Until Sabae, which was an agricultural village, became one of the world's leading “Eyewear Towns”
Sabae City, Fukui Prefecture, blessed with rich greenery and clear streams, is known as one of the world's leading eyeglass production areas. Sabae's eyeglass industry is mainly called “division of labor”, which each process and parts undertaken by small factories. Over 90% of Japanese-made eyeglass frames are produced in Fukui Prefecture, mainly in Sabae.It is surprising that one out of every five residents in the Sabae is involved in the spectacle industry in some way.
The turning point when Sabae came to be called the city of glasses was 1905. Although there are traditional crafts such as Echizen painting, it dates back to the time when agriculture was the main industry. As a way for villagers at that time to improve their future lives, they turned their attention to making glasses for the winter months when agriculture was at a low season. Village men learned how to make glasses from craftsmen invited from Osaka, and the whole family learned skills from scratch. It is also from this history that the eyeglasses industry became the division of labor within the production area.
The challenge of KANEKO OPTICAL that shifted from division of labor to integrated production
However, in recent years, the demand for inexpensive mass-produced products has increased, and each factory in Sabae is facing a crisis such as lower prices due to the inflow of overseas products and lack of successors to craftsmen. In addition, due to the division of labor system, each process was delayed each time. The factory will give priority to the work of large orders, so if craftmen make eyeglasses one by one, it is difficult to provide a stable supply. Furthermore, the price of eyeglasses as a consumable was low, and the factory continued decreased. It was KANEKO OPTICAL that began working on a breakthrough.
KANEKO OPTICAL mastered skills step by step.In 2009,KANEKO OPTICAL finally created an environment where craftmen can make glasses through integrated production. The name of the workshop is “BACKSTAGE”. The foundation that supports the gorgeous storefront is said to represent a collection of craftsmanship techniques that are sober at first glance but without any compromise.
In addition, integrated production provided feedback on problems and improved technology. Furthermore, craftsmen were able to see what kind of process they were in charge of, and the motivation increased, creating an environment that naturally aims for better quality.
“Beautiful eyeglasses that can be used regularly for many years”,made by craftsman's commitment.
KANEKO OPTICAL has become increasingly focused on quality in an environment where craftsmen can feel the appeal of “manufacturing” rather than “manufacturing of parts”. The craftsmen seem to master every process, and even designers can make simple eyeglasses with their own hands. The common feeling of all employees is “making eyeglasses as personal wear”. With the rise of fast fashion, we have entered an era where people can easily change their glasses, but because they are part of their face, they are particular about a comfortable feel and a design that can be used for many years. Of course, as a vision correction device,KANEKO OPTICAL will carefully handle maintenance and adjustment after purchase.
It is fashionable to change glasses according to the fashion according to the fashion, but it is also cool to have a pair of glasses that I want to continue to use with great care, which can be said to be a daily partner. In addition, the gloss polished by handwork is beautiful, and the sophisticated KANEKO OPTICAL design allows you to feel the strength of the core and beauty, regardless of the times or trends. In the next article, we will introduce detailed technology and design. I hope you will know the secret of the beauty and coolness of KANEKO OPTICAL.
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