We house only the most unique and authentic assortment of sustainable pieces at Curated, our shop at Herb House Spa. If you browse our shelves you’ll come across FINLAY & Co, creating luxury designer sunglasses that are designed in London and crafted in Italy. All of their products are handmade in the foothills of the Italian Alps by their expert framemakers using traditional techniques.
We spoke to the team at FINLAY to find out more about their story…
Tell us a bit about FINLAY and how it came about?
It all began while on holiday in the Algarve. We'd been exploring creating an eyewear brand for a while as we had noticed the homogeneity of the sunglasses industry and felt like there was a gap in the market for a British eyewear brand creating high-quality timeless designs but with an interesting fashionable edge. As we sat around the pool it confirmed what we thought, which was that at that time pretty much everyone was wearing one of two frames - a Wayfarer or an Aviator. So we headed back to London and FINLAY was born. Since launching in 2012, we have opened two stores in London, both are fully functioning opticians to not only provide exceptional eyewear but also excellent eyecare. Our collections now include sunglasses, spectacles and accessories.
We love your products at Curated, can you tell us a bit more about how they are made?
We aspire to create premium frames with a personality that celebrates the individuality of our wearers and helps draw out their character. All of our frames are designed in-house in our London studio before being lovingly handmade in Italy. Nestled in the foothills of the Italian Alps, our expert framemakers use traditional techniques to create frames so good, in style and substance, you could pass them on to the next generation, like the skills with which they were crafted. Each frame goes through up to 32 stages of production, taking it from the raw materials through to a beautifully finished frame ready to adorn your face.
We use the finest materials, from sustainable Mazzucchelli acetate which is derived from cotton and naturally hypoallergenic, to durable yet lightweight metals, and all our sunglasses are fitted with industry-renowned Zeiss lenses offering full UVA/UVB protection.
Why is sustainability so important to you?
We've never been about throwaway fashion. We've always been about creating exceptional eyewear that can be enjoyed and passed on to the next generation. In 2021 we launch our first sustainable collection, using Mazzuchelli’s new sustainable acetate which is not only is it better for the environment but outperforms their classic acetate on some all-important properties such as strength too. What makes this new bio acetate so good? In order to turn the raw organic material into acetate, a 'plasticiser' is required. Historically these were oil-based, but now the clever folk at Mazzucchelli have pioneered a bio-based alternative derived from vegetables. We also decided to move all future production of our past collections to this bio-acetate too.
Along with adapting our frames, we have also adapted our packaging; our cleaning cloths are now made from recycled bottles and all our paper goods are now produced without a coating, allowing them to be easily recycled.
As with all things, it's very much a journey so we're constantly on the lookout for ways we can improve in this area.
What makes your products unique?
When we design frames we always try to create pieces that will stand the test of time. Frames that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and can be worn on all occasions. We also have a relentless drive to create frames of the highest quality while keeping them at an accessible price point. So provenance is key, that's why we use world-renowned Mazzucchelli acetate and industry-leading Zeiss lenses. It's also why our frames are handmade in Italy by our family-owned factories which have generations of skills behind them. We offer customers the full ‘Made in Italy’ experience.
Have you got any exciting upcoming plans/projects?
We are launching our SS22 collection in early May so we can't wait for people to see that. This latest collection will feature five new shapes and some new colourways which we are already a little obsessed with too. We're also launching a couple of very exciting collaborations in the coming months too so watch this space.
If you wanted to browse the collection, why not pop into Curated?