Leading Australian suppliers of bed quilts and duvets will stop falsely representing* to consumers that their products contain 100 per cent down following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation.

Suppliers, including manufacturers, importers and retailers, have given formal commitments to the ACCC after sample testing for the ACCC found that none of the suppliers' products achieved the claimed 100 per cent down content. The quilts tested by the ACCC were found to contain in the range of 50 per cent – 90 per cent down, depending on the particular supplier.

The suppliers are: Adairs The House of Linen (Aust) Pty Ltd, Australian Feather Mills Pty Ltd, David Jones Ltd, Domayne Pty Ltd, Harris Scarfe Australia Pty Ltd, Home Express Nominees Pty Ltd, Legend Australia Holdings Pty Ltd, Linen House Pty Ltd, Pillow Talk Pty Ltd, Purax Feather Holdings Pty Ltd, Sheridan Australia Pty Ltd, Sleepmaster Pty Ltd and Target Australia Pty Ltd.

Sleepmaster Pty Ltd provided an undertaking to the ACCC in respect to false 100 per cent cotton content claims it made for its Onkaparinga brand quilts after ACCC sample testing found that the quilts only contained approximately 87 per cent cotton.

The suppliers advised the ACCC that their 100 per cent down content claims were made in reliance on the labelling percentage tolerances or allowances specified in the voluntary Australian Standard 2479-1987 (Down and/or feather filling materials and filled products'), and in some instances, on test reports provided by their overseas suppliers.

"Consumers often pay a premium price for down filled quilts and duvets and are entitled to expect that composition claims made by businesses can be relied upon", ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

Suppliers have undertaken to:

  • not make any down content percentage representations that cannot be substantiated by regular independent testing of their finished products using recognised testing procedures for down filled products (without reliance on any tolerances or allowances)
  • place corrective newspaper advertisements in each State and Territory in which their quilts have been sold (some suppliers to offer refunds to consumers depending on the down percentage content of their quilts based on the ACCC's sample testing)
  • place a corrective notice on their respective internet websites
  • maintain a trade practices law compliance program for a period of 3 years.

The ACCC's investigation into down content claims made for quilts follows a similar investigation it conducted during 2005 into misleading down content claims made by outdoor sleeping bag suppliers.