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Meet the Makers - Introducing Charlie

Meet the Makers - Introducing Charlie

We'd love to introduce you to our friends Charlie and Michelle - the husband and wife duo who are the owners of the down mill and factory Moke has worked with for more than a decade.

Charlie was born and raised in An Hui, China, and educated in Manchester, England – this is where he first met Michelle, who coincidentally was from the same province in China too! They lived and worked in Toronto, Canada for a time before moving back to China and, following in his father’s footsteps, Charlie became a down trader. He is the nominated supplier for the brand Canada Goose, and once made a $300,000 USD comforter, made of Icelandic Goose down, for the King of Jordan!

Known as one of the best in the business, as well as being the largest home textile makers in the world, Charlie and Michelle strive to ensure the highest quality, ethical sourcing, and are always looking for innovative ways to stay ahead of the game.

We are incredibly proud and grateful to work with such wonderful suppliers, who have become great friends.

(Charlie, centre, is seen here with Keith, Hamish, Arnie, and Blair Stevens during his visit to Oamaru in June 2024)

We'd love to introduce you to our friends Charlie and Michelle - the husband and wife duo who are the owners of the down mill and factory Moke has worked with for more than a decade.

Charlie was born and raised in An Hui, China, and educated in Manchester, England – this is where he first met Michelle, who coincidentally was from the same province in China too! They lived and worked in Toronto, Canada for a time before moving back to China and, following in his father’s footsteps, Charlie became a down trader. He is the nominated supplier for the brand Canada Goose, and once made a $300,000 USD comforter, made of Icelandic Goose down, for the King of Jordan!

Known as one of the best in the business, as well as being the largest home textile makers in the world, Charlie and Michelle strive to ensure the highest quality, ethical sourcing, and are always looking for innovative ways to stay ahead of the game.

We are incredibly proud and grateful to work with such wonderful suppliers, who have become great friends.

(Charlie, centre, is seen here with Keith, Hamish, Arnie, and Blair Stevens during his visit to Oamaru in June 2024)

WHAT IS 'R.D.S' - THE RESPONSIBLE DOWN STANDARD?

WHAT IS 'R.D.S' - THE RESPONSIBLE DOWN STANDARD?

The Responsible Down Standard (R.D.S) is an independent and voluntary global standard in place to safeguard the welfare of geese and ducks that provide down and feathers for the products we all love.

Down is an incredible natural material, but if the cost of using it is the mistreatment of animals then we’re not interested!

R.D.S certification involves rigorous audits of the entire supply chain, from farm to
final product, ensuring transparency and accountability. We are proud to say that Charlie's factory is R.D.S Certified so 100% of the down in Moke products is certified under the Responsible Down Standard.

You can confidently buy Moke down products knowing the Five Freedoms of animal welfare are respected; and the down suppliers we use are all R.D.S Certified.

The Responsible Down Standard is owned and managed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit. To learn more about R.D.S certification, visit the Textile Exchange

We are also fortunate that Charlie's down mill and factory are on the same site - this enhances traceability as it allows every step of the production to be controlled and monitored.

Keeping samples from orders made, from the raw material to the finish product, Charlie's team can ensure quality and accountability at every stage.

Image: Traceability library. Bags of sample down from previous orders.

The Responsible Down Standard (R.D.S) is an independent and voluntary global standard in place to safeguard the welfare of geese and ducks that provide down and feathers for the products we all love.

Down is an incredible natural material, but if the cost of using it is the mistreatment of animals then we’re not interested!

R.D.S certification involves rigorous audits of the entire supply chain, from farm to
final product, ensuring transparency and accountability. We are proud to say that Charlie's factory is R.D.S Certified so 100% of the down in Moke products is certified under the Responsible Down Standard.

You can confidently buy Moke down products knowing the Five Freedoms of animal welfare are respected; and the down suppliers we use are all R.D.S Certified.

The Responsible Down Standard is owned and managed by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit. To learn more about R.D.S certification, visit the Textile Exchange

We are also fortunate that Charlie's down mill and factory are on the same site - this enhances traceability as it allows every step of the production to be controlled and monitored.

Keeping samples from orders made, from the raw material to the finish product, Charlie's team can ensure quality and accountability at every stage.

Image: Traceability library. Bags of sample down from previous orders.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DOWN?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DOWN?

Down is possibly nature’s greatest insulator and one of the easier to adapt to human use. Because of their make-up, down clusters trap air which creates the insulation and warmth during a process called ‘lofting’. This is where the clusters expand to fill a space, trapping little pockets of air which, when heated by the body, provide insulation.

