Discover what's behind our sunglasses.
High quality, made differently. We are making the highest quality eyewear, in an entirely different way; instead of a linear and extractive production process - which is used by most companies in the world - we are working hard to build our entire value chain under a circular and regenerative model.
¿What does regenerative means?
Our ultimate goal is to create a regenerative process; one which can help restore natural ecosystems and the local economy - instead of merely mitigating negative externalities. In other words, a process with a positive impact on the environment and our society. We aim for using our operations as a source of land conservation and the empowerment of local and rural entrepreneurs that can create a positive cycle of prosperity and sustainable development in their own communities.
Changing the way the production processes in hard goods work is not an easy task. We are committed to prove that it is possible to substantially change the way businesses operate, yet we are conscious that it is an ongoing process in which we need to advance step by step. We are well aware of the enormous task we have set for ourselves and we know there is still much to improve, yet we are proud to see how much we have achieved so far by collaborating with like-minded people and organizations from around the world.
1. HOW IS THE PROCESS?
1.Different types of waste that affect natural ecosystems are collected in the south of Chile by the local and rural entrepreneurs that work with Balloon Latam. These wastes are turned into raw materials, which we buy to make our eyewear. By selling this raw material to us, the entrepreneurs are generating an additional source of income, which they use to expand their own local businesses with the support of Balloon Latam.
2. In Karün, we turn this raw material into high quality eyewear, offering our customers a product with a perfect balance between sustainability and quality.
3. Thanks to our clients’ support, we generate income, of which we donate a percentage to Balloon Latam and the entrepreneurs that work in their programme so that they can continue to expand their local businesses.
2. SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT
Together with our partners Balloon Latam, we are proving that different forms of waste can become a source of income for local rural entrepreneurs in Patagonia so they can scale their local businesses and create economic opportunities that can empower their own communities.
Balloon Latam is a social venture dedicated to Latin America that promotes micro territorial development. Through the development of research, formation and articulation programs that involve the community, who seek to strengthen and place value on these territories’ cultural, socio-environmental, human and economic patrimonies.
3. WHO'S BEHIND THE SOURCING OF THE MATERIAL?
Juan Ignacio Torres, also known as “Nacho” owns a restaurant with typical Chilean sea food at the cove of Lebu at the south of Chile.
In his spare time, he organizes the local fishermen to collect old fishing nets which would normally end up in the oceans or being burnt.
Through Balloon Latam, Nacho is directly collaborating with Karün by selling us the old fishing nets he collects which provide an additional source of income for him.
He is now using this source of income to expand his restaurant end explore new innovative ways of making his business more sustainable.
Nacho, together with the fishermen that work with him are proving that by working together, they can clean their community, prevent pollution in the ocean and change the way businesses can work.
Pedro is a rural entrepreneur who lives in the area of Cochamó, Chile with his children and his wife; Rosa, who at the same time has her own entrepreneurship where she sells empanadas - with a healthy proposal and using typical ingredients of the area - served in their own house. Pedro's passion is recycling; Seeing the pollution affecting his commune, specifically in the "Reloncaví Estuary", he decided to do something to solve this and began collecting all the waste from the coastal area. Pedro sells us part of this waste, which we use to make our sunglasses. With this sale, Pedro generates an additional income that allows him to support Rosa's entrepreneurship, as well as encouraging other neighbours to join the task of recycling empowering his community.
4. PRODUCTION IN ITALY
We are making products that last a lifetime so that we can help to reduce consumption. Most of our manufacturing is made in Italy with our long-term partners in factories that ensure excellent working conditions for their employees and that are actively working with their own local communities and in the protection of their natural surroundings; the factory is even located just outside a national park!
5. TRANSPORT OF RAW MATERIALS
Our raw materials are sourced in Chile. Our production is done in one of the finest factories in Italy. Conscious of the transportation consequences on the environment, we plan it as responsibly as we can. To minimize carbon footprint during transportation, raw materials are reduced in size and volume and shipping methods are responsibly selected, always prioritizing ships over planes. We have decided to move our office from Santiago to Puerto Varas (South of Chile / Patagonia) to be as close as possible to the Balloon Latam’s rural entrepreneurs that we are working with for the sourcing of our materials.
We are getting closer every day. Stay tuned for more news of how we are building our complete value chain.
*If you want to know more about our philosophy, production process, sourcing of raw materials and the logic behind our decisions, we invite you to read the following blog posts: