Crafted from British tanned leather using heritage techniques, a bespoke Golden Bear Belt is a real thing of beauty. Real and beautiful, they are the result of craft and graft, integrity and inspiration, artistry and the artisan. The buckles are hand cast in Devon, the hides are sourced locally and the pieces are hand finished – gilded, painted, illustrated and stamped with symbols, motifs and mantras making each a one-off. In the true nature of a custom creation, the belt moulds to you as you wear it, your body stamping its own hallmark on the piece, making it yours for life. And as your body warms the leather and a suggestion of that sweet/ salty scent hits your olfactory system, memories – once faded like old polaroids – come flooding back, bringing a feeling of nostalgia to the everyday. “Leather matures with time like wine and wood,” says Golden Bear. “It is a material that has a living relationship with its owner taking on their scent and yielding its own – absorbing natural oils – the scuffs of hard toil and happiness. It shapes to fit you.”

Golden Bear Belts has gained quite a following and righty so. They have collaborated with the likes of Griffin and are stocked at selected purveyors of sartorial radness across the globe including Tucker NYC, Celestine 11, Donna Ida, Liberty London, By Marie, Wolf and Badger London, Edition Japan, Art Wednesday, Secret Emporium, .

Golden Bear // Need to Know

Known as Golden Bear, Mama Bear (I have 3 Boys) or Lou Bear, I trained as a ceramicist at Camberwell and went on to have a Market Stall at Portobello selling my own brand. Went out to live in the moutains in Chamonix – lived in a caravan in Vallorcine – which means Valley of the Bears. I built a house there then ran that as a buisness. Bought an old gaff cutter sailing boat. Lived on that. Came back to UK, Devon no less. Took 7 years building a home whilst living in another caravan, started up a swimwear company called JG4B with Jasper Goodall. Had my babies. Started Golden Bear Belts.

We make what the cowboys called LONG SERVICE BELTS. Custom belts, made in our North Devon creative studio. Hand cut from the hide using British tanned leather. We practice heritage techniques. Its all about keeping it LOCAL. Because we LOVE where we live. There are really great people here who can help us with every aspect of the buisness. It keeps us happy & spreads the LOVE.

We can see the river Torridge from our door high up on the hill at the GBB studio. It’s 5 mins to the sea. We surf when its good. Boards stacked at the door. Its a rule. You just have to work harder and faster when you come back. Its important to enjoy the good things in life. PRODUCTIVE IDLENESS. Is that possible? Some of our hides also come from the Highland cattle who reside above the surf at Tapley Park in Instow 2 miles away from our studio. They watch the breaks all day.