Danish glasses duo with ambition: Sustainability at first sight
MonkeyGlasses have the environment and people in their sights and a focus on zero wastage. The unique frames are made from cotton fibres, and any residue is recycled into trendy accessories, while old glasses are re-used. Looking good, seeing good and doing good all at the same time is easy. Just ask sustainable company MonkeyGlasses, which designs and sells modern glasses with a Nordic look.
Their hand-made frames look like natural wood, but they are actually made from acetate, a biodegradable material that consists of 90% cotton fibres and wood mass. Production residues are creatively recycled into accessories and exclusive jewellery, and every time a set of frames leaves the shelves, the company donates a percentage to the "Red Orangutangen" charity. MonkeyGlasses also collects customers' old glasses and sends them to Trivandrum in India to a centre that supports fishing families in need.
Out with ‘throw-away’ culture
There was never any doubt for this small, ambitious company: It was sustainability at first sight for founders Mai-britt and Morten Seaton, and this has clearly struck a chord with discerning consumers. MonkeyGlasses are experiencing increasing demand in both the Danish and international market.
"We sell smart, hand-made quality glasses that not only meet a need, but also make a difference. In many ways, the company represents a break from the throw-away culture. Neither we nor the planet tolerate it, and there are endless opportunities to re- use materials and products in new and exciting ways. You just have to use your imagination. For example, we turn surplus material from frame production into creative accessories and beautiful jewellery. It's common sense to us, and fortunately for our customers too," says Mai-britt Seaton.
As both designer and graphic designer, Mai-Britt comprises the creative half of the duo behind MonkeyGlasses. The other half is her husband Morten, who with many years' experience gained in his own opticians provides the expertise and quality. From their workshop and studio in Allerød in North Zealand, the glasses are sold through selected distributors in Denmark, Europe, America and Asia.
MonkeyGlasses at monkey prices
Developing a concept that combines respect for people and the environment while also being affordable was essential to the couple right from the start. This is reflected in the name: “Our name is from a Danish play on the word “brilleabe”, which when translated becomes "monkeyglasses". We also felt that the similar sounding expression “travelling in monkey-class" fits our vision of having an affordable product. Our products should be affordable," says Morten Seaton.
MonkeyGlasses released its first collection of hand-made fashion glasses on the market in 2010.