-of-life down collection points in stores across Europe.
The primary objective of this initiative is to minimise the environmental impact of outdoor gear by providing consumers and retailers with a practical solution for products that have reached the end of their life cycle.
By participating in the program, individuals contribute to Rab’s broader mission of reducing landfill waste while helping to sustainably manage valuable resources. Items that could be repaired or simply require cleaning, should not be included in the down collection scheme; instead, consumers can submit them to Rab’s Service Centre for professional care, ensuring the lifespan is extended.
Donated products are shipped to Rab’s down recycling partner, Minardi. The down is meticulously recovered, cleaned and processed as GRS-certified down. Other components such as trims and fabric fibres are also saved from landfill and repurposed. Parts of the recovered down will find their way into other Rab recycled down products. Rab’s Material Facts tables allow consumers to easily identify products incorporating recycled down.
Since 2021, Rab has successfully operated a down recycling scheme in its UK headquarters, with collection points being established at trade shows, events, and their facilities in Derbyshire. Within this ongoing program, nearly a ton of end-of-life down products has been collected, with bedding accounting for 41% and apparel and sleeping bags contributing 28% of the recovered down and feathers (based on 2022 collection figures).
By the end of 2022, 54kg of down had been repurposed and recycled. Looking ahead, Rab anticipates a substantial increase, adding an estimated 200kg of down and feathers to this figure as the 2023 collections are processed.