About Retrospecced

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About us How it works Pricing and returns

About us

Where we began
and why we did
what we did

Retrospecced recycles and refurbishes retro and designer spectacle frames. It’s a unique social enterprise founded by Tracey and Lucy, a mother and daughter who are passionate about sustainable fashion and who believe in the power of business to be a force for good.

The concept of Retrospecced was born when Lucy had her new pair of designer spectacles. She asked her optometrist, (who happens to be her mother Tracey!), what she should do with her old Prada frame and whether it could be donated to charity. Her old Prada frame was immaculate, as she’d only ever used them for night driving and so they were hardly worn. Lucy, like many people, thought that they could be donated to charities such as Vision Aid Overseas, distributed and used by people who would really benefit from them.

She was aghast when she realised that this doesn’t happen any more – it’s a logistical nightmare for charities to exactly match up someone’s prescription with an appropriate pair of donated frames, and a few years ago the World Health Organisation recommended that sending glasses overseas was not the most sustainable way of providing eyecare in the developing world (read more about this here). Instead, the donated frames are recycled for their scrap metal value; this seemed such a waste for the thousands of pristine frames donated each week like Lucy’s Pradas.

Tracey and Lucy thought that there had to be a way to better utilise these donations for the sake of the charity, so the idea of Retrospecced was born!

We have partnered Retrospecced with the charity Vision Aid Overseas. We refurbish and upcycle frames like Lucy’s old pair, as well as incredible antique and retro frames, and donate 20% of the profits from the frames sold directly to Vision Aid Overseas on your behalf. Our experienced glazing house can expertly glaze any of our frames with prescription or sunglass lenses, meaning you can fully customise your purchase for a unique look! The concept of Retrospecced means that these donated frames can be enjoyed by someone else and at the same time raise money for a really good cause.

Vision Aid Overseas needs money to fund their work providing eye care across the developing world. Retrospecced help them to raise money from the sale of select upcycled and refurbished donated frames, so by buying a pair of ‘Retrospeccs’ you will not only be supporting the sustainable fashion movement – you will be helping those in the developing world to see and work and support their families.

More Information about Vision Aid Overseas

How it works

Donate your old spectacles and contribute to charity

Choosing Retrospecced for a fabulous, individual look means that you are also supporting an ethical, sustainable fashion movement and you are making a substantial donation to a very worthwhile charity.

Retrospecced exists to give these fabulous retro, antique and designer frames a new lease of life.

At Retrospecced we work with the charity Vision Aid Overseas, who are the recipient of up to 70,000 donated frames each week, to go through the donations and select the very best of these frames to refurbish for Retrospecced. The frames we cherry-pick for you include some brand new designer frames as well as some amazing retro and antique designs.

Local stakeholders are trained to provide eye tests and dispense the correct prescription lenses to people as and when needed. The donated used glasses are now sorted through by charities such as our partner Vision Aid Overseas, who pick out those which can be recycled for their precious metal content or re-sold. The rest of the glasses are taken to a Recycling Facility.

We make each frame unique!

All frames are ultrasonically cleaned and fully refurbished. The frames can then be supplied with lenses for your prescription. Our highly experienced glazing house is able to cut and fit lenses to delicate older frames as well as to modern designer models, allowing you to try a unique look for a competitive price.

On our sales pages, select the pair of frames that you like. Not sure which ones to go for? Select up to 5 pairs for hometrial! We are pretty picky with which glasses we sell; there might be some minor wear and tear, particularly in the vintage frames, but we don’t sell any frames that we wouldn’t be happy to wear ourselves.

You can then choose whether you would like to buy the frame only – in which case you can head straight to the checkout – or you can customise them with whichever lenses you like. Let us know your prescription if necessary, and we will arrange for your glasses to be glazed before we ship them out to you.

