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About us & our belts

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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 in between – 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 or major environmental hazard 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? Inevitably cheaper belts break quickly. As the old Armenian saying goes, there's nothing as cheap as the most expensive.

Belts proudly 'not made in China'

Finding belts that ticked all the boxes was so difficult we ended up creating our own belt brands to fill the void, with quality leather belts made just for us in the UK mainly (also Italy and Spain). 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.

Many UK brands talk about being British but actually get their belts made in China or just put a buckle on a strap from the Far East which permits them to say 'Made in England' or 'Made in Britain' - not us. Even our 100% eco cotton belt bags are made in Poland. It is not just quality but environmental concerns we have with Far East factories.

Once Upon a Belt and the planet

Meleniak Ltd, the company behind, is always looking for ways to limit its environmental footprint. The company has a policy to avoid all waste and therefore:

  • We have reduced the amount of packaging we send out with each order.
  • We encourage customers to use the same packaging for returns.
  • We don't like using paper when we don't have to so if returning you don't need to print anything out because you can just write the returns number on a scrap of paper and include that in your parcel being sent back to us.
  • We use an eco stapler for order paperwork when a stapler is needed. Every little helps.
  • 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, and not using the Far East means we don't churn up a big carbon footprint. Our interchangeable belts mean you can reuse a buckle or strap rather than purchase an entire new belt.
  • Your wrapping and parcel filling, especially for wholesale customers, 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.
  • We love animals and refuse to use python or real carpincho etc. Leathers used for our production are bi-products of the food industry. We are not fans of PU and non-leather belts because they are toxic for staff to work with.

Legal spiel (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 and address for returns is Once Upon a Belt, Unit 4 Homelands, Ringwood Road, Three Legged Cross, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 6QZ, United Kingdom. VAT registration number is GB 945 0809 14.

Full of passion for our product, good customer service and never more satisfied than when we make our customers' hearts sing. We know because they email to thank us. How lovely is that!”