Tag Archives: Made in the UK

BUY BRITISH – Christmas Gift Guide

Buy British Gifts this Christmas

Source: BUY BRITISH – Christmas Gift Guide

A great choice of suggested British made gifts for this Christmas – go on, make someone’s day with a present made in the UK.

Great suggestions for British made gifts for Christmas – thank you Make it British – Check out the @MakeitBritish gift guide for great gifts #MadeinBritain http://makeitbritish.co.uk/buy-british/ #BritishChristmasGifts

Traditional sewn Union flag (5x3ft) by Red Dragon Flagmakers

Traditional sewn Union flag (5x3ft) by Red Dragon Flagmakers

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Australian Made and British Made – How the Aussie’s seem to campaign for their country’s manufacturing and farming better than the Brits

A carrier bag advertisiing the Australian Made, Austrain Grown logo, togther with Bruce, an Australian made toy wombat. Photograph by author.

A carrier bag advertising the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo, together with Bruce, an Australian made toy wombat. Photograph by author. October 2015.

Wherever I travel in the world, I make the effort to buy locally made souvenirs and support local people. At the very least I make sure I buy a gift that is actually made in the country I am visiting.

On a recent visit to Australia in October 2015 I was impressed by a shop at Sydney airport selling purely Australian made gifts for travellers. The shop, called Purely Australian carries a wide range of Australian made products – fridge magnets, soft toys, wax jackets and bags, microfibre glasses cleaning cloths, sports clothes such as tracksuit tops, jumpers, wooly hats, Akubra hats, fridge magnets, and much more – all made in Australia. Purely Australian is Australia’s leading retailer of Australian clothing, offering a product range that reflects the fundamentals of nature, including Australian grown cotton and fine pure new wool. The Purely Group, which operates this shop, has operated retail outlets for the past fifteen years, with its primary focus on airport retailing throughout Australia. The Purely Australia Sydney Airport branch is located at Pier B after immigration control at Sydney International Airport and if you are in Sydney is a great place to shop. There are other shops at Sydney Airport selling Australian made products too, although Purely Australian seems to be the only selling just Australian made as opposed to some Australian made and mostly Chinese made souvenirs. At British airports and seaports you’ll be lucky to find anything that is not foreign made, which in some ways is strange given that in Great Britain secondary industry produces far more goods than does Australia.

The products on sale at Purely Australian stores mostly seem to carry the Australian Made logo. The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is administered by Australian Made Campaign Limited (AMCL), a not-for-profit public company established in 1999 by the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) and the network of state and territory chambers of commerce, with the cooperation of the Federal Government. AMCL is not a government body and does not receive government funding for its core operations, which are licensing companies to use the logo and promoting Australian products both in Australia and overseas. Originally the campaign and logo were conceived by the government of Australia. The criteria for using the logo are clear – essentially the product has been manufactured in Australia (not just packaged or assembled); and 50% or more of the cost of making it can be attributed to Australian materials and/or production processes; or else grown/produced in Australia, with all of the product’s significant ingredients grown in Australia and all or nearly all of the processing has been carried out in Australia. What I like about both the campaign and the shop are the simple and clear way it is carried forward. In answer to the question “Why buy Australian Made?”, the response is simple too – “It’s good for consumers, it’s good for business and it’s good for Australia.”

My question is why can’t the Brits operate stores at our airports and seaports providing British made souvenirs, in the same way that Purely Australian stores are committed to providing an all-Australian souvenir experience and why can’t the Brits have a simple and clear buy British campaign like the Australian Made one?

http://www.sydneyairport.com.au/shop/retailer-categories/retailer-listing/retailer-detail.aspx?ret=%7B7D44A704-F7D1-42E5-AE2B-AFDE6614618A%7D&ter=%7B0D3AF84A-9190-4416-8EB0-CE3AB1C849F0%7D&cat=%7B0034A969-E784-44E9-80EA-9F445378B06A%7D

http://lsaspac.com/brand/travel-essentials/purely-australian/

https://australianmade.com.au

Purely Australian

The Purely Australian store at Sydney Airport.

Koala Australia microfibre cleaning cloth. Australian Made. Photograph by author.

Koala Australia microfibre cleaning cloth from Purely Australian in Sydney Airport. Australian Made. Photograph by author.

The 1968 I'm Backing Britain campaign

A carrier bag advertising the 1968 I’m Backing Britain campaign.

A Made in England label

A Made in England label.

There are a few Buy British campaigns currently running, such as those promoting the use of the logos below:

John Lewis's Made in UK logo. 21.09.2012

John Lewis’s ‘Made in UK’ logo as of September 2012. This logo never really came to fruition and seems to have been quietly dropped. John Lewis have though committed to increase sales of UK made products by 15% by the end of 2015/16 from a 2011/12 baseline. Whilst it is great to see a major player in retail committing to a number, JLP still fails to state country of origin on their website and on some of their products, and still sells mostly foreign made goods these days. Waitrose, like other supermarkets, sells much UK made foodstuff and pleasingly have clearly committed to continue to do so.

