Why We Make in America

Why we make in America.

After an inspiring weekend at NorthernGRADE Chicago, surrounded by hardworking, innovative young companies, it seemed fitting to talk about why we make in America.

There is a rich history of optical manufacturing in the U.S. At its peak in the mid-twentieth century there were over fifty optical companies based here, but like so many other industries, manufacturing was sent overseas in search of cheaper labor. Knowledge and machinery were lost, and an entire industry moved and was forgotten.

DRIFT frames are made in our Chicago studio by a small team of engineers and artisans. Here, we’ve been able to meld new technology with traditional methods of optical manufacturing, pioneered by companies like Bausch & Lomb and American Optical.

We believe that every detail and decision matters, from the sourcing of innovative, responsible materials - like our 100% biodegradable and recyclable acetate - to the development of a manufacturing process built from the ground up. It is this intimacy with our designs that gives them depth and character.

We’re proud to be part of a greater movement towards bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. and support brands committed to producing thoughtful, well-made goods at all opportunities.

We hope you do, too.

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