So-called “down” jackets on sale in Hong Kong for only HK$79 (US$10) were found to be filled with polyester instead of feathers, after reporters from Oriental Daily analysed purchases from stores in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

A store in Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok was found to be selling a children’s vest with a label claiming it had 80% down filling while another shop said the coats they sell are from New Zealand with 100% down filling.

Three jackets were bought from each store and sent to an independent examiner.

Test results declared that a jacket sold in Sham Shui Po district contained no down, no feather and no cotton. Its filling was, in fact, 100% polyester.

The children’s vest bought from a Fa Yuen Street store was found to have adhesive inside the filling, together with chicken feathers. The vest also had an unpleasant smell.

It is understood that some unscrupulous businessmen are using adhesives including silicon to glue feather silk, chicken feathers and other debris together as fillings. As well as having an unpleasant smell, this kind of jacket has little or no insulation value.

Doctors advised that users may also suffer skin or respiratory allergies if feather fillings in the jackets are inadequately sterilized.