Red Tractor logo. The top part of the logo indicates quality assurance, whilst the flag part of the logo indicates provenance. Only Red Tracor logos carrying the Union Flag are British made; other flags indicate a food is foreign produced and / or processed.

Red Tractor logo. The top part of the logo indicates food quality assurance, whilst the flag part of the logo indicates provenance. Only Red Tractor logos carrying the Union Flag are British made; other flags indicate a food is foreign produced and / or processed.

UK food self-sufficiiecy is now just 62%, down from 75% in 1991, according to the NFU

UK food self-sufficiiecy is now just 62%, down from 75% in 1991, according to the NFU.

Grown in Britain logo. Grown in Britain promotes active management to create a more sustainable future for British woodlands.

Grown in Britain logo. Grown in Britain promotes active management to create a more sustainable future for British woodlands.

Great British Furniture (GBF) logo. IT IS Great British Furniture is an initiative to promote British made furniture run by the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) furniture trade association. It aims to promote UK made upholstery, cabinets, bathroom furniture, kitchen furniture, office furniture, mattresses and beds. This logo was taken from the Hypnos website.

Great British Furniture (GBF) logo. IT IS Great British Furniture is an initiative to promote British made furniture run by the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) furniture trade association. It aims to promote UK made upholstery, cabinets, bathroom furniture, kitchen furniture, office furniture, mattresses and beds. This logo was taken from the Hypnos website.

There are physical shops in the UK, like Things British, that only sell gifts and souvenirs that are made in the UK but non at Britain’s ports and airports that I am aware of. There are some local shops only selling British, like Buford WoodcraftJail Dornoch at Inverness Airport is one of the few gift shops at a British airport that does sell quite a few British made items but still alongside much that is foreign made. There are gift shops who sell a good range of British made gifts (alongside Chinese made tat), such as some of the museum gift shops – The London Transport Museum shop, and the National Trust shops.

On the web there are sites selling only British made such as Things British (selling only British made gifts, and supporting British designer-makers), Made in These Isles (selling British made clothes, accessories, homeware, beauty products, furniture, lifestyle products, etc; all products are “produced from within the geographical region of the British Isles”), The Great British Exchange (trade only; they source new British made products and sell them to retailers), The Great British Home (selling gifts, and homeware made in the UK), From Britain with Love (Scandinavian inspired homeware, accessories and gifts made in Britain) and DreamGB (selling British made gifts and everyday products), Pickle (“All of our products are made in the UK” they tell us – throws, picnic rugs, kitchen ware, vases, children’s shoes, toys, cards, jewellery, Christmas decorations and so on), Make The Most Of (an online networking community and seller of British goods and services direct from the providers; although the site promotes British business I do not think everything they sell is British made) and others selling gifts and more like Made Closer, Handmade GB and Not on the High Street that clearly label country of origin and sell some British made gifts.  There are gift manufacturing companies too like Custom Works (trade only; they manufacture more than 50 product lines here in their factory in Bo’ness, Scotland, with everything else they sell being imported). Victoria Eggs homeware, gifts and cards are mostly made in Britain – aprons, oven mitts, tea towels, mugs which disappointingly are foreign made but are printed in the UK, cushions, screen prints, coasters, tote bags, greetings cards and gift wrap.

There are many more companies making gift items in the UK too of course. There are websites encouraging us to buy British such as Buy British, British Family, British Made for Quality, Made in Britain, Back British Farming by the NFU, and of course my site ukmade, but non supported by the British government.

The Great British Exchange (trade only; they source new British made products and sell them to retailers) product qualifying criteria. I don’t know much about this site, but seemingly only British made goods are sold by them and they consider where raw materials and packaging come from.

The Great British Exchange (trade only; they source new British made products and sell them to retailers) product qualifying criteria. I don’t know much about this site, but seemingly only British made goods are sold by them and they consider where raw materials and packaging come from. A useful matrix for all of us.

If you travel to say Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, France, or Thailand, you can easily find plenty of products that are made domestically. In this article by the British Family, James explains that they had a similar experience recently in Italy and were impressed by the number of domestically produced items easily available. As James challenges us to do in this article about Italy, look around the any British high street and see if you can find anything made in Britain!

Manufacturing in the UK allows companies to control supply, guarantee quality, offer flexibility and to be ethical and environmentally sound. I  encourage you to buy products that are made in the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) and British Overseas Territories and if buying non-British made items I would encourage you to look at goods manufactured within the Commonwealth first. When buying a jumper, a piece of furniture or a bag of apples, do you check to see where it has come from? Why not make a conscious preference to buy British made? You may have to look that bit harder as lots of goods on the High Street are foreign made these days, but Britain still makes most things. I’m backing Britain. Are you?

#BritishMade

Clothing made in the UK – British clothes manufacturers and British Made Clothes – UK made clothes and accessories. Who made your clothes?

British made menswear, British made womenswear, British made children’s clothes.  Clothing made in the UK.

Is ANYTHING you’re wearing made in Britain?

