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.
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
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):
34 Windmill Bank,
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.
Prescription lens packages:
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!
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!
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.
Any questions? Please just ask