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Down 101: Introduction to Down

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

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 of 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.


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.


  • 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.