One of my wardrobe ‘must haves’ this season was a duck down or goose down winter parka. But let’s be straight: I have heard some horror stories about the way some of these coats can be made, so I felt it was best I did a bit research. That way, as I go out into the cold, feeling like I am wrapped in an exotic duvet, I know I have nothing to feel mega guilty about. Karma can be such a bitch. Some of the big players have now put policies in place to ensure their down is ethically sourced.
I’ve noticed a lot of people kicking around in Rab, which is a UK company so brownie points to be able to support a home country brand. Having recently taken part in an exciting product launch with North Face for Tiso, they were also an obvious choice. I LOVE a bit of North Face.
North Face’s responsible down standard, has been shared with other industry players including H&M. Rab have also committed to the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA) Codex. Under the Codex, signatories commit to ensuring that goose and duck down used in their products is a by-product of a slaughterhouse or harvested during moulting periods and, crucially, not illegally live-plucked. Phew!
I also had a good snoop around in Harvey Nichols and I tried on a few of the Canada Goose coats. They too picked up a lot of slack from the press. As a result, they recently implemented comprehensive traceability programmes for both Fur and Down to ensure they are sourced from animals that have not been subjected to any unfair practices, willfull mistreatment or undue harm.
I guess it’s like eating in a restaurant when it comes to clothing. We have to have a little faith. I was tempted to get a down winter parka from Canada Goose but could I justify spending over £1000? I mean, come on, it’s not like I am going on an Everest expedition. It’s for the school run and the odd family adventure. I do like their logo and branding though.
I went off to Tiso and had a chat with my inspirational fellow trail running friend Mollie, who actually did summit Everest – TWICE may I add. I wanted to find out what she wore on her latest, highly successful mission. On Tuesday 16th May 2017, at 4:45am, in temperatures of minus 35°C, Mollie successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest from the North side. This was Mollie’s second time standing on top of the world having already summited the South side of Everest in 2012. Achieving this feat at the age of 26 made her the youngest woman in the world and the first English woman to successfully summit from both the north and south sides of the world’s highest mountain. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that it was Rab that she wore. Well if Rab down jackets are good enough for the absolute legend Mollie, they are most definitely good enough for me.
As of January, I shall have my own little Everest to tackle. The hill up to the school and nursery run 4 times a day. With two young, tired and hungry kids, it can often feel like I am attempting Everest. I need armour.
Rab have recently launched their fashion duck down jacket, which fitted the bill for me perfectly. The Deep Cover Parka (which comes in black, navy and rioja – I love wine so go figure my choice) provides top to bottom protection from the cold. It has 750FP European Goose Down which for the price is VERY impressive. This is all new to me but to give you an idea – 400–450 is considered medium quality, 500-550 is considered good, 550–750 is considered very good, and 750+ is considered excellent. The Canada Goose coat I looked at for over £1000 had 625FB. Whilst this is considered very good, I can get excellent with Rab for around £800 less. At the end of the day the coat is to keep me cosy.
The fashion Parka has been designed to keep you super cosy as you travel to and from work or are out walking on a cold day. It is insulated top to bottom and also has a detachable hood.
The decision: on this occasion I passed the much in demand Canada Goose coat which came with a decent price tag for the brand that got Mollie to the top of Everest. The verdict a week in – I love it. It looks great, I have already had some compliments at the school gate and most importantly it is SO SO SO cosy. Thanks to Mollie and team Tiso.
You can find my ‘must have’ bargain of a coat here. Happy shopping.