Costa del Mar is a US-based sunglasses company that puts the environment at the forefront of all of its eyewear.
Speaking at Vision Expo East in New York (21–24 March), senior international sales manager for the Americas at Costa del Mar, Jenny Gordillo, told OT: “There is no other brand in the eyewear industry that is so entrenched in conservation.”
“All of the plastic frames are made from a bio-resin found in castor plants, which is bio-degradable and extremely flexible,” she added.
Costa del Mar was founded in 1983 by a group of fishermen that were looking for “a good pair of sunglasses that could withstand the harsh elements,” Ms Gordillo shared.
The eyewear company has formed environmental partnerships with groups such as fishermen, shark conversation and beach clean-up companies, as well as other eyewear brands in order to fulfil its brand ethos of “explore, perform and protect.”
Its partnerships with fishermen involve the collection of fishing nets that are recycled and turned into pellets.
Ms Gordillo explained: “These pellets get turned into frames. It’s called the Untangled collection as that’s what we are doing to the ocean.”
“We are also asking all eyewear companies that are throwing demo lenses away to give them to us. We have a recycling programme where we take the lenses back,” she added.
All ophthalmic lenses that would otherwise be discarded are collected and packaged up by the practitioner and sent to Costa del Mar’s partner company, who break them down into a resin, which is then made into new glasses such as safety lenses or scuba masks.
“Costa is a brand that is growing. We are very unique because we have developed a tribe of followers who have a passion for the outdoors. They want to wear our products because we are a sustainable brand,” Ms Gordillo concluded.