Born out of a collegiate idea to help provide worldwide eye care, SOLO Eyewear is the brainchild of two dynamic women, Managing Director Jenny Amaraneni and Creative Director Dana Holliday. The company launched a bright, sporty range of sunglasses with bamboo temples in 2012, created from recyclable materials with a charitable component: involve global eye care charities to help impoverished populations be able to see. To date, SOLO has restored vision for 11,000 people in need across 32 countries—pretty stellar for an independent company.
Now SOLO is introducing a new line via Kickstarter (with the lofty goal of $15,000), proving these women are no slouches. Holliday explains the latest construction: "We use waste from a flooring company and re-purpose that into the arms of the glasses. In developing this new line, we connected with a factory that specializes in injection molding and produces eyewear for major brands. We learned that a substantial amount of plastic waste is incurred during production. During this process, plastic frames undergo a refinement process which creates plastic remnants that end up on the factory floors."
She continues, "We worked with our factory to determine how we could recycle this waste and use it in the construction of a new line of eyewear while still maintaining a high level of quality and integrity. By incorporating 20 percent recycled plastics in the construction of our frames, we were able to reach this goal."
So while the shades' construction is super smart, purchasing a pair also gives back as well. The brand works with two nonprofit partners: Aravind Eye Care System and RestoringVision. Through Aravind, SOLO has funded cataract surgeries, school vision screenings, and prescription eyeglasses for students who cannot afford them in India, and with their other partner, RestoringVision, the brand has funded prescription eyeglasses for people in need both domestically and internationally.
The new collection of polarized, eco-friendly sunglasses starts at $65. For more details on the frames, the company's process and their charitable intiatives, check out their Kickstarter page.