#BuyBritishMadeClothes

This article on British made clothes is very comprehensive – please give it a few seconds to load. You may wish to use ‘find on page’ to help you look for something in particular.

I sense a revival of British clothes manufacturing. Much has gone, but there is still a fantastic choice of British made clothes out there, whether you want to spend a lot or not very much money.

Here you can find links and information, in no particular order, about British made clothes, for men, women and children. This article is ongoing and I will add to it when I discover more British clothes manufacturers and suppliers. Only companies that actually make or supply clothes made in the UK will be featured here, not simply companies that used to make clothes in the UK or are just selling clothes in the UK. The products I list here are genuinely made in the UK, not simply labelled to imply British heritage or manufacture.

Continue reading

Made in Britain @ ukmade

Made in Britain – Made in the UK – UK Made – British Made – Made in UK.

#BuyBritish #UKMade #BritishMade #MadeInTheUK #MadeInBritain

My website “ukmade” is about celebrating British manufacturing and helping you source British made goods. It has many recommendations of quality products made in the British Isles.

https://ukmade.wordpress.com

You can also find ukmade @BritishGoods on twitter, @MadeInTheUnitedKingdom on tumblr and at UKMade on pinterest.

Manufacturing in the UK allows companies to control supply, guarantee quality, offer flexibility and to be ethical and environmentally sound.

You and / or your company or the company or organisation you work for can support British companies and British jobs and be environmentally friendly (by reducing your carbon footprint through reducing the miles goods are transported) by buying British.

Why not make a conscious preference to buy British? You may have to look that bit harder (lots of goods on the High Street are foreign made these days), but Britain still makes most things. I hope this website will be of some assistance in your search to find not only British designed but actually British manufactured goods. You’ll also much information on the internet generally, but a word of caution. There’s a tendency amongst many firms to claim British heritage in such a way that it misleadingly implies manufacture in the UK. I’m sure you won’t be fooled by this, but do take care to ensure what you are buying really is manufactured in the UK.

Fly the flag!  Buy British.

 

https://ukmade.wordpress.com is 1 year old today!

ukmade – celebrating British manufacturing – helping you source British made goods.

#BuyBritish  #UKMade – UK Made – Made in Great Britain – Recommendations of quality products made in the British Isles – Made in the UK – British Made.

https://ukmade.wordpress.com

Why not make a conscious preference to buy British during the next year?

Manufacturing in the UK allows companies to control supply, guarantee quality, offer flexibility and to be ethical and environmentally sound.

You or your company or organisation can support British companies and British jobs and be environmentally friendly (by reducing your carbon footprint through reducing the miles goods are transported) by buying British.

ukmade is 1 year old today!

I hope you find ukmade useful and enjoyable 🙂

Happy Birthday ukmade!

British Made Glasses – British Made Spectacles – British Made Prescription Glasses – British Made Sunglasses – British Made Glasses, Lenses, and Contact Lenses

Are you glasses, contact lenses or sunglasses made in Great Britain?

I was at the opticians in June (in 2013) and I realised that it was not clear where most of the spectacle frames and lenses on offer were made. Most High Street opticians need to be more knowledgeable and more open about the origin of the products they sell. I thought I would do a bit of research so we can all buy British made glasses and British made sunglasses. This is what I have found so far. Are there any more glasses or contact lenses that are made in the UK?

Algha Group Ltd. (Savile Row Eyewear) – Wiseman’s – made in London – http://www.algha.com – metal frames – fabulous round (as in John Lennon’s glasses), panto, half-eye, oval, clip-on, rimless, aviator, etc. frames – available (with lenses) from stockists listed on their website – Frame prices from around £300. On their website they say “All of our frames are handmade in London”. Savile Row were founded in 1898 and are now part of the Inspecs group.

See this BBC article about Algha – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22766785 – the other manufactures I list here might dispute the claim in this video that they are the only frame maker in the UK!

Savile Row glasses - WARWICK MODEL OSRC8 (ROUND 'W' BRIDGE NO. 48 H/E) - made in England.

Savile Row glasses – WARWICK MODEL OSRC8 (ROUND ‘W’ BRIDGE NO. 48 H/E) – made in England.

Roger Pope and Partners – Independent Optician in London – Holders of a Royal Warrant By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen – Perhaps surprisingly Savile Row frames are the only UK made frames they stock. At Roger Pope you can though have bespoke spectacles made for you by two individual frame designers based in the UK. I know nothing more about their bespoke made frames than that. One UK lens manufacturer, Norville, is included in the lenses they use; the rest being foreign. The majority of their spectacle accessories are made in Germany or Italy. Eye tests. Possibly they do not do contact lenses. Open Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.30.

http://www.rogerpope.co.uk

https://www.coronationfestival.com/the-event/exhibitor-news/119-new-bespoke-eyewear-launch-from-roger-pope-partners – Diamond encrusted specs by Roger Pope!

