KENT BRUSHES & COMBS
G B Kent & Sons Ltd, manufacturers of brushes since the eighteenth century is one of the oldest established companies in Great Britain.
Kent Brushes (as they are now more commonly known) was founded in 1777 by William Kent in the reign of George III. Kent holds a pre-eminent place in the history of brush making, with an unbroken record of excellence in the quality of its production which has been recognised by the granting of Royal Warrants for nine reigns.
The Kent family continued to run the company for six generations until 1932 when the last of the three Kent brothers passed away. This is when Mr Eric L.H Cosby, owner of Cosby Brushes Ltd, entered into an association with G.B Kent & Sons. A new chapter was then opened in Kent's long history, and since that time the company has been under the creative and dynamic direction of the Cosby family.
Today, Mr Alan H.L Cosby, grandson to Eric Cosby is the Managing Director and Chairman, with his wife, son and one of his three daughters working for the business. The company headquarters moved from London to their existing factory in Apsley, Hertfordshire on the 6th February 1984, and remains there to this day.
The company continues to retain the craftsmanship and unprecedented quality that is Kent's reputation. Even in today's fast moving, mass-produced assembly, Kent are proud to still be manufacturing many of their original brushes by hand.
Nevertheless, Kent Brushes is committed to developing and enhancing its products with every step they take. Kent harness the latest hi-tech manufacturing processes, whilst building on the time-honoured traditional methods to create the world's finest example of each and every brush that leaves their factory.
Kent's philosophy runs far deeper than just creating a great brush. They are dedicated to exceeding all expectations, are proud of their English manufacturing heritage, and they aim only to continue their commitment to this.
Kent Brushes are one of very few UK hairbrush manufacturers left. With continual pressure from cheap foreign imports branded with 'designer' labels and sold at extortionate prices, Kent has not buckled to the temptation of selling a lesser product at a high price point. They only produce world class products - without compromise.
THE ROYAL WARRANT
The Royal Warrant is as old as the Monarchy and was created as a way of recognizing the skills of small companies who produced products for the Royal Households. Besides specialist items such as crowns, jewellery and robes, ordinary household products were also required from kitchen utensils, furniture and brushes. Kent received their first warrant from George III and since then have received warrants continuously from monarchs up to the present day.
The accolade of supplying the Royal Household was, and remains, a sign of excellence, a recognition to be proud of and one that is unequalled anywhere in the world. Our warrant gives Kent the right to display the royal coat of arms discreetly on our products, packaging, stationery and company vehicles.
A company's Royal Warrant is reviewed every five years and Kent brushes have held a warrant consistently for 9 reigns. Please see timeline below.
Kent are renowned for their passion for bristle brushes. The bristle is sourced from the finest bristle merchants in India and China, where quality is guaranteed. (Read our Bristle advice) Timbers are chosen from sustainable forests throughout the world, selected for their beauty, grain, colour and suitability to be shaped, drilled and polished.
Rubber cushions are selected for softness and strength, comfortable for delicate scalps but strong enough to be durable and withstand years of use. Plastic quills have carefully rounded ends to tease their way through tangled hair without pulling or tugging.
THE BRUSH SHOP
Kent have a retail shop at their factory and headquarters in Hertfordshire, where anyone can visit to view and purchase any product from their full range. Whilst visiting, you can talk to someone with experience and knowledge, and spend time selecting the right brush whether for personal or professional use.
Kent Brushes currently manufacture an exceptional choice of products, with ranges for hair, body, clothes, make-up, teeth and shaving. Part of Kent Brushes success with major retailers has been built on their reputation for efficiency and quality. Kent have been supplying stores such as John Lewis, Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum and Mason along with leading chemists in the UK for over 200 years. They also distribute to over 50 countries world wide, including USA, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe, Scandinavia and The Middle East.
Kent's range is now so vast, that it has a selection of over 250 brushes to choose from. The most comprehensive of these is the hairbrush range, providing brushes for use on any hair type, style and length and for every budget. With a selection of styling brushes, radials, ceramics, vents, ionic, paddle, volumising and pure bristle, there is a perfect Kent for everyone.
- The company was one of the first wholesale houses to use a motor delivery van, a 24 horse power 2 ½ ton 'Commercial Car' which was purchased in 1908.
Kent Brushes made hundreds of thousands of brushes for the War Office during WWI. A soldier's kit included a hair, tooth, shaving, cloth, shoe blacking, shoe polishing and button brush.
Special toothbrushes were made for the Indian troops with wooden handles filled with vegetable fibre as the use of either bullock bone or pig bristle was prohibited by their religions.
In WWII the Kent factory was hit seventeen times by German air raids. However the workers showed amazing courage and endurance amidst the falling bombs and carried on work using tarpaulins to cover the gaping holes in the roofs.
Kent has been producing brushes for 230 years and is the longest established UK manufacturer of hairbrushes.
We currently make over 250 different brushes.
We export to 52 countries.
Kent uses 12 processes in making most brushes, with some going through as many as 20 processes before inspection, including cutting, shaping, bristling, finishing, and buffing.
With an extremely stringent quality control procedure in place all our hairbrushes are inspected and finished by hand.
- In a top secret operation during the Second World War, Kent made shaving brushes in which maps and compasses could be concealed for forwarding to overseas British prisoners of war to enable them to find their way home in the event of escape. The work was carried out in a special locked and windowless room at the Kent factory with access allowed only to a chosen few.
GREEN PRODUCTION PRACTICES
• Our high volume timbers, Beech & Cherry, are all from UK sources and as such are controlled by Forestry Commission re-planting programmes.
• Our high volume brushes are all packed in recyclable printed polypropylene and carry the recycle symbol.
• The bulk of our despatches use recycled outer cartons.
• Our new shaving range features packs made from 100% recycled card
• All cardboard is recycled
• All the saw dust that we produce is turned into chipboard for use in the construction trade.
• We have installed low voltage energy efficient lighting throughout our factory.
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