Icycle launches first-of-its-kind people-powered eyewear.
Four students developed glasses made of recycled plastic, empowering locals while giving back to their community Icycle, a startup in sustainable consumer goods, launched a Kickstarter campaign around people-powered eyewear made of 100% recycled plastic.
In an effort to promote the circular economy throughout India, Icycle developed a first-of-its-kind supply chain for its eyewear to empower local people and invest in underserved communities. To set up its supply chain, the founders travelled to India in order to develop and understand best practices to maximise the impact of their underlying manufacturing process.
To develop its product, Icycle has partnered up with designers of luxury artisan eyewear company Vara Optical to create a timeless design that lasts, for its customers, locals in India, and the environment. “The process of engaging local rag-pickers in the collection, segregation and recycling of plastic waste that otherwise depresses their community is a unique chance for people-powered development and we are glad that we can partner with organisations like SWaCH on-site to make that happen”, said Jonathan Karl, co-founder of Icycle. “Deliberately, we designed our manufacturing process in a way that involves handcrafting, because we are a community focused social enterprise with the aim to be visible to local individuals through face-to-face contact.
Together we strive towards a sustainable future for generations to come, by building foundations in practical education of recycling and repurposing plastics.” Despite continued efforts to decrease single use plastic as well as to increase recycling rates, plastic consumption is increasing and only 9% of all plastic is recycled while 79% end up in landfills, a major source of marine litter. “We want to use the plastic that is already out there and turn it into something beautiful.”, says Mads, another co-founder of Icycle. “Beautiful for consumers, underserved communities and nature.”
Glasses eyewear and the underlying manufacturing process benefits three groups: Consumers, who can make the choice to support economic, social and environmental development around the world while buying an everyday productUnderserved locals, who are given meaningful employment to earn a living wage for tasks that benefit their community by removing toxic plastics from their proximity Nature, because we fish toxic plastics from households before it ends up in landfills.
In order to achieve that, Icycle undergoes the following manufacturing process: Locals collect everyday waste from 800.000 household everyday in Pune, India. Locals segregate, wash and shred the collected plastic into flakes ready for recyclingSemi-automatic equipment is used to injection mould the plastic flakes into the desired shapes The injection moulded parts are returned, assembled, packaged and sent off by newly created jobs.
Kickstarter Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/icycleeyewear/icycle-people-powered-eyewear