According to the internet (and I know nothing more about it) pq Eyewear are launching a range of 3D printed spectacles and sunglasses called “Springs” and they are described as being made in the UK – http://www.dezeen.com/2013/04/10/springs-3d-printed-glasses-by-ron-arad-for-pq/http://pq-eyewear.com. Their first ‘D’ frame collection was launched in March 2015 and is both sunglasses and optical glasses. No mention is made of country of origin on their website, but some of the pictures appear to show the words “Made in England” written on one arm of the spectacles, so if you are interested it would be worth asking where these glasses are made. No mention on their website of how to buy these glasses or how much they cost – http://pqeyewear.com

Haycyon manufacture British made motorcycle goggles in Hertfordshire, England – http://halcyonclassic.store.buegle.com/index.php/2/ – Haycyon also make motorcycle mirrors and classic car mirrors. Manufactured in the UK and based on the original RAF flying goggle of the 1940’s Halcyon Goggles are a popular choice for use with all styles of open face helmets. Leather or PVC. Wholesale or via their website. Prescription lenses can be accommodated with the Halcyon lens frame by your optician (+6 to -6 lenses) or Halcyon goggles can worn over prescription glasses.  Possibly you could wear Haycyon goggles for skiing / snowboarding over your prescription glasses?  Or I wonder if the likes of Premier Optical or Opera Opera could make you glasses / sunglasses suitable for skiing or other sports?

http://halcyonclassic.store.buegle.com/index.php/2/

Mark 49 Halcyon Goggles - Black Leather. Made in England.

Mark 49 Halcyon Goggles – Black Leather. Made in England.

I found Haycycon goggles on the Davida Helmets website. Davida helmets – stylish handmade open face helmets made in England. Davida are now the sole UK manufacturers of open face motorcycle helmets – http://www.davida.co.uk

Dr Who (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) in The Bells of Saint John, March 2013, riding a Triumph and wearing the Davida Classic helmet (sadly the goggles are French made).

Dr Who (Matt Smith) and Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) in The Bells of Saint John, March 2013, riding a Triumph and wearing the Davida Classic helmet (sadly the goggles are French made).

Despite their protestations about being a British brand, I note that William Morris spectacles are in fact made abroad. Likewise, Cutler and Gross glasses are made in Italy.

There are many other ‘English’ brands also being sold using PR and hype to unsuspecting Brits, Europeans, Japanese and the Americans giving the impression that the product has been made in England. Frames now tend to be produced in China mostly and possibly in Europe.

Specsavers – frames and lenses supplied from Italy, France, China and Korea.

Dollond & Aitchison / Boots – lenses are possibly supplied by BBGR and possibly still made in the UK at a former D&A manufacturing operation or perhaps they are made in France. BBGR are a French company who bought the Dolland and Aitchison manufacturing operations in 2001. Dolland and Aitchison were subsumed into Boots Opticians in 2009. Boots Opticians is controlled by Alliance Boots, which holds a 58% share, while Italian company De Rigo holds a 42% share. Boots UK Limited (Boots the Chemist) is now American owned and part of what is now know as Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Boots frames are generally made abroad but some frames Boots claim are made in the UK – you should ask them for British made frames but I think they will be hard if not impossible to find.

Optical Express – didn’t respond to my enquiry about where their products were made but I understand their frames and lenses are made abroad.

Vision Express – frames and lenses are made abroad.

So basically the big High Street opticians only sell 100% imported frames (and possibly lenses too). There might be some very English names marked on inside of the temples but you will not find made in England glasses at these big retailers.

I asked some online opticians about where the frames and lenses they sell are made. GlassesUK.com suspect their fames are made abroad (and I suggest they are correct about this), although their lenses are apparently made by a firm in the Midlands; glassesdirect.co.uk (French optical group Essilor) believe some of their frames are made in the UK (I am not convinced this is the case and I have been told they are all made in Asia) but most are made abroad and again their lenses are apparently made in the UK; lensWay.co.uk (Vision Direct) appeared not to understand the question and we can assume all their frames and lenses are made abroad. Cubitts have all their frames made abroad, although they do use British made lenses. Well Dressed Dad explains what he considers the advantages of buying spectacles online (principally cheapness and avoiding the dominance of the Italian companies Luxottica and SafIilo who make most of the world’s “designer” frames).

The big eyewear manufacturing and retail companies, who make and sell the big designer name brands, the Italian companies Luxottica, SafIilo and Marcolin do not manufacture in the UK. There is some information about their brands (Armani, Oakley, Rayban, Paul Smith, Chanal, Gucci, etc.) here and here.

