At Moose Knuckles, we give a f*ck. In others words, we care; we really f*cking care.
Our mission is to make the very best products in the world, and – while we do it – to be the very best company, team, and people we can be. We will find and eliminate any harm – environmental, social, or economic - we might do. And, we’ll look for and maximize all the good we can. Everything and every person we do business with – directly or indirectly – will be better off for having known us.
At Moose Knuckles, we care about our impact on the world.
Since some of our garments use animal products - down, fur, leather, wool, or shearling, for example – we extend our care and concern to the animals that give us those materials. We care deeply about their welfare and we do everything in our power to safeguard it.
At the same time, we care about your personal choice, freedom of expression, and independent thought. The decision to be vegan – to avoid the use of animal products altogether – is highly personal. We respect vegans and non-vegans alike, and it is not for us at Moose Knuckles to force that choice on our customer. It’s your choice, not ours.
We strike the balance between animal welfare and personal choice in two ways: First, we make great clothing for vegans and non-vegans alike. That’s why we have awesome gear with fur and down, and awesome gear without. Second, we use animal products only from suppliers that prioritize the healthy lives and humane treatment of the animals themselves.
“Down” is the soft, fine insulating layer of feathers of birds. Used by humans for centuries, it is – to us - still the best insulating material in the world. Today, down comes mainly from geese and ducks that are farmed for the food industry; down is taken as a by-product.
All the down we use at Moose Knuckles – every last feather – has been certified to the international Responsible Down Standard, or RDS. Overseen by the international not-for-profit the “Textile Exchange” (whose purpose is to re-make global textile and fibre markets to deliver environmental and social sustainability), RDS ensures that the animals enjoy the “five freedoms” of animal welfare:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
- Freedom from discomfort through an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
RDS underpins these principles with a system of rigorous standards, auditing by accredited third-parties, verification, transparency, and continual multi-stakeholder improvement in the standards and methods.
Geese and ducks are sensitive creatures; they deserve our respect, care, and humanity. By purchasing only RDS-certified down, by double-checking each certification against the records at the Textile Exchange, and by participating in international dialogues to ensure RDS standards and methods continue to be rigorous and forward-thinking, Moose Knuckles works hard to ensure a healthy and humane quality of life of these animals.
Because it is so uniquely effective at protecting against cold and wet conditions (with several layers of hair for insulation and for repelling rain and sunlight), fur has been used by humans for millennia. Today, commercially-used fur might be from farmed animals, animals trapped in the wild, or from skins recovered from other uses.
Some Moose Knuckles customers want garments with fur for function (protection against the elements). Some choose fur for fashion (such as on trim, pom poms). And some customers choose to avoid fur entirely. We respect everyone’s right to make that choice for themselves, and we make great products to satisfy them all.
Moose Knuckles’ fur is almost entirely from farmed fox. Like down, all of our fur has been certified to a standard that protects the welfare of the animals. We rely on the certifications provided by the Saga/WelFur program to ensure the same five freedoms for the farmed animals. Administered, audited, and verified by third parties, the Saga/WelFur program addresses these elements of each farm’s operations:
- Animal well-being and health, through preventative and responsive practices;
- Conditions that encourage normal behaviours, safety, and stimulation for the animals;
- Farm hygiene to promote the welfare and comfort of both animals and the farmer;
- Breeding practices that promote health and well-being;
- Environmental management to minimize the impact of certified farms especially through best practices for manure, waste management and the watering system;
- Feed management that assures nutritional needs are met, and with preference for domestic raw materials; and,
- Training and preparation for exceptional situations
Fur-bearing animals are sensitive and social beings and they deserve our compassion and humanity. We will only ever purchase fur that comes to us through suppliers that agree with that ethical perspective, and whose practices are transparent, traceable, and audited by third-parties.
Other Animal Products – Leather, Shearling, Wool
We also sometimes use leather, wool, shearling, and other animal products in much smaller quantities. For these products, we apply the same ethical framework described above for down and fur: we prioritize and try to exclusively use animal products where the humane treatment of the animals is proven through rigorous standards, third-party verifications, and supply chains that are transparent and traceable. Important partners for us in this regard include, for example:
- The Leather Working Group
- The Responsible Wool Standard
- The Responsible Mohair Standard
To repeat ourselves, none of us have control over the inevitability of death. But each of us -including us here at Moose Knuckles - has some ability to affect the quality of the lives around us – human and non-human. We take that opportunity and responsibility seriously. We aren’t perfect at Moose Knuckles, but we’re trying and we’re constantly improving.
We hope you’ll be with us on that journey because we know that you, like we, really, really give a f*ck.