September 21, 2018
I’m going to share something on here that many of you don’t know. When I was in grade 3, the teacher phoned my parents to have a meeting. The gist of it was that I was misspelling words when I was taking notes from the board. My eyes got checked and my vision was pretty bad— I needed glasses. Thick ones. When I first put them on, I was AMAZED that leaves on trees could be seen from a distance.
I wore glasses all throughout school and then wore contacts, which made my eyes so dry and itchy that I couldn’t leave them in for more than an hour or two at a time. Big glasses were a fixture on my face until I saved up for PRK laser eye surgery when I was 29. Eyesight is something I will never take for granted, which is why I’m so thrilled to have found ethical sunglasses from Pala Eyewear.
I was surprised to discover that 640 million people are unable to access eyecare — which directly impacts their ability to participate fully in work,education and life. These stats are absolutely heartbreaking.
Pala provide grants directly to eyecare projects in Africa. Projects they’ve supported include building a new Vision Centre, dispensary, purchasing equipment, supporting an outreach program – all sustainable, long term solutions that facilitate eyecare, eye-tests and provision of glasses. From the funding of these projects, they calculate a ‘cost per patient’ helped and it is that cost that you provide through buying their sunglasses.
This is how they calculate that buying a pair of sunglasses equates to a pair of glasses to a person who needs them.
A delightful surprise are the uniquely handmade sun glass cases that are woven from recycled plastic bags by a traditional weaver from one of three rural communities in Bolgatanga, Upper East Ghana. They are provided with training and this is a consistent source of income that is not limited by the seasons. The cases have a ‘bendy’ texture and are both sturdy and pliable at the same time. I LOVE this idea!
All other packaging is recycled paper stock and is FSC MIX certified.
Pala knows that getting a pair of sunglasses to you has an environmental impact. Therefore for every delivery they make to a customer, they put £1.00 towards offsetting the CO2 cost of that delivery. They also work with not-for-profit Atmosfair to offset their C02 through the financing of Wonderboxes in Nigeria and Rwanda. These incredible cooking pots will retain heat for a very long time, therefore reducing the need to burn fuel for heating and thus lowering the CO2 emissions.
OK, so now we’ve talked about all of the ethical + eco-friendly stuff, I want to take a moment to gush about how much I love these sunglasses. I like them better than my big, expensive mainstream-brand ones, as the attention to detail is incredible. They’re both strong and light. I have worn them every sunny day since I got them two months ago, and literally have them in the backpack at my feet as I write this post. If you’ve followed my instagram + instastories, you’ll see that these sunglasses have become part of my daily uniform.
It was difficult to choose a style, but I went for the classic Dayo Tortoiseshell model, as I wanted a retro + timeless feel.
I’ve been communicating with Pala Eyewear’s owner, John Pritchard, regularly since we first brainstormed this collaboration. I’ve been SO impressed with the way Pala has communicated with me in a timely, friendly manner and especially how they had my back when I had a challenge with my postal service. Their customer service was impeccable for my entire experience working with them. I appreciate it!
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