Opera Opera are a British company (established in 1978). They manufacture off-the-peg and bespoke custom handmade prescription glasses, spectacle frames and sunglasses in-house at their own English eye glasses frame making factory – using the brand name of Harpers. They make plastic frames only. They are able to make a one off copy of any vintage plastic frame. Supplier to theatre, television and film production companies. Made in England. As well as their own manufactured eyewear Opera Opera also stock European made spectacle frames and sunglasses, so check what you are buying is made in the UK. Opera Opera also stock Saville Row Eyewear. At 98 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9NR. Telephone 020 7836 9246. No internet sales. Eye tests. Not contact lenses. Near Covent Garden tube, open Monday to Saturday 10.00-18.00. Frame prices start at around £180 (sunglasses start at £205) and the average price of frames is £275 (plus lenses). Custom frames start at £425 (plus lenses). I note their retail business is up for sale which is a shame and asking for problems as they will potentially lose their only guaranteed outlet in the future. They moved at the start of 2016. After 33 years in Covent Garden, Opera Opera are now at 20 Percy Street, London, W1T 1DZ (on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Percy Street; near Russell Square Tube station and Goodge Street Tube station) and operate a by appointment only system – http://www.operaopera.net

Harpers Dean frames. Made in England.

Harpers Dean frames by Opera Opera. Made in England.

Opera Opera opticians - their new premises from the start of 2016 - on the corner of Tottenhamd Court Road and Percy Street (near Russell Square Tube station and Goodge Street Tube station).

Opera Opera opticians – their new premises from the start of 2016 – on the corner of Tottenhamd Court Road and Percy Street (near Russell Square Tube station and Goodge Street Tube station). Photograph by author.

Opera Opera opticians, London - window display, January 2016.

Opera Opera opticians, London – window display, January 2016. Photograph by author.

Opera Opera Opticans London - their old premises in Covent Garden (at 98 Long Acre), 2014 Google Maps photograph.

Opera Opera Opticans London – their old premises in Covent Garden (at 98 Long Acre), 2014 Google Maps photograph.

TEYES (pronounced “Ties”) magnetically connected eyewear “have been designed in London and Made in England” by a company called Magneteyes UK Ltd. Lenses can be replaced, they have extendable arms for a comfortable fit, they weigh 11g (without lenses), a headband to keep the glasses around the neck when not in use, they are screwless and magnetically fasten across the bridge of the nose. They come as off-the-shelf reading glasses with lenses included or frame only or with single vision prescription lenses for reading or distance lenses (with anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings for extra). Prices seem very reasonable (as of 3/6/16) with reading glasses for £35 and prescription glasses for £50-£65. Colours are black, red, blue, white and clear. They also do sunglasses at £40 and replacement lenses for £18 for readers and £25 for prescription lenses. Free UK shipping. One size. Available from their website – http://www.magneteyesuk.co.uk

TEYES magnetic glasses. Made in England.

TEYES magnetic glasses. Made in England.

Walter and Herbert are a company that is new to me. They are one of my twitter followers. Their twitter tagline is “Beautiful eyewear designed, manufactured and tested in England.” It appears the company was founded in 1946 as the Optoplast Manufacturing Company Limited and was once “the largest producer of spectacle frame sides in England”. Of production today they say on their website that their frames are “Skilfully crafted in our factory in England”. This implies they still have their own factory, but no information is given about a current UK factory although they do mention new machines arriving at a factory in Liverpool during 2014 on their timeline. They sell mostly acetate frames made from foreign sourced acetate, suitable for prescription glasses and sunglasses. I can find no indication on their website that they can provide lenses and their is no indication of price on their website. They have a shop in London near Covent Garden and their frames may be available elsewhere. At some point I will try to visit their London shop to find out more about this company – http://www.walterandherbert.com

Edward Gucewiczhttp://www.gucewicz.com/about/ – glasses frames made from horn and bone in the UK. Sunglasses or they can fit prescription lenses. Prices range from £600 to £1200.

Edward Gucewicz - horn 1 - real horn frame. water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). black - dark grey lenses. Handmade in London, UK.

Edward Gucewicz – horn 1 – real horn frame. water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). black – dark grey lenses. Handmade in London, UK.

Banton Frames (Banton Frame Works) eyewear is made in Britain, in Scotland. Their frames are made from wood, aluminium, and acetate This expanding companies website was launched sometime around 2014/15 and they are currently running a kickstarter campaign. Sunglasses and I assume frames into which you could get an optician to add lenses. They don’t seem to have prescription lenses fitting service – http://www.bantonframeworks.co.uk

Moat House Eyewear frames are made in England, made from wood. Stockists are listed on their website or you can purchase online via their website. All processes, including glazing, are done in-house – http://www.moat-house.com

Moat House wooden glasses frames on display in Buford Woodcraft. Photograph by author.

Moat House wooden glasses frames on display in Buford Woodcraft. Photograph by author.

Termite Eyewear frames are made in Britain, made from wood – http://www.termiteeyewear.com

Barrow and Flux wooden framed glasses and sunglasses are made in Dorset, England – http://barrowandflux.com

Premiere Optical – Make handmade spectacles, and sunglasses, and do spectacle repairs, and they are able to make a one off copy of any vintage plastic frame – made in the UK – retail or trade – basically at Premiere Optical you can have any style, any frame, any size, any colour & any lens that you want, including metal and rimless frames, but they very much specialise in plastic frames – available at selected opticians and online at the Premier Optical website – http://www.premiere-optical.co.uk – frames and lenses – Custom made or choose from one of their existing designs – Premiere Optical also make classic and / or modern glasses for the theatre, TV & film industry. Hand-made, bespoke glasses made in the UK in any style, frame, design, colour, size & lens. Their brand name is JB Handmades. Their range is split into “maids” (for women), “blades” (for men), “shades” (sunglasses) and “tailor mades” (custom made), as well as Michael Cain, Johnny Depp and Retro styles. Prices for frames starting from around £100. I would highly recommend Premiere Optical for excellent service and quality glasses – http://www.premiere-optical.co.uk

JB’s Michael Caines. Made in England.

