Having spent a few years researching the issue and contemplating how to help, the Ozeano concept was first formed one Saturday afternoon on Freshwater beach in Sydney, Australia. Whilst aimlessly people watching and noticing everyone's plastic sunglasses, the curious mind thought; "sunnies must create a lot of plastic pollution", and after some investigation, it was soon confirmed that they absolutely do! Estimates suggest over 80% of the Western population wear sunglasses, which means hundreds of millions of plastic sunglasses are bought, worn for a while, then thrown away. The issue is, when they're thrown away, plastic sunglasses take upwards of 450 years to decompose. That got us thinking, if we could inform people about the issue, and offer an eco-friendly alternative to virgin plastic sunglasses, maybe we could be the ones to make a difference for the hundreds of millions of people across the world who are actively contributing to the problem, without necessarily realising it?
Research in to the eyewear industry was eye-opening, to say the least. When trying to establish whether any of the major brands were offering eco-friendly options, to our surprise, we found that most of the eyewear industry is dominated by just one company. Eyewear brands such as Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace are either owned. or licensed, by the same company. As well as owning or licensing all those eyewear brands and more, businesses such as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical are also run by the same company. Once we realised this, it all started to make sense. No wonder none of the major brands were trying to do things differently and offer eco-friendly options. We knew there had to be a better way.
So that's why we started Ozeano; to offer an environmentally friendly alternative and drive a much-needed positive impact in the eyewear industry.