My lifelong passion has been architecture – the way in which thoughtfully designed spaces can enable and enrich our daily lives. In particular the way in which architects can interweave considerations of functionality, efficiency, longevity, materials and context, with aspirations to playfulness, spiritual uplift or solemnity. I believe we all deserve to be surrounded by good design and as a professional architectural photographer, I spend my working life trying to capture and represent it.

As a consequence of my profession, I’ve become accustomed to looking at the detail of everything around me and wondering why things are the way they are. And inevitably this has made me question the things I buy, wear and have in my home. To me there is something special about choosing the things I need and live with every day with care, so that each object has meaning as well as function.

My wardrobe has become more considered in recent years. Now I buy things I love and which last. They all have a provenance I admire and they do their job well.  It was quite liberating to get rid of the ‘also rans’ in my wardrobe and build a collection of items I get good use out of and which are a pleasure to put on. And it’s a satisfying experience to search for these items – possessions I intend to use and enjoy for a long time to come. 

The one item that fits uneasily into this way of constructing my wardrobe has been belts.  They seem to be treated almost as an afterthought by most brands - literally an ‘accessory’ to more prominent items in a collection. That doesn’t sit well with me – I want everything I buy and use to be thoughtfully designed and well made.

Surely belts are an undervalued asset in a man’s wardrobe – rather than just being the ‘thing that holds up trousers’, they can add texture, colour and form to an outfit. Why shouldn’t choosing a belt be every bit as satisfying as selecting a beautifully made pair of shoes to go with whatever I want to wear that day?

As with so many good beginnings, Awling’s story began with a search for belts made well by experienced hands, whose design was considered, functional and individual. I couldn’t find those belts. So here we are - Awling began in 2017, with a desire to make really good belts.

Chris Goldstraw / Founder / Awling