A few years ago, when Costa Del Mar entered the research-and-development phase for its Untangled collection, the team realized there was a problem making certain styles of glasses. Costa was designing the first generation of Untangled glasses using material that California-based Bureo creates from recycled fishing nets. It was a great step forward in sustainable eyewear, but because of impurities, the material wasn’t yet able to be shaped into some styles of glasses that many boaters and anglers prefer.
Now, those styles are part of the second generation of Untangled designs. Bureo has enhanced its process, so the recycled material it delivers to Costa is virtually indistinguishable from virgin plastic.
“It’s really enabled Costa to not be as limited in the different kinds of colors and wraps that they were limited with in the first generation of the product,” says Kevin Ahearn, co-founder of Bureo.
Popular wrap-style sunglasses are now part of the collection. Shields can be added to block sun from the side, hooding details can be used to block light up top, and ventilation can be built into the nose piece to reduce fogging.
“We really took a giant leap forward with the 2.0 frames in terms of style and performance,” says Casey Lopez with Costa product development. “These will be glasses that can handle a day out there on the boat.”
Costa’s team says it is proud of not only the quality of the new glasses but also the fact that Bureo is a partner doing more than just providing recycled materials. Bureo is creating a new supply chain and jobs, and is continuing to improve its processes so Costa can offer recycled products of ever-increasing quality.
“It isn’t just the frames,” says John Sanchez, senior vice president of product strategy at Costa. “The logo is made of recycled aluminum. The lenses are glass, which originates from sand. The case is recycled material. This is the whole package. Bureo has a full, vetted process. You’ll see a lot of people saying they make sunglasses out of recycled plastic, but we see only one that’s vetted this way. That’s why we have this partnership and why it’s so special.”