JB’s Michael Caines. Made in England.

JB Handmades Tommy (Black). Made in England. (1)

JB Handmades Tommy Spectacles (Black). Made in England. (1)

JB Handmades Tommy (Black). Made in England. (2)

JB Handmades Tommy Spectacles (Black). Made in England. (2)

http://www.premiere-optical.co.uk

http://www.specrepairs.com – for spectacle repairs.  Also spectacle re-glazing.

Mills & Meyer bespoke have been producing bespoke, handmade glasses since 2015. They have a large collection of their own designs that customers can buy ‘off the peg’ or they can customise them to fit perfectly and even design totally bespoke frames for customers on a one to one basis. They are unique in that they 3D scan their bespoke eyewear customers building a virtual model of their head on a computer on which they design a pair of glasses to fit perfectly. Once  happy with the design, they 3D print a full size prototype so that the customer can try them and they can check for fit and style. Finally they hand make the frame. They specialise in handmade buffalo horn glasses but they can use any material from acetate to wood or even something more unusual. They are shortly going to be launching their e-commerce site so people will be able to purchase online. These are exclusive products, handmade in England. They use Italian acetates and naturally sourced Buffalo horn. Their website mentions visiting their shop which I assume is in Westerham in Kent. They do not mention fitting prescription lenses on their website – https://www.millsmeyer.com

LARKE Optics glasses frames are made  in England (from Italian acetate). They will provide lenses but they do not say where they are made. Stockists are listed on their website or you can visit their London showroom. Off-the-shelf or bespoke – http://larkeoptics.com

Tender Sunglasses are a new line from Tender and are hand made in England.  Available online only from The Trestle Shop, but they may become available in stores. Non-precsription dark lenses, but an optician could probably insert prescription lenses. I am not sure who makes these for Tender. Priced £445. I discovered these on The Tweed Pig. I think Tender produce low volumes and and therefore have limited availability.

Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses are made in Italy, Japan, Germany and England. Stockists are listed on their website. I’m not sure how you tell which ones are made in England, except perhaps by asking, and I think it is just their bespoke and custom sized frames that are made in England. I am not sure who makes their UK made bespoke frames for them. Presumably one could have prescription lenses fitted in their sunglasses if required.

Fan Optics – I came across this company on the internet and don’t know much about them, but they appear to manufacture plastic glasses frames and sunglasses for men and women in the UK (using Italian acetate). They do not offer a pescription lens fitting service for their frames, but stockists are listed on their website. Interestingly they say they are “designed in Amsterdam and handmade in England” – http://fanoptics.bigcartel.com

The only UK stockist of Fan Optics is Mcclintock Eyewear, an opticians who have a shop in Covent Garden in London. Fan Optics is not mentioned on the Mcclintok website though and this opticians do not stock any other British made brands. C.W. Dixey & Son frames, which they do stock, are made in France, as are YMC v Mc Ginn frames and so to are Kirk Originals. Paul Smith frames are made in Italy or Japan. It has been suggested to me that Brian (Bonafide) McGinn glasses are made in the UK, but actually they seem to be made in France according to McClintock Eyewear – http://www.mcclintock-eyewear.co.uk

Established in 1777, C.W. Dixey & Son of London claim to be the oldest independent eyewear company in the world and distinguished clients have included various Royalty, Sir Winston Churchill and James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, but sadly their frames (and lenses?) are made in France according to their website.  However, their Facebook page claims their glasses are made in England and France, so it might be worth asking them for made in England glasses.  I did ask them; all their frames are made in France, although they can offer bespoke glasses that would be made in England.  I note C.W. Dixey no longer have physical premises, but retail online and though other opticians.  http://www.cwdixeyandson.com

E B Meyrowitz in the Royal Arcade, Old Bond Street, London show a pair of made in England glasses on the front page of their website (picture below). Off the shelf or bespoke, most frames are acetate although water buffalo horn and shell are also available. The three E B Meyrowitz practices in London, Paris and New York are independent of each other. There is an interesting article about  E B Meyrowitz dated April 2011 on the Gentleman’s Gazette site.  Frames are made in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Morocco, India and possibly even England. Try asking for English made frames and lenses; as they show English made frames on their website’s homepage they might have some  – http://ebmeyrowitz.co.uk

EB Meyrowitz Home Page picture, June 2014

EB Meyrowitz Home Page picture, June 2014

The Eye Company in Soho, London only stock foreign made off-the-shelf fames, mostly from Japan, Italy and France. However, they also offer a bespoke service and it says on their website that they have their own “master frame-maker’ and can make frames to a customer’s chosen design or replica frames.  Having checked with them, their bespoke acetate frames are made for them by a frame maker in Norfolk, England – http://www.eye-company.co.uk

Anglo American Eyewear apparently closed their UK factory down years ago and now make their frames in China. However, according to their website they do still have a facility in London that can hand make a copy of an existing frame for customers (although strangely this service is only advertised on the Anglo American US (.com) site and is not advertised on the Anglo American UK (co.uk) site). Anglo American Eyewear spectacle frames do have the word “England” on the arm, but that does not mean they are made in England! They did not repond to my enquiry about country of origin. Anglo American Optical Company LTD was founded in London in 1882.

