East Iceland Town Welcomes Newborns With Eiderdown Duvet

Icelandic down

Expectant parents in Borgarfjörður eystri will now receive an eiderdown duvet for their newborns, thanks to a joint initiative of eiderdown farmers Jóhanna Óladóttir and Ólafur Aðalsteinsson and Icelandic Down (Íslenskur dúnn), a local company. While Jóhanna and Ólafur provide the down, Icelandic Down provides the fabric and produces the final product, Austurfrétt reports. The town is expecting its first newborn in four years next month.

“This tradition has come to stay,” remarked Ragna Óskarsdóttir of Icelandic Down, adding that she hopes it will help increase the number of children in Borgarfjörður eystri. “The more children the better.” Like many small towns in Iceland’s countryside, Borgarfjörður eystri has seen its population shrink in recent decades, as younger Icelanders are drawn to bigger towns for work or other reasons. Ragna insists, however, that the town of 77 residents is a great place to raise a family. “They get a free duvet, preschool is free here, and free food in primary school. There is no better place to raise children.”

The first parents to receive a duvet through the initiative are Lindsay Lee and Árni Magnús Magnússon, who recently relocated to Borgarfjörður eystri and are expecting their first child in June. Theirs is the first baby to be born in the town in four years. They say the community has welcomed them with open arms. “I don’t think there’s a better place for a child to grow up than here, where an entire community is ready to welcome them,” stated Lindsay.

Around 90% of the world’s eiderdown comes from Iceland. The nearly weightless, highly insulating material is a natural by-product of the common eider duck, which plucks feathers from its own body during breeding season to line its nest. A typical duvet requires 400-600 grams (14-21 ounces) of eiderdown while a child’s duvet requires about 200 grams (7 ounces).

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Ragna Sara Jónsdóttir - Fólk - íslensk framleiðsla

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