VisionDirect are making sunglasses from old fishing nets pulled from Great Barrier Reef

When you think of a pair of slick and stylish sunglasses, it’d be pretty understandable of the words ‘fishing net’ never came to mind. Although they should now.

VisionDirect’s Arise Collective brand and WWF have teamed to offer an inventive take on sustainable fashion with a new range of “ReefCycle” sunglasses, upcycled from a retired commercial gill net pulled from the Great Barrier Reef.

As it turns out, plastic commercial grade gill nets, which pose significant threats to the reef’s abundant marine life, can easily be slotted into the circular economy. It’s something VisionDirect pushed for when they approached WWF last year after the organisation managed to buy the licence for the last commercial gill net operating full-time in the northern Great Barrier Reef, thanks to thousands of supporters.

The joint social venture between the juggernaut eyewear company and WWF has turned the 600m long net into a stylish range of sunglasses which are being sold exclusively via VisionDirect’s website.

VisionDirect and WWF have also pledged to continue turning harmful plastic fishing nets into sunglasses if the target of 1,000 presales of the Reef Cycle range can be met.

As always, it’s on consumers to increase demand and keep these initiatives going, so if you’re looking for a new pair of affordable sunnies, look absolutely no further.

“What a story behind these sunglasses – plastic once used to kill marine life becomes a product to protect your eyes”, said WWF Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman. “They are ideal for people who value saving wildlife, sustainability and creative reuse”.

“We’re benefiting the environment by taking discarded materials that damage wildlife and creating something sustainable and worthwhile” added VisionDirect CEO David Menning, who saw this initiative through to complement the company’s ongoing social efforts, which include a program to donate eyeglasses in less fortunate nations.

“This is unlocking a circular economy in eyewear by minimising waste and making the most of an unwanted resource”.

These WWF & Arise Collective ReefCycle sunglasses are on sale now and are priced at $89 for regular, $139 for polarized. Prescription options are also available. 50% of all proceeds will go directly to the WWF and help fund their conservation work.

The first 1,000 pairs sold will be limited edition, each embossed with a marine animal whose future depends on a “Net Free North”.

For more information and to grab a pair head to VisionDirect’s website at www.visiondirect.com.au

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review, an obsessive hip hop nerd, a whisky drinker, and a lover of all things travel. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter with @chrisdsingh.

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