Here at OB, we can trace our passion for all things sheepskin and leather back to the late 1800s when great great-grandparents Walter and Amy Barry owned and ran the first Barry tannery in Wiltshire, England.
Owen Barry, their grandson, founded his eponymous manufacturing part of the business in 1948. Four generations later, the mother and daughter duo Cindi & Chas are the Owen Barry heritage custodians.
A sheepskin and leather manufacturing tradition ensures the passage of specialist knowledge to the next generation of OB craftspeople and discerning customers.
Our Team, Our Values
Whilst offering well-crafted products to both new and loyal global customers, Owen Barry provides a friendly personal service and no quibble lifetime guarantees.
We can provide this specialist benefit through the skill and dedication of our wonderful craftspeople; quite a few OB staff have been with us for decades. Our 18 strong team has a thoughtful, shared passion. Knowledge and understanding of good materials and methods is all important, which makes it possible to keep our traditional handcrafting skills flourishing.
Established in 1948, we have been manufacturing in the heart of Somerset for 75 years. Owen Barry, our founder, had an obsession for quality and customer service so these principles together with local resourcing and responsibility are deep rooted within the OB Team.
This care and creativity are what makes our products unique. We believe they also reflect our sense of good value and consideration for the local community.
Slow fashion is currently very important as the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental issues within the industry. We are proud to say that this is the way we have done it for the last 75 years!
Owen Barry is Green Growth certified and a member of Leather UK, working hard to ensure all aspects of our business strive for environmentally sound practices, consumptions and emissions throughout our factory, suppliers, and logistics.
Great, great grandparents Walter & Amy Barry ran the first tiny OB tannery in the late 1800’s. Excellent skins are paramount to the Owen Barry offering.
Things have changed since Walter and Amy’s days, and despite the address, we no longer tan our skins here at the Tanyard in Street, Somerset. Owen Barry now works with specialist tanneries based in the UK and Europe.
Each OB tannery has been chosen, and long-term relationships have been built to capitalise on the skills, machinery and raw material resourcing and selection that it offers.
All our more extensive tanneries are members of LWG, Leather Working Group. LWG is a not-for-profit community organisation that drives excellence in sustainable leather production.
In addition to our tanneries’ Gold and Silver LWG ratings, the OB team regularly inspect the skins, the dying processes, and ethical and environmental husbandry.
The smaller tanneries we use are much more artisan local tanneries that do not have or sadly cannot afford LWG status but have lovely leather working practices and traditions that no amount of certificates can replace.
All the skins used in OB products are 100% a by-product of the food industry; NO animal has been farmed or killed for its skin.
Presently, the global meat industry is producing more hides than the requirement for leather, and only the skills of tanneries and their technicians are repurposing these skins and stopping more of them from going into landfills.
Circular economy and consumptions.
Owen Barry has a passionate team who strive to be as environmentally conscious as possible and regularly review all our consumptions.
We work hard to ensure that all waste is kept to minimum and to monitor all aspects of our business. We strive for environmentally sound practices, consumptions and emissions throughout our own factory, our suppliers, and logistics.
We utilise our excesses & scrap within our production, provide materials
to local community projects and we have installed systems for energy savings throughout the workshop.
We try to resource all our materials as locally as possible, ideally using British suppliers but sometimes International – all with similar eco and ethical guidelines to our own.
OB have no single use plastics in regular use and ensure our services & financial providers are equally as committed through investment in change and improvement.
Come and see us to learn more.
As we still manufacture everything here in Somerset, if you would like to learn more about our production, we offer Factory Tours where you can see all aspects of the factory, learn about the heritage of the company, the skins and the handcrafting manufacturing methods we employ.
You can also engage with the wonderful OB team of craftspeople.