Once Upon a Belt (OUAB) in summary
We love selling beautiful useful things that make you look and feel amazing. Yes – belts!
A family run online belt shop based in Bournemouth, Dorset in the UK since 2009 – selling belts worldwide and offering a superior personal service which can be rare in these modern times but we pride ourselves on it – we really do care about what you are trying to achieve with your outfit or gift and each customer is treated as an individual. We simply treat as we would like to be treated and we love having the delighted customers that result from this company ethos.
We have a selection that is hard to beat when it comes to choice, quality and good value. We understand just how hard it is to find the perfect belt.
About our belts range, how to buy a quality belt and chicken!
The belts are sourced mainly from UK companies using European suppliers to ensure the highest standards of quality. Often the belts are from full grain 100% Italian leather or are suede split but lined with nubuck, unlike the belts you find on the High Street (except a few mid to high end shops where we swoon at their leathers on their £40+ jeans belts) which although they can say 'genuine leather' often have very little leather in them using a thin split of hide joined to another cheap material, some cardboard bonded inbetween – or they may be reconstituted leather. They look dull, flat (no character or variation found in full grain leather) and will often break quite quickly. It's a bit like the difference between producing chicken nuggets versus a free-range organic chicken gourmet meal your friends will admire!
We like to deal with not just quality leathers but premium materials that make us ooh and aah when we open the box – we highly recommend our own brand for that! For longevity and the beauty that comes from being fabulous real leather and without a sweatshop in the chain, expect to pay two to three times more so a skinny belt and buckle start at £20 and hip belts £45 – that much x 1.5 or x 2 if in a high street chain, catalogue or department store as their initial mark ups are often much much higher to allow them to sell items off in sales at up to 70% off. Do you ever get the feeling that the sale price should have been the first price? We have a few options under that price mark but the quality is not comparable and we are moving away from them – we hate to deal with anything less than perfection and don't like it when we have to send faulty belts back to suppliers. Inevitably cheaper belts break quickly.
Belts proudly 'Made in Britiain'
Finding belts that ticked all the boxes was so difficult we ended up creating our own belt brand to fill the void, with quality leather belts made just for us in the UK mainly (Mary Portas would be pleased) which means we can be really competitive on price when it comes to fabulous quality belts as we sell them direct to you. Other top UK belt brands and some European ones too, also make some belts exclusively for us. Just when you thought gorgeous could not be more gorgeous, we take it up a notch.
Some of the UK brands we deal with get their belts made in China which is not our preference at all, but some types of belt you cannot get made anywhere else at a competitive price or in that material or in that design and UK companies refuse to deal with PU for vegan belts, rightly so because of the toxicity risk in working with PU. In our mind we are quite firm that belts should smell of quality leather and not glue from a Far East factory! Woven belts, we are pleased to say, will now be made in the UK as one of the British factories we use now has recently invested in the machinery to make woven belts. Only two such machines exist in the British Isles in 2012. We're also proud to work with Jocasi London who produce very high quality belts using a leather-craft workshop in Indonesia on a fair trade basis and they visit the factory regularly.
Once Upon a Belt and the planet
Meleniak Ltd, the company behind onceuponabelt.com, is always looking for ways to limit its environmental footprint. The company has a policy to avoid all waste and therefore:
- We reuse all packaging that comes through the door such as polystyrene chips etc. as filler so rattling in the post does not damage the belt in transit. Customers collecting from the office get a pre-used carrier bag.
- We encourage customers to use the same packaging for returns.
- Are currently trialling packaging produced from 97% recycled materials, with the remaining 3% obtained from sustainable sources.
- We automatically power down servers every evening to save energy.
- The website is hosted with Memset – the UK's first Carbon Neutral® Web host.
- Our travel is limited so they have a limited carbon footprint there and when going to tradeshows or to see suppliers in London they choose to use public transport where possible.
- We try to keep it local with sourcing, not only to support the British economy, but so that the goods don't churn up a big carbon footprint.
- Your wrapping and parcel filling may not be brand new but we figure as it is will end up in the rubbish bin or better still recycling, it is better to save a few trees wherever possible – plus Womble fashion we just can't bear to throw out things which can be reused.
onceuponabelt.com (also referred to as ‘OUAB’, 'Once Upon a Belt', and 'onceuponabelt' on this Website and in our literature) is a trading name of Meleniak Ltd. Meleniak Ltd is registered in England under no. 04557395. The registered office is 105 Southbourne Grove, Bournemouth, BH6 3QY, United Kingdom but please note the office address for all correspondence and returns is Once Upon a Belt, Bournemouth Business Centre, 1052 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH7 6DS, United Kingdom. VAT registration number is GB 945 0809 14.