If you have old designer spectacles, or even antique / retro spectacles in your possession that you’re wondering what to do with and are too good to throw away, please do send them to Retrospecced to be upcycled and also contribute directly to our partner charity, Vision Aid Overseas.

Spectacles must be in pristine condition. For each pair that we are able to use, you will receive a £5 voucher towards your next purchase from Retrospecced.

Please send to (and include your contact details):

Retrospecced,
34 Windmill Bank,
Wombourne,
West Midlands
WV5 9JD.

Pricing and returns

Frames are priced individually,

with 20% of the frame price being donated directly to our partners Vision Aid Overseas on your behalf.

Please see below for glazing options if you would like us to customise your new frames. Our experienced glazing house can add in prescription lenses (clear or sunglasses) as well as non-prescription tinted or mirrored sunglass lenses for you.

Glazing

Prescription lens packages:
Bronze
£29
Scratch-resistant
Gold
£59
Scratch-resistant
Multi anti-reflection coat
High index?
Non-prescription sunglasses:
Tinted
£29
Brown or grey tinted lenses
Mirrored
£45
Gold, blue or green mirrored lenses
Prescription sunglasses
Tinted
£10
Brown or grey tinted lenses
+ £10 to chosen lens package
Mirrored
£45
Gold, blue or green mirrored lenses
+ £35 to chosen lens package

Ready Readers

We now offer a ready reader option for all of our frames, so that you can choose a prescription from +1.00 through to +3.00 for your glasses, and don’t have to send us your prescription. Have a fabulous upcycled pair of Retrospecs rather than a cheap disposable pair in your bag!

Basic
£15
High quality scratch-resistant lenses
From +1.00 to +3.00

If you are unsure what you require or want to discuss options not offered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Postage & Returns Policy

We offer free shipping throughout the UK (or you can choose to have recorded delivery for a small fee). We also happily ship worldwide for a flat fee!. If you bought a few pairs as part of our hometrial service, then although we don’t offer free returns we do give you £5 off the cost of adding in lenses, allowing you to re-coup the postage costs!

Refunds

If you have bought frames only (no lenses), then you may return them to us and we will refund the frame price to you. If you have added in lenses then the glasses have been customised for you, and although we can refund the frame price if the frames are returned, we are sorry but we cannot refund the lens cost.

