Collecting and recycling marine plastic – to make stylish, modern frames
Founded by social entrepreneur François van den Abeele, Sea2see Eyewear is a pioneer and eco-disruptor in the production of sustainable recycled-plastic eyewear.
Since 2016, the company has embarked on its own structured environmental program for collecting marine plastic waste across Europe and is now expanding into West Africa.
Sea2see is the first eyewear company to champion a vertically integrated sustainable business model, creating its own infrastructure for collecting marine plastic waste and then using it as a raw material to create high-quality frames, made exclusively in Italy.
At a time when the current trajectory in fashion regarding environmental issues, sustainability and social responsibility is under constant scrutiny and as consumers look for brands which communicate inspiring “responsible” stories of environmental purpose with absolute transparency, Sea2see’s unique model is engaging optical retailers and their customers, by involving them directly in the ‘seastainable’ movement and tangible environmental change.
Leading the movement for committed sustainable action in the global eyewear industry, Sea2see Eyewear is pushing forward with the international expansion of its program for the collection of marine plastic in Ghana and Senegal.
With the knowledge that 12 million tons of plastic waste are discharged into the world’s oceans every year, the brand started its operations to harvest discarded plastic waste through agreements with port authorities in Catalonia (Spain) in 2016. Sea2see now works with thousands of fishermen through more than 37 ports in Spain and France collecting 500kg of plastic waste per day.
Following the collection of the waste material, Sea2see separates what it can use for the production of eyewear, and the rest is sold off to other companies to be recycled for use in different processes.
Thanks to a social enterprise initiative that Sea2see has made possible in West Africa, fishermen who collaborate in the project in Ghana and Senegal have access to a new source of income for the plastic they collect, while also taking part in an activity with an immediate positive impact on the environment.
The sales of Sea2see frames also finance the collection of the waste itself. 1 frame finances the collection and recycling of 5kg of plastic.
Today, Sea2see’s eyewear comprises over 135 sunglasses and optical frames – sold in more than 3000 optical stores around the world. The frames are produced to the highest quality standards in Italy and the collection includes a range of fresh, modern eyewear shapes such as square frames, aviators, and wayfarer style products.
Each frame represents a step in a movement for environmental change and social responsibility, making every Sea2see retailer and customer part of their ‘seastainable’ mission.