As Simmons notes in the letter, geese in the down industry are violently killed for their feathers and some even have their throats slit while fully conscious and able to feel pain — cruelty that goes directly against the yoga principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence, that Simmons and many other lululemon shoppers follow.
“Since I’m an avid yoga practitioner, lululemon athletica is one of my favorite places to shop,” wrote Simmons. "I was disappointed, though, to learn that some of your brand’s outerwear contains down feathers. On behalf of my friends at PETA and your many compassionate customers, I encourage lululemon to switch to cruelty-free synthetics instead.
“No matter how the feathers are obtained, gentle geese are violently killed (some even have their throats slit while still fully conscious), thereby going completely against the philosophy of ahimsa that I and many other lululemon customers embrace. When there are so many cruelty-free options, such as Thinsulate, Climashield, and PrimaLoft, which are all warm, cozy, and environmentally friendly, there is simply no excuse for selling down.
“Switching to synthetics also makes good business sense: A study by Nielsen found that most global online consumers are willing to pay more for products that come from socially and environmentally responsible companies, and a study by the Brookings Institution found that 89 percent of millennials want to buy from companies that support solutions to specific social issues.”
PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” — has already prompted outdoor outfitter Coleman and other ethical retailers to use exclusively high-tech synthetics such as Thinsulate, Climashield, PrimaLoft, or the Plumtech that animal-friendly company Save the Duck uses for its puffer coats.