David Cox Bespoke Eyewear offers an exclusive bespoke frame making service to opticians. All frames are produced by hand and made to order. David Cox can make frames to a customer’s chosen size or replica frames. He has worked for many of the London opticians mentioned in this article. If you are an optician I can put you in touch with David Cox.

British spectacles manufacturers Cambridge Optical and Paul Green Eyewear have long ceased as manufacturing enterprises and appear to have closed down now.

Sunwise sports sunglasses list some of their sunglasses as being ‘made in Great Britain’ on their website. My understanding (from comments on a British Family article) is that they are assembled in Great Britain, but the parts made overseas. As James at British Family says “it is a fine line between assembly and manufacture” but it seems in this case that these sunglasses are not actually ‘made’ in Great Britain, so I feel the Sunwise website is a bit misleading – http://shop.sunwise.co.uk

You could also consider vintage eyewear. I got a couple of old English made frames at the Sunday UpMarket in London at a very reasonable price. Except perhaps with sunglasses, you will of course have to pay to have them re-glazed, and if you are buying online you might not actually like them when you wear them for real. You might try http://lunetteslondon.com (they have a stall at Brick Lane vintage market and some other stockists, so you can try them on or you can buy online; country of origin is not given online so you would need to ask) for example or online only http://www.deadmensspex.com (re-conditioned frames; country of origin is not given so you would need to ask; they also sell on eBay) or Roope Vintage (who sell some unused vintage glasses & sunglasses, as well as modern foreign made reproductions; they can also arrange to fit frames with prescription lenses; unfortunately they don’t give country of origin information so you would have to ask). Retro Spectacle specialise in the sale of vintage spectacles – if known they will specify the country of origin. Many of the frames they have were made in Britain. As they are also opticians we can provide any prescription lenses. Online only as far as I can tell. Retro Spectacle also attend vintage fairs and events giving people the opportunity to try on frames and allowing them to dispense more complex prescriptions .

Occles make blackout sunglasses in the UK. Blackout sunglasses basically block the sun completely while sunbathing while allowing you to tan without the usual white lines traditional sunnies might make. Additionally they can aid relaxation by allowing you to effectively block out light and get some much-needed rest, for example if you are travelling or after working a nightshift. At £22 a pair (+£3 postage) they are a bargain. Occles went into production at the start of 2015 and are available in white, carbon or aqua – http://www.occles.co

Occles being used for sun protection

Occles being used for sun protection

Occles being used on an aeroplane

Occles being used on an aeroplane

Polaroid Eyewear is now part of the Italian Safilo Group. They have manufacturing plants in Italy (x 3), Slovenia, Scotland, the United States and China, and production is also outsourced to third-party manufacturers in Asia, Italy, and the U.S. ‘PLR Ecommerce, LLC’ own what is now a separate company who appear to be making Polaroid cameras again. My understanding is that Polaroid was an American company previously. Polaroid cameras used to be made in Scotland but not any more. Some Polaroid lenses are still made in Scotland, whereas their frames are all foreign made. Presumably Polaroid lenses are available in opticians, but no mention is made of this on the Polaroid website; it just sells various sunglasses and no country of origin information is given. I guess some of the sunglasses on the site might be fitted with lenses made in Scotland, but there is no way to tell from their website. There’s an interesting history of the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate in Dumbarton and Polaroid here.

http://polaroideyewear.com/uk/

http://www.polaroidsunglasses.co.uk

Norville spectacle lenses are (all?) made in the UK. They have manufacturing facilities in Gloucester, Bolton , Edinburgh, Harrogate, and Seaham. They also sell foreign made frames and so on – http://www.norville.co.uk

Scotlens contact lenses are made in the UK.  Manufacturers of ‘Nocturnal’ lenses, ‘K-Contour’ contact lenses and ‘One-8’ lenses. Presumably available at some opticians.

Daysoft contact lenses are made in the UK and are very reasonably priced. Available online – http://www.daysoftcontactlenses.com. They also sell glasses on their website but these are foreign made. However, the lenses for their glasses are glazed to the required prescription at a UK laboratory, which is located just a few miles from the Daysoft contact lens laboratory in Blantyre.  The glasses frame and lenses are then assembled in the same lab before being despatched. http://www.ronhamilton.co.uk – the blog of the Chairman of Daysoft.

