An Aladdin's cave of spectacles at Vision Aid Overseas HQ!
It’s taken me a few weeks to get round to writing this blog post as it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind this past month! Our website finally went live – yay! – and we have been busy cataloging and uploading all of the frames we have collected, on top of sorting out orders and learning how to glaze sunglasses (there will be a future post on this, I promise!). Being busy is great though, and we’re really excited to grow and spread the word about Retrospecced, and help support Vision Aid Overseas in the process!
Some of the frames collected during our recent trip to VAO HQ!
We are a social enterprise, which means that we want to use our business for good rather than profit alone, and so we donate a portion of profits from every sale to our partner charity Vision Aid Overseas. The charity sets up vision centres across Africa, providing vital eyecare in the communities where it works. 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 (read more about why the frames aren't sent directly to the vision care centres here). This is an absolutely wonderful resource, and we’re excited to be able to give some of these frames a new lease of life!
Lucy and Tracey with Howard from VAO and many boxes of frames!
We went down to visit Vision Aid Overseas at their warehouse back in June, which was our second visit – and our first since we were up and running. Yet again we were welcomed by Howard, the warehouse manager, as well as the rest of the lovely staff that work there! They had set aside boxes upon boxes of frames for us to sift through, each with hundreds of frames on it to look at. We spent a good few hours filtering out the best condition retro and designer frames, and came away with another few hundred pairs of glasses which we now have to clean, refurbish and catalogue before we will upload them to the website. The time runs away with you as you get lost in a time warp! We have some fantastic NHS frames from the 1950s, cat eyes from the 1960s, big Diedre Barlow-esque 1970s frames and hundreds of modern designer frames ranging from Ray-Ban and Ted Baker to Gucci and Chanel. It really is a treasure trove at Vision Aid HQ – you feel as if you’re in an Aladdin’s cave of spectacles!
Tracey sifting through frames
Thank you once again to the staff at Vision Aid Overseas HQ – we really appreciate your time and effort that you’re putting in to this partnership!
You can donate directly to Vision Aid Overseas by pressing the 'donate' button below.