Every so often people come with those “AH-HA” moments in which they think of a really great idea— plain and simple. Some of those ideas are pointless nic-nacs, that may help in day-to-day chores or make for some fun activities, while others make a massive impact on life and change the way we look at things forever.
A few years ago Bureo Skateboards did just that when they figured out a way to take old fishing nets from Chile and upcycle them to make plastics for consumer products we have come to enjoy. Their first product — stemming from a love of the ocean, extreme sports and the outdoors — was a plastic cruiser skateboard.
Back in May we ran a story in our first issue titled “Nets to Decks” in which we highlighted the process used to convert the nets into the plastics used for their staple skate decks. Recently though, they have taken their Net Positiva campaign to the next level, by introducing a new line of sunglasses, ‘The Ocean Collection,’ made from the same eco-friendly process.
To bring these new shades to the public, Bureo teamed up with the Chile-based sunglass manufacturer Karun, and started a crowd funding campaign with the site Kickstarter. On the first day of fundraising, the team took to their respective social media platforms and marketing ploys to draw attention to the project, knowing little of what might be the result. In that first day, the campaign ended up bringing in a whopping $50,000.
This success and attention further solidified that the Net Positiva campaign was something that people and brands truly believed in, and made for a stable foundation to bring the Bureo x Karun sunglass project to the next level — mass production for consumer purchase. By the end of the Kickstarter campaign, the project brought in a staggering $181,079 from almost 1400 backers.
When asked, in a brief conversation, what he thought of the success, Kevin Ahern, the East Hampton born Bureo co-founder, mentioned he was mind blown and humbled by the support the project had received, and expressed his excitement in the new project.
Since its inception, Bureo has had its sights on bringing this form of upcycling plastics to other markets. Although they have always tried to create things that are of brand and interest to their team and its founders, they see the opportunity to help make this world a greener place.
To make that dream a reality, and as mentioned in our original story from issue one, Bureo received a seed investment from $20 Million and Change, Patagonia’s internal fund, to support new projects made out of their recycled fishing net plastics. Whether it’s skateboards or sunnies, the Bureo crew hopes to bring this process of recycling to new products. “We definitely see an opportunity to utilize the plastic for other products,” said Bureo’s own Dave Stover.
Based on the success of this new campaign, it seems as though the Bureo x Karun sunglass project is their first step in the right direction in bringing eco-friendly products to the plastic stricken world we live in, and taking the initiative to make plastics that can be used for common products we use every single day.
For more information on the Bureo x Karun sunglass project, or too find out more about Net Positiva, visit the Bureo website here, and be sure to follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates on the project and when the sunglasses will become available for purchase.