Does anyone know of any other glasses, glasses lenses, or contact lenses that are made in the UK?

For glasses cleaning cloths why not use SELVYT cloths which are made in England. For well over 100 years SELVYT has been the world’s leading brand in quality polishing cloths for the jewellery, watchmaking and silversmiths trade. Also cloths for glasses cleaning, plasma screen cleaning, cleaning guns, cleaning cars, cleaning brass or wooden instruments, household cleaning, etc. Manufactured in the U.K. SELVYT is a division of Edmund Bell Ltd a British textile company established in the 19th century, who supply curtain lining and blackouts.

Selvyt Spectacle Cloth. Made in the UK.

Selvyt Spectacle Cloth. Made in the UK.

SELVYT MICROFIBRE POLISHING CLOTH MADE IN ENGLAND.

SELVYT MICROFIBRE (MF) POLISHING CLOTH MADE IN ENGLAND.

There is also Town Talk Polishing Co. Ltd. – 98% of their products are produced at their factory in Bolton, Lancashire. They source the sonic unit machine and the microfibre cloth from overseas although these are finished and packed in the UK which is something. All the Town Talk polishes, silver and gold polishing cloths, jewellery cleaners and household cleaning products are 100% made in England. Check the packing when thinking about buying for the words made in England.

TouchscreenKleen by Screen-Kleen Ltd is made in the UK and is a solution and cloth for cleaning touch screens. I am not sure if the whole product, including the microfibre cloth, is made in the UK – http://www.screen-kleen.com

Ally Capellino sell a small selection of British made small leather goods (glasses cases, glasses chain, key fobs, wallets and suchlike) and British made umbrellas. They do not say where the leather for these items are sourced and their other items are foreign made. To find these items I searched the word “British” on their website. They also use British waxed cotton in some products, although the products themselves are foreign made – http://www.allycapellino.co.uk

Notonthehighstreet have a number of British made soft spectacle cases (note not all their glasses cases are British made).

Small Castle make some leather glasses cases.  Made in England.

Raw Leather make some leather glasses cases.  Made in England.

Alfie Douglas leather goods are made in England and they sell some glasses cases – http://alfiedouglas.com

Does anyone know of any other UK made spectacle accessories – glasses cases, eyewear holders, etc? I wonder where the free case you get with a new pair of glasses is made? – they don’t label this on the cases you get and I suspect the answer is China.

For magnifiers and magnifying glasses, please see that category on the right or click the links in this sentence.

Here is a blog all about specs. – http://www.spectaclesblog.com

Looking after your glasses. I saw a variation of the following care and cleaning tips for glasses on a leaflet from Specsavers Opticians:

  • Clean the lenses with an appropriate cleaning spray and micro-fibre cloth
  • Avoid putting your glasses face down on any surface
  • Use both hands to remove your glasses to prevent undue stress on the side of the frame
  • Keep your glasses in the case provided whenever you are not wearing them. This will further reduce the possibility of scratching, protect against breakage and will help maintain a comfortable fit
  • Avoid leaving your glasses in extreme temperatures.

Buy British made eyewear – Buy British made spectacles – Buy British made glasses – Buy spectacles made in the UK – UK made eyewear – Eyeglasses made in the UK – Buy a pair of glasses made in the UK – British made prescription glasses – Prescription glasses made in the UK – English glasses – British made open face motorcycle helmets – British made goggles – British made spectacle cleaning cloths – Buy a pair of British made glasses – Where to buy British made glasses – Specs – Lens – Lenses – Frames – Spectacles – Eyewear – Glasses – Eyeglasses – Made in the UK – Reading glasses made in the UK – British made reading glasses – UK Made Glasses #BritishMadeGlasses

British Drainers | DISH DRAINERS | Washing up Racks – British Drainers and Delfinware

British Drainers | DISH DRAINERS | Washing up Racks.

www.britishdrainers.co.uk sell British made Dish Drainers, sink baskets and sink mats, plate racks, bathroom tidies, shoe tidies, clothes airers, fruit and vegetable storage stands, milk bottle carriers, wine racks, spice racks and saucepan stands in various designs of mixes of stainless steel, chrome and black or white plastic coating.

Country of origin is clearly labeled on their website. Most items are manufactured in the UK, but not all so do check before buying. British Drainers is a trading name of Legend Cookshops of Kent.

British Drainers was kindly recommended to me by Alex, one of the readers of my site. I have not tried products supplied by this company, but I am sure I will in the future.  It’s great to see a supplier of British made sink drainers, shoe tidies, milk bottle carriers, wine racks and so on.

Delfinware is manufactured in Kent, England. Physical and online stockists are listed on their website. They do not supply directly to members of the public. They make wire ware for the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and living room – dish drainers, storage racks, wine racks, cutlery racks, utensil racks, radiator hangers, bath trays, oven racks, table stands, milk bottle carriers, plastic trays, shoe racks, stacking shelves, milk order indictors, ironing boards, etc. Various finishes, such as white, black, chrome, grey, etc. Prices shown on their website are trade prices – http://www.delfinware.co.uk