Being uncertain about the filling sources of mass produced down jackets, I made my own down jacket by picking goose feathers in parks near my house. To test it, I wear it in an arctic expedition to see if I can survive.
Handmade down jacket, thermal imageries, videos, photographs
While shopping for winter jackets, I realised that it is impossible for me to tell where exactly the feathers of mass-produced down jackets came from*. Therefore, I attempted making my own down jacket in a relatively harmless way: by manually collecting the goose feathers on the grounds in the parks, riverbanks, and forests near my house in Breda, the Netherlands.
After 2 months of collecting*, cleaning, filling and sewing, the jacket was put to test in the Arctic (Spitsbergen archipelago) for three weeks to see if I can survive*. During this sailing expedition of The Arctic Circle Residency*, I made 21 landings and glacier hikes between 78°17'N-80°02'N, wearing only this jacket and minimum base layers.
* Despite recent regulations, there are concerns about the percentage of down feather production that involves animal-cruelty.
* The parks are common habitats for escaped farm geese, and migrating Canadian geese.
* Body condition was monitored with temperature sensors, thermal camera and heart-rate sensors.
* Sailing period: 2nd-16th October, 2017, right before polar winter.
* approx. 3000 feathers, 80g.