How do I source my feathers?
I am often asked how I source my feathers. This can be a contentious issue amongst animal lovers and has led to many debates amongst the online community. However, I have made the decision to use feathers that are ethically sourced, this includes the by-product of sporting in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.
My overall decision to use ethically sourced (and naturally shed feathers) is to ensure I am my products contain as many recycled items as possible. Whether we agree with it or not, sporting of this nature occurs throughout our countryside. I have chosen to see these beautiful feathers used in a creative way, rather than discarded.
Although there are no set definition for the different ways to source feathers, the below are the most commonly used criteria;
- Ethically Sourced: These are feathers that have been taken from domestic or free-roaming game birds (and other non-protected birds). These feathers have been acquired in compliance with all UK Wildlife Conservation regulations. This ensures the birds have had a free life and their feathers are not going to waste.
The majority of feathers that I use are from within this category (the rest are naturally shed feathers). I have a number of contacts throughout Norfolk and Suffolk from whom I acquire ethically sourced feathers.
- Naturally Shed: As it says, these feathers are from birds who naturally shed their feathers, often tail-feathers. These feathers are often from domestically kept birds (although not all). I have contacts with keepers within the Norfolk and Suffolk area who keep numbers of breeding pairs of birds (including jay, pheasant, peacock, etc). This category is often referred to as cruelty free.
- Farm/Factory Sourced: These feathers are often a bi-product of the meat-industry or battery farming. This can also include plucking live birds for their feathers. I do not use feathers from this category.