Down 101: Introduction

At St.Genève, we have a reputation for being down geeks. We LOVE down and come by our passion honestly: St.Genève’s founder and VP of Design, Michael de la Place, served as the president for Downmark (the Down Association of Canada) for two decades.

We’ve tapped into Michael’s 50+ years as a down expert to bring you Down 101 – a series that takes an in-depth look at the ins-and-outs of down.

Why Choose Down?

Although down used to be the only choice for quality pillows and duvets, in recent years we have seen an influx in ‘down alternatives’ on the market. These products primarily use polyester as fill for their pillows, jackets, and duvets.

At St.Genève, we believe that there is no better choice than a fine quality down product.

Down is…

  • Renewable & Biodegradeable

    Unlike polyester, which is made from crude oil, down is a sustainable fill for your bedding needs. In a few decades, when you no longer wish to keep your duvet or pillow, the cotton coverings and down fill are both natural and completely biodegradable. On the flipside, a polyester pillow or duvet will last for only a few years, however its components will linger in landfills forever.

  • Hypoallergenic

    There is a popular myth circulating that down is a poor choice for people with allergies. Research proves that this is false. High-quality down, like that used in St.Genève down products, goes through a rigorous cleaning process which renders the down hypoallergenic. Studies published in the British Journal of Medicine have concluded that down is a better choice for asthmatics as it does not support dust mites, unlike the polyester alternatives.

  • Long-lasting & Reusable

    Quality down can last for decades and St.Genève warrantees our down comforters for 20 years. Michael once recovered a duvet that dated back to the American civil war. The fabric was worn, but the down was still in excellent condition! You can take a worn down comforter and have it recovered with new material or repurpose it into pillows.

  • Affordable

    Down is one of the least expensive bedcoverings available when you factor in the cost per use over 20-30 years of comfort and warmth.

  • More comfortable: Insulation, Resiliency, and Breathability
    • Insulation: Down can trap more air for its weight than any other material for incredible insulation.
    • Resiliency: No other material can compress and then spring back to its original volume the way down does. This is important because resiliency also helps maintain down’s ability to insulate.
    • Breathability: Down allows water vapour to pass through, without allowing the warmth to escape. You will stay more comfortable and won’t get ‘clammy’ because the down will gently wick away the moisture. This is why down duvets are warmer in the winter, as well as cooler and more comfortable for the summer.