Germany has been manufacturing down and feather for over 150 years and the VDFI was established in the second year of the First World War.
At the time Europe was not only fighting the political and economic crisis, but also the harsh weather phenomenon and natural disasters. The winter of 1914/1915 was characterised by such a drastic change of the climate, much like how climate change discussed today. Germany embraced the snowstorms, February’s thawing-period, and the heavy rainfall. Initiated by the particularly cold winter, which made it difficult to provided fuel and adequate warm blankets during the war, German companies merged and decided to resolve the challenge together.
After the war the industry’s raw materials had to be provided from aboard and accompanying that was ensuring the intense amount of exchanged information. In the following years, together with the public and the consumer organisations, the down and feather labeling regulations were developed. Together with the Member States of the EU and the EFTA standardised definitions of feather and down were developed as well as filling material instructional consumer-friendly labels were established for all filling and filled bedding in Europe.
Subsequent Community advertising and PR (Public Relations) campaigns emerged. The creation of informational materials such as films were created for trade and consumer purposes on various topics ranging from care and quality to studies related to dust mite allergies. However, an overview of the information, regarding ordering options and cost were created separately.
Today the focuses are: quality assurance, standardisation functions, the international procurement and the sustainable use of natural resources. The collaboration between the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA) and the international advocacy industry (International Down and Feather Bureau, IDFB) provide coordination for national activities with the European and, respectively, international partners.
The 25 membering companies in the VDFI that manufacture down and feather for duvets and/or pillows as well as other ready-made products represent around 85% of the German market with an annual turnover of € 132 million as of 2019.
Traditions along with modernity are seen in every diverse product that is offered, form a grandmother’s balloon themed down-filled blanket, down-filled bed cover and pillows, which provide support functionality specially individualised for needs of the sleeper, are some of today’s examples. Among their customers are fashion and outdoor companies as well - supplying them with down for high fashionable and innovative products.
The VDFI team is more than happy to help.