Zanter is heralded as the first brand to produce Down wear in Japan. The brand was founded in 1951, during the beginning of Japan’s period of reconstruction following the war. The first pieces were worn in 1956 by members of the Manaslu Expedition Corps as well as the Antarctic Observation Corps, and they have continued supporting Japanese adventurers over the years, such as the Japanese Alpine Club, as well as the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition.
Their craft was motivated by the strong feeling of “wanting to make light and warm full-fledged mountaineering clothes by our hands even in those days where there was no time to enjoy leisure.”
The brand’s mission statement emphasizes that “Even though the times have changed and downwear has become prominent regardless of being in the city or outdoors, our desire to send people the warmth and joy of winter remains unchanged.”
Zanter has continued to produce the highest quality Japanese Down wear by selecting only the finest materials and using well honed production methods for the past 50 years.
Locally sourced high quality down feathers are extremely difficult to come by, at the most only 10g can be found on the chest area of a suitable Waterfowl. The quality of feathers is also greatly affected by breeding method, environment and feed during infancy.
Feathers of medium sized birds that are raised for meat are commonly used in most downwear available in the market. These birds typically only live to be around 45 days old, as that is when the meat is most tender, and as a byproduct, down feathers are also harvested. However, at 45 days old, large feathers cannot be collected as the chicks are still growing.
For this reason, Zanter exclusively use feathers from adult birds. These birds are over 90 days old and are typically raised for weed and pest control in agriculture. These feathers are large and dense, making them excellent choices for the down jacket.
These carefully selected feathers then go through a thorough process of washing, drying, dehydration, sterilization and dust removal which results in Down that not only has excellent heat retention properties, but is also durable and sanitary.