Most of us have replaced our fair share of shades over the years. However, when you take a closer look at the eyewear industry, stark figures emerge.
More than 100 million pounds of plastic waste is produced annually from the sunglasses sector of the eyewear industry alone — this equates to the weight of approximately 25,000 cars. But one emerging Vancouver-based brand is working to combat this by creating stylish sunglasses that protect both the environment and your vision.
TURTL Sunglasses, led by co-founders Nick Findler and Rory Beaupre, just launched its first collection of sustainable sunglasses. Handcrafted using their plant-based, biodegradable materials originating from sustainably-sourced wood pulp, the frames are durable and eco-friendly. Their BioNylon lenses also happen to be the world’s first polarized lenses made from plant-based materials.
In just the first day of TURTL’s official launch on Indiegogo, the brand raised more than $20,000 from backers who are keen to get their hands on these innovative, lightweight sunglasses.
The TURTL brand story is rooted in sustainability. Co-founders Findler and Beaupre are lifelong best friends from Vancouver, and both of them studied entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.
Five years ago, the pair were volunteering with the Surfrider Foundation, picking up cigarette butts and plastic at English Bay on a Saturday morning. They found themselves venting about the stress of their nine-to-five jobs and all of the garbage littered on the beach, which led them to decide to start a business.
But Findler and Beaupre didn’t want to become entrepreneurs solely to escape the routine of their work; they wanted to help make a bigger impact on the world than they could at weekly beach clean-ups.
When they realized the scale of pollution in the eyewear industry, their brainstorming sessions evolved to focus on premium eco-friendly sunglasses, and TURTL was conceptualized.
As soon as they had their plant-based, BioShell frames and Dalloz Creations BioNylon lenses ready for prototyping, Findler, Beaupre and Vitantonio Spinelli, TURTL’s Creative Director, travelled to the world’s sunglasses epicentre: Cadore, Italy. The team visited 15 different factories before partnering with a third-generation family of sunglass artisans whose factory is nestled in the Italian Alps.
Findler and Beaupre are passionate about making a difference in the future of the eyewear industry. To help with recycling efforts, they’ve teamed up with a Vancouver-based ocean plastic recycling company to launch a “Buy One, Recycle 100” initiative which will see 100 plastic water bottles recycled for every pair of TURTL sunglasses sold.
You can be a part of the movement towards a greener future and simultaneously support small business by backing TURTL on Indiegogo right now. The brand’s super early bird offer makes it possible to order a beautiful pair of premium sustainable sunglasses for just $134 — in one of three colours and three styles.
Each pair is EU-certified biodegradable, and the byproduct from production breaks down naturally in 115 days.
TURTL sunglasses feature polarized lenses with optimal optical clarity and 100% UV protection which means you’ll experience clearer vision and less eye fatigue. The sunglasses are also impact-tested, ergonomic, hypoallergenic, and ultimately timeless in design.
For more information and to order your first pair of TURTL shades, visit Indiegogo now.