Moore & Giles was founded in 1933 in Lynchburg, Virginia during the heart of the Great Depression by Donald Graeme Moore. Previously a purchasing agent at the Craddock-Terry Shoe Corporation, he lost that job in a massive layoff catalyzed by poor economic conditions. Originally a supplier of “findings”, the Company sold a broad range of components used in footwear constructions to manufacturers in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
When Donald Moore’s son-in-law, W. Vernon Giles, joined the Company in 1935 the name was changed to Moore & Giles. In the 1950s, sales territories were expanded to North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Donald Moore remained with Moore & Giles until his retirement in 1966 at the age of eighty-eight. Ironically, in the same month that his grandfather retired, Mr. Moore’s grandson, Donald Moore Giles, joined the company. Today, he continues to serve as the Company’s Chairman.
Up until the 1980s, Moore & Giles’ primary business had been shoe upper leather, leather lining and sole leather, representing a variety of domestic tanneries. As domestic production declined, the Company diversified as a leather resource to other industries, primarily to the home furnishings industry, but also to the marine and athletic arenas. In the early 1990s, leather sales to the home furnishings industry became Moore & Giles’ primary focus and it moved away from the more price-sensitive, commodity-type leathers to more natural tannages and finishes. These pioneering efforts brought a fashion approach to home furnishings that showcased the visual and tactile beauty of natural leather. During the past fifteen years, strategic partnerships with tanneries in Spain, Italy, New Zealand, South America and the Far East have been cultivated to stock an extensive and innovative product portfolio at the Company’s new facility at 1081 Tannery Row in Forest, Virginia.
The turn of the century saw the business expand its focus from residential manufacturers to an even larger base of architects, specifiers and interior designers, primarily in the high-end hospitality, residential and aviation design arenas. From the lobbies and rooms of the top hotels, to the interiors of celebrated restaurants, to the spaces within artfully designed homes, our leathers grace some of the most exciting and exclusive design projects around the world.
Currently, Moore & Giles employs almost 100 people in its headquarters in Forest, Virginia with representation in every major metropolitan area as well as strategic partnerships in England, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and Turkey. Moore & Giles designs and develops the world’s most luxurious natural leathers for leather upholstery, residential leather, hospitality leather and aviation leather.
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Leather tanning is one of the oldest and most sustainable practices in our world today.
Hides originate as a by-product of food sources and tanned leather is perhaps the greatest use of a waste product in the history of the world. Leather has clothed, sheltered and protected mankind since the dawn of time. Moore & Giles is aware of the impact leather production has on our world. In our procurement of tanned hides from around the globe we are committed to partnering with our suppliers to ensure full compliance with all government regulations that meet or exceed standards of environmental responsibility. We believe the use of natural leather plays an important role in our global sustainability efforts due to its longevity and wearability over time.
Modern tanning is a constantly improving process, using either mineral or organic methods, becoming more efficient and environmentally friendly. In mineral tanning, trivalent chromium is being reclaimed in modernized, efficient water treatment facilities to ensure the discharge of clean waste water. In many cases chrome is now being recycled and reused in the tannery production process. Organic methods such as vegetable tanning and various forms of chrome-free tanning as well as the continued movement to water-based finishing operations promote an even higher level of environmental awareness. Moore & Giles has product offerings in all these categories, and we continue to expand our offering of eco-conscious products.
Moore & Giles is committed to exercising faithful corporate citizenship through compliance with all environmental laws and regulations. Minimal impact to air, water and land by our practices and activities is the ultimate measure of our success for our employees, our families, our community and our future generations.