Manly Men Shun Fairydown


When Sir Edmund Hillary conquered Mt. Everest nearly 50 years ago, he used excellent equipment supplied by Fairydown.

In the olden days, (when I was still sporting shoulder-length hair and wearing bell bottoms) the Whole Earth Catalog was the source for learning about all the cool things available. This was long before Google.

It is there that I learned about Buckminster Fuller, ‘French Intensive’ gardening, Llamas, yurts, Jawas and, of course, Fairydown bags.

Fairydown is almost entirely unheard of in the USA, there are no distributors for the brand of excellent goosedown bags. The brand is sold primarily in New Zealand and the UK. Thanks to a kind mention in the Whole Earth Catalog, hipsters from Boston to Berkeley read about the brand.

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The name “Fairydown” could be, in some circles, problematic. Whereas you and I understand that a cluster of high quality goosedown floats “like a fairy”, manly men, real “he-men” appear to be put off the brand, on account of the name alone.

The Christchurch-based brand will be changing the name to “Zone”.

Managing Director Hugo Venter was quoted as saying: “they (Australian men) don’t want to have Fairydown on their shirts. It’s something that they don’t feel comfortable with. To me, it’s just never been an issue to me, but clearly there are a large number of people outside of New Zealand that have a different point of view.”

Quite an understatement, and applicable for a variety of situations.