FAQs

Can I try the frames on?
Yes! We now offer free returns! If you are torn between a few pairs and unsure which will suit you best, you can purchase the frames you're interested in (without lenses) and they will be posted out to you. Once you have tried them on and decided which frame or frames you would like, pop them all in the post back to us and we will put in your prescription / refund you for the return postage and the frames that you didn't go for! All frames should be returned to: Retrospecced, 34 Windmill Bank, Wombourne, Wolverhampton WV5 9JD
What is my Pupillary distance (or PD)?
Your PD is the distance between your the centre of your pupils. It is important that the centre point of each prescription lens lines up with your pupils in each eye, so that the pair of glasses perform as well as possible for you. This is particularly important if your prescription has a high-strength.
How do I find out what my Pupillary distance is?
Usually the optician will not include this with your prescription, so you should ask your optician for your PD following your eye test. If you do not know your PD, we may be able to make your glasses using an average PD measurement (based on a survey of 4,000 people). However an accurate measurement is preferable and so we would ask that you measure this yourself at home.
How do I measure my Pupillary distance?
  1. Place a millimetre ruler on the bridge of your nose.
  2. Have someone face you about arm’s length away.
  3. Have them measure the distance between the centre of your pupils (the black dots in the middle of your eyes). Your PD is this distance in mm.
Why is it important that I have my PD?
People with strong prescriptions and whose pupillary distance diverges significantly from the average may experience problems with glasses made using an average PD measurement as the focal point of the lenses may not match where their pupils are. An incorrect PD won’t harm the eyes but may cause discomfort or strain which would be noticeable upon wearing the glasses. If you decide to order a pair of average PD measurement glasses and find yourself not getting along with them so well, then please do contact us and we will see what we can do.
Can you put any lenses in any of your frames?
Yes – we can put whichever lenses you want in to any of our frames. If you want a pair for reading or driving, then we can glaze them with your prescription – or if you would like us to convert a pair in to sunglasses (prescription or not) we can do that for you as well! We can even put mirrored tints on the sunglass lenses for you to give you a unique look! Don’t forget that we donate 20% of the price the frames sell for directly to Vision Aid Overseas on your behalf.
What’s your relationship with Vision Aid Overseas?
We are a commercial partner of the charity Vision Aid Overseas, and we have pledged to donate 20% of the price that we sell any of the frames for directly to VAO to support the vital work they do providing eye care across Africa. Why do we do it? Because we believe in recycling, sustainable fashion, and the power of business to do good in the world. We believe in the work that Vision Aid Overseas carry out, and know that they are making a huge positive difference to the lives of people across Africa. Find out more about who Vision Aid Overseas are and their incredible work here.
Where do you get all of your frames from?
All of our frames have been donated directly either to Retrospecced or to our partner charity Vision Aid Overseas, with the purpose of generating revenue for Vision Aid Overseas. Over 70,000 frames a week are donated to Vision Aid Overseas, and they sort through them in their warehouse just outside of London – cherry picking the best vintage and designer frames for us to upcycle, with the rest being recycled for their scrap metal value. This is a fantastic resource, so thank you to everyone who donates their (or their grandad’s!) old frames to a good cause!
Can I return my Retrospecced spectacles to you?
If you have bought frames only (no lenses), then you may return them to us at your cost and we will refund the frame price. If you have added in lenses then the glasses have been customised for you and we are sorry but we cannot accept returns on these at the moment.
Is each frame unique?
Many of our frames, particularly the vintage and retro ones, are one-of-a-kind in our collection. We may have more than one frame of certain designer styles, but if you customise them with your own mirrored lenses for example, then they are a unique look for you!
Can I donate my old frames?
Yes please! If you have old designer spectacles, or even antique / retro spectacles in your possession that you're wondering what to do with and are too good to throw away, please do send them to Retrospecced to be upcycled and also contribute directly to our partner charity, Vision Aid Overseas. Spectacles must be in pristine condition. For each pair that we are able to use, you will receive a £10 voucher towards your next purchase from Retrospecced. Please send to (and include your contact details so that we can send you your voucher!): Retrospecced, 34 Windmill Bank, Wombourne, West Midlands WV5 9JD. Thank you!
I love a pair of frames I can see on the website, but don't have a recent prescription
The vast majority of frames that we sell are a one-off, so if you see a pair that you love but need to go and visit the optician before you can order your lenses, we can't guarantee that they will still be available a week later! We recommend that you purchase the frames and if you know the lens package that you would like, then please select this at the time and select the 'send prescription later' option when you are asked to input it. Alternatively, if you are unsure which lens package to choose please make a note in the comment box at the payment page that you would like us to hold on to the frames for you until you have had an eye test. Once you have your prescription, we can glaze the frames for you, and you would pay for the lenses at this stage.
What do the frame size measurements mean?
You may have noticed in the description of each frame we have for sale, there is a frame size measurement written in the format of '52/16'. What do these numbers mean? The numbers are the lens and bridge measurements in millimetres for that particular frame, and can be found printed on the inside of the arms or sometimes on the inside of the bridge. The numbers may be separated by a dash or a small rectangle. The first number corresponds to the widest diameter of the lens, and the second corresponds to the width of the bridge above the nose. The closer the measurements are to those of your old glasses, the more similar the new ones will look on your face. The larger the numbers, the larger the frames! Some retro frames do not have these measurements printed on them so we have ranked them small, medium or large as a guide for you. If you are still unsure about the size of a pair of frames and whether or not they would suit you, please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will help you out!

Have another question? Please just ask