Cubitts responsibility

It is our belief that a more sustainable approach to consumption is needed.

Production

The vast majority of our frames are made in our own workshops, around half of our frames have lenses produced in our own lab, and every pair of spectacles is assembled and goes through thorough quality control in house.

We use a small number of highly trusted third parties for specialist tasks, such as our titanium production and surfaced and varifocal lens glazing.

A final pair of spectacles or sunglasses are the result of number of stages:

  • Input materials
  • Frame production
  • Lens production (glazing)
  • Assembly
  • Quality control

    Materials

    We source the highest quality materials for our frames - assessed against durability, consistency, and function. We will always seek materials and components which extend the life of a frame.

    Our chosen material suppliers are:

  • Cellulose acetate - Mazzucchelli, Italy
  • Hinges and hardware - OBE, Germany
  • Lenses - Zeiss, Italy, Germany; Essilor, France
  • Leather, Tempesti, Italy

    You can see the results of our material testing here:

  • Cellulose acetate
  • Hinges
  • Lenses
  • Traceability overview

    Frames

    Frustrated by the quality and consistency of factories, we set up our own workshops in the UK (London) and China (Shanghai). These are our own workshops which only make for Cubitts, meaning we have complete control over the materials, production, team and quality.

    Our workshop in the UK is based at Brewery Road, King’s Cross, London. When we opened it was the first spectacle making workshop to open in central London in fifty years, and is now a team of 5 frame makers, plus 4 glazers, and 1 repair specialist. You can see a tour of the workshop here.

    Our workshop in China was set up in Jiangsu, the province neighbouring Shanghai. By setting up far away from the huge manufacturing base of the south but still close to Shanghai, we could attract the best frame makers in the country. The team has now grown to 23. You can see a tour of the workshop here.

    Our third and only outsourced factory is in Sabae, Japan, in the famous frame making province of Fukui. They were carefully selected because they specialise in making some of the highest quality titanium frames in the region. Almost 100 years old, they employ 30 skilled makers. You can see a tour of the factory here.

    Lenses

    Our lenses are sourced from the world’s leading lens suppliers, mainly Zeiss and the Essilor Group.

    Over half of our glazing is done in house, at our lab in Brewery Road, King’s Cross. The remainder is done by two of our long standing partners - Manor Optical in Halesowen, and Zeiss in Birmingham.

    Assembly

    All of our frames are assembled and receive final quality control in Brewery Road, King’s Cross, or one of our two glazing partners.

    Labour and conditions

    Code of Conduct

    All our suppliers must comply with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Standards, including freedom of association, effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, elimination of forced, compulsory or child labour, and elimination of discrimination in respect of employment.

    All suppliers must sign our Code of Conduct which addresses each of these standards. If these expectations are not met, we work with the supplier to improve in a short time frame; failing that, we will terminate the relationship. You can read our code of Code of Conduct here.

    Living Wage

    We are a Living Wage Employer, and pay the Living Wage across our supply chain.

  • Our spectacle makers in London are paid 113% of the London Living wage and 141% of the National Minimum Wage (£12.52 an hour, versus £11.05 and £8.91 respectively).

  • Our spectacle makers in Jiangsu are paid 161% of the Shanghai Living wage and 360% of the local minimum wage (7272 RMB a month, versus 4502 RMB a month and 2020 RMB respectively).

    Our spectacle makers in Sabae are paid 130% of the average wage in Fukui province, and 158% of the national minimum wage (1,357 JPY an hour versus 1048 JPY and 858 JPY respectively).

    Monitoring and assurance

    As well as our Code of Conduct, we assess suppliers under BSCI audits. We also regularly visit suppliers to ensure workers are working in safe and healthy conditions, and that the supplier is complying with our Code of Conduct.
  • Material Use

    The majority of our frames are made from cellulose acetate, derived from cotton and plant based materials - but still ultimately a plastic.

    While some brands might disguise it as an ‘eco’ material, we don’t believe it is. However, it is really an excellent material for spectacle making - glorious colours, long lasting, can be milled, formed and adjusted.

    We source the highest quality cellulose acetate, and believe the best way of reducing its impact is to make it last the longest time possible, and then find a circular way to dispose of it, rather than making glib claims about its origin.

    We are regularly experimenting with other forms of material (see here) but high quality acetate provides the best material for now.

    Footprint:
  • Planet Mark CO2 footprint results
  • Clear list of actions taken
  • 2030 Carbon Neutral goal

    Waste:
  • Saving all waste materials
  • Downcycling glazing waste (Zeiss)
  • Reducing or upcycling frame making waste - key rings, Redux chains, jewellery (Pivot), new materials (Smile Plastics)
  • Ultimate goal of producing all frames to order

    Water:
  • Initiatives to reduce water usage
  • MEI glazing machine
  • Zeiss

    Plastics:
  • Removal of single use plastics across the supply chain