Marriott - Stop Purchasing Down Pillows and Down Duvets for Hotel Rooms and for Sale Online
Action Alert from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Change.org / Submitted by activist Susan George
May 2015

ACTION

Live plucking causes birds considerable pain and distress. Once their feathers are ripped out, many of the birds are left with gaping wounds, and some even die from the trauma. Workers often sew the birds’ skin back together without using any anesthetics. Birds in breeding flocks and those raised for meat and foie gras are plucked repeatedly (approximately every 6 weeks) while they are still alive.

 after feather  plucking

Tell Marriott to the practice of placing down pillows and duvets in their hotel rooms, and to stop selling down products online.

Sign an online petition here

AND/OR better yet, make direct contact:

Primary Contact
Nell Williams
Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Customer Care
10400 Fernwood Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 380-2664
Nell.Williams@marriott.com

Secondary Contact
Kathleen Matthews
Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Kathleen.Matthews@marriott.com 

J.W.Marriott Jr. (Bill)
Executive Chairman
10400 Fernwood Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 380-3000
Bill.Marriott@Marriott.com

Chief Executive
Arne Sorenson
CEO
10400 Fernwood Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20817
301-380-3000 x3804364
Arne.Sorenson@marriott.com 

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Marriott owns thousands of hotels throughout the world and purchases millions of down pillows and duvets per year. They also sell thousands of down pillows and duvets on their Shop Marriott website. In years gone by, down pillows were considered a highly desirable luxury item, but today, public sentiment against the cruel practice of harvesting down from live plucking of ducks and geese has caused many companies to consider alternatives or face a public relations nightmare. In addition to animal cruelty concerns, some hotel guests have severe hypersensitivity lung diseases that are triggered by the dusts, molds and the feathers themselves that are contained in down products, putting these guests at risk when they rest their tired heads upon a mound of dusty, moldy, mite-infested feathers.

Purchasing down products promotes a cruel industry. A percentage of the world's supply of down feathers is plucked from live birds, a practice condemned as cruel by animal welfare groups. The precise amount of down harvested in this manner is uncertain - some vendors claim that it's only a small fraction of the total, but a 2009 Swedish documentary reported that it's more likely to be 50–80% of the total supply.

Live plucking causes birds considerable pain and distress. Once their feathers are ripped out, many of the birds are left with gaping wounds, and some even die from the trauma. Workers often sew the birds’ skin back together without using any anesthetics. Birds in breeding flocks and those raised for meat and foie gras are plucked repeatedly (approximately every 6 weeks) while they are still alive.

Although live-plucking is illegal in the United States and Europe, it is known to occur in China, Poland and Hungary, where most of our down products originate. There is no way to ascertain with certainty exactly how down is harvested, but it's never humane. If the cruelty of live plucking is not enough reason for Marriott Hotels to stop purchasing down, there is also the health of hotel guests to consider.

Although Marriott claims they have "allergy free rooms" available for their guests, as a frequent Marriott guest, AND someone who suffers from hypersensitivity pneumonitis, I can tell you from personal experience that Marriott does NOT maintain feather-free rooms. I have stayed in different Marriott Hotels over the past 5 years, calling ahead each time and requesting a feather-free room. Each time the front desk had the feather pillows removed from my room when I arrived, or told me I could remove them myself. Obviously, once the room has already been contaminated with allergens from the feathers, the damage has already been done, and removing the pillows doesn't remove the allergen dust that's already in the room. Someone with an allergy might suffer from sneezing and a runny nose after being exposed to an allergen trigger, which is bad enough. Someone with hypersensitivity can have severe difficulty breathing - they may need supplemental oxygen and have to take Prednisone for months to get the episode under control. This is clearly a risk to which Marriott guests should not be exposed.

Down feathers tend to become more allergenic as they age because they become contaminated with molds and dust mites. Mold and mites can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions, even in those people who do not have a hypersensitivity to the feathers. Down products are simply not a good choice in hotels.

Marriott, please discontinue the practice of placing down pillows and duvets in your hotel rooms, and stop selling down products online.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


Return to Action Alerts

Other information you may find useful for your activism

Find area codes
Find zip codes
Find your state legislators