Belