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Black Friday: PETA presses H&M shoppers to buy 'feather-free' clothes at Miami Beach store

FILE PHOTO of H&M store on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. PETA activists demonstrated in front of the store on Black Friday urging shoppers to buy 'feather-free clothing.
PETA activists demonstrated in front of the H&M on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach on Black Friday, urging shoppers to buy 'feather-free clothing.

Activists with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, staged a protest on Friday — the year’s busiest shopping day — to urge shoppers to buy feather-free items outside the H&M store on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.

The PETA activists. dressed as giant ducks and geese, demonstrated outside the H&M store to call attention to what they say is the retailer’s alleged “use of cruelly produced down” clothing.

A H&M spokesperson rejected PETA's allegations, telling WLRN that the company "does not accept down or feathers from live-plucked birds or from farms practicing live-plucking or force-feeding practice."

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"Animal welfare is very important to us at H&M and no animals should be harmed in the production of our products," the H&M spokesperson told WLRN in an email from its corporate headquarters.

"We only accept down or feathers from farms that are certified according to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS)," the spokesperson said. "It is a global standard that allows companies to ensure that their certified down in their products comes from ethically treated geese and duck."

PETA Asia officials said they conducted an investigation into Vietnamese duck farms and slaughterhouses, and found “ducks suffering from gaping and bloody wounds inside dirty sheds and on lots strewn with feces and being stabbed in the neck while still conscious.”

They say H&M “removed the ‘responsible’ down label from its online offerings in the U.S.” but that it continues to sell down clothing.

“Every down item represents the pain and suffering of terrified birds, and deceptive labels and lip service are deliberately designed to dupe well-meaning, conscientious consumers,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a statement.

“PETA is urging H&M to help end this cruelty by banning down and is encouraging holiday shoppers to extend peace on Earth to all animals by sticking to feather-free, vegan materials," Reinman added.

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