Eiderdowns

Sat, 30.November 2013

Recently I read again in our Icelandic newspapers, what the foreign press published about our eiderdown, or really about winning of eiderdown. It is simply ludicrous, because simply wrong!

In an „Der Spiegel“ interview the chemist Holger Brackemann, product tester by german „Stiftung Warentest", said that no supplier has actually disclosed its supply chain. We did not been left in a single stall - not even by them who guarantee that their down are not from living animals". In the article they only namend main importing countries for down as Poland, Hungary, Russia and China.

We in Iceland carry every year about 3000 kg down, of which the majority comes to the German market. Actually, 2/3 of them come from the West Fjords, from my adopted home. This is only a teeny part of all imported down, so we are irrelevant for the German market .

But I have already noticed from the questions of tourists, not only from Germany, that most think we pluck the poor animals.

How is that really? The eider duck is a free- living animal in Iceland. It lives all year round in the near-shore marine area. In spring, the duck comes ashore to build a nest and lay eggs. Often they nest there, where man offers security, namely there where the farmer guards the country for foxes, mink and birds of prey. Once the duck has laid the eggs the farmer goes from nest to nest and takes out half of the down, the duck has plucked himself as a nest-bolster. He puts a little hay in the nest instead. At the end of the breeding season, in mid-July about, he goes again his lap and removed the rest down. These down then have to be cleaned and purified before they can be sold. Each nest provides about 15-20 grams eiderdown.

This ancient commercial addition of the farmers is called in Icelandic ' dúntekja " , which means as much as take down. It is a very environmentally friendly and sustainable business, which is based on the interaction of humans and animals. I could well imagine that our down donate more heat and insulate better than the other suppliers, because our ducks are, and also the downs, all year round swim about in the sea and diving.

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