CEO and designer of MonkeyGlasses, Mai-Britt Seaton, tells OT about being inspired by nature and the company’s expansion plans
Can you tell OT three interesting facts about the company?
- MonkeyGlasses is fashionable, sustainable and affordable
- We support and work closely with Save the Orangutan, a non-profit organisation that does amazing work in Borneo
- The materials we use include cotton fibre acetate and stainless steel, which consumes a lot of recycled steel. We have a zero-waste policy and use all of the waste material for accessories.
What makes your eyewear unique?
We take the whole lifecycle of a pair of frames into account when we start sketching and planning our collections. With our closed loop approach, we make sure to prolong the life of our frames, and take good care of the planet and all of the people involved in the process of making a pair of MonkeyGlasses at the same time. Furthermore, all our suppliers comply with the guidelines of UN’s Global Compact on Corporate Social Responsibility.
Additionally, we always look around to see what’s fashionable so that we can help the consumer with what is trending. When you enter a clothes store, you see new arrivals and then you see what’s on sale. Customers are helped to understand what is new and what is old and we’re still missing some of that in opticians. People want to be helped. If you have to buy a product that can be expensive and it has to last for several years, you want to be helped. We are very good at this.
We always look around to see what’s fashionable so that we can help the consumer with what is trending
What is the latest collection that you have released and why does it stand out from the crowd?
MonkeyGlasses has just launched the Elevate collection, which will be showcased at 100% Optical 2019 (12–14 January) with our UK distributor Pure Optics. The main message is that we dream about elevating our planet and securing a green and more sustainable future. We are all, consciously or unconsciously, elevating and inspiring each other and the choices each one of us makes has an influence on one another and our planet.
In July 2018, MonkeyGlasses launched the Gratitude collection. I am very into Nordic and calm. I find peace in nature and meditation. Our Gratitude collection has thin very lines and soft tones. What consumes your mind is a big part of our philosophy. There is a lot to be grateful for and sometimes people don’t see it even though it’s right in front of them. There’s a focus on the mindset in this collection.
What are the company’s main ambitions for the next 12 months?
We won’t stand still. We have been growing since we first started in 2010 and are now distributing in 14 countries, including the UK. We are expanding and meeting a lot of buying groups because they want to have a solution for more green products.
MonkeyGlasses is also saying goodbye to plastic in 2019. We are focusing on implementing our new packaging, which is made entirely from recycled paper. The Elevate collection will be delivered in these bags instead of the recycled plastic poly-bags that we have used previously.
What eyewear trends do you predict in 2019?
I think stainless steel and titanium materials will continue to be trendy for a while still. People want lightweight frames. We have a Scandinavian look, so I look into nature and adopt those colours – it’s prettier for the face. Our brand is more for the conscious consumers. I have put in a white colour option detail, which you don’t see much, but it’s an up-and-coming style. You have to have a lot of courage to wear white.