Additionally, down has the greatest ability to breathe, lifting away perspiration so you don’t experience the clamminess which often occurs with synthetic fabrics!
Down allows moisture to escape, preventing the build-up of sweat and keeping you dry and comfortable. This is particularly important during physical activities in cold weather. Our down jackets are designed to provide optimal breathability, making them perfect for a range of activities, from a brisk walk in the park to an intense hike in the mountains.

When properly cared for, down jackets can last for many years. Down’s natural resilience allows it to maintain its loft and insulating properties over time, making it a worthwhile investment.

Down is possibly nature’s greatest insulator and one of the easier to adapt to human use. Because of their make-up, down clusters trap air which creates the insulation and warmth during a process called ‘lofting’. This is where the clusters expand to fill a space, trapping little pockets of air which, when heated by the body, provide insulation.

Additionally, down has the greatest ability to breathe, lifting away perspiration so you don’t experience the clamminess which often occurs with synthetic fabrics!
Down allows moisture to escape, preventing the build-up of sweat and keeping you dry and comfortable. This is particularly important during physical activities in cold weather. Our down jackets are designed to provide optimal breathability, making them perfect for a range of activities, from a brisk walk in the park to an intense hike in the mountains.

When properly cared for, down jackets can last for many years. Down’s natural resilience allows it to maintain its loft and insulating properties over time, making it a worthwhile investment.

SO, NOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE 90/10 RATIO, AND FILL POWER?

SO, NOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE 90/10 RATIO, AND FILL POWER?

You’ll often see us refer to our packable down range as ‘90/10 down’ – these numbers refer to the ratio of the blend of premium down clusters to feathers.

Down clusters are spherical, light, fluffy, and three-dimensional with a soft central quill point. Because of their make up, down clusters trap air which creates the insulation and warmth – but without the bulk. Feathers, on the other hand have a hard quill shaft where the fibres extend outwards from each side.

The higher the percentage of down, the higher the insulation properties related to weight.  All of Moke’s packable down styles are 90% down and 10% feathers, all R.D.S certified.

Image: Charlie explains the 90/10 down ratio; as one of his team (seated) checks that the ratio of the sample is correct. Grace, from our China office, watches on.

Fill Power is a measure in the quality of down insulation. It specifically refers to the volume (in cubic inches) that one ounce of down fills when allowed to reach its maximum loft or fluffiness.

Fill Power is usually between 400 - 800. It's important to note that a higher fill power number doesn't necessarily and automatically mean the jacket will be warmer. The amount of down used to fill a jacket plays a huge part - i.e., a jacket with 230g of 600 Fill Power would be just as warm as a jacket with 115g of 800 Fill Power.

Other considerations for finding your perfect jacket are ensuring the right fit, whether you want a hood or not, and where you plan to wear the jacket!

You’ll often see us refer to our packable down range as ‘90/10 down’ – these numbers refer to the ratio of the blend of premium down clusters to feathers.

Down clusters are spherical, light, fluffy, and three-dimensional with a soft central quill point. Because of their make up, down clusters trap air which creates the insulation and warmth – but without the bulk. Feathers, on the other hand have a hard quill shaft where the fibres extend outwards from each side.

The higher the percentage of down, the higher the insulation properties related to weight.  All of Moke’s packable down styles are 90% down and 10% feathers, all R.D.S certified.

Image: Charlie explains the 90/10 down ratio; as one of his team (seated) checks that the ratio of the sample is correct. Grace, from our China office, watches on.

Fill Power is a measure in the quality of down insulation. It specifically refers to the volume (in cubic inches) that one ounce of down fills when allowed to reach its maximum loft or fluffiness.

Fill Power is usually between 400 - 800. It's important to note that a higher fill power number doesn't necessarily and automatically mean the jacket will be warmer. The amount of down used to fill a jacket plays a huge part - i.e., a jacket with 230g of 600 Fill Power would be just as warm as a jacket with 115g of 800 Fill Power.

Other considerations for finding your perfect jacket are ensuring the right fit, whether you want a hood or not, and where you plan to wear the jacket!

Charlie guides the team around the factory - it's a very impressive sight!

Down has a super soft, fluffy hand-feel - it is lightweight, but extremely warm!

The down is washed and dried - the best quality rises to the top of this chamber

A down and feather sample is separated to check the ratio is correct

These machines are used to test fill power

The team check the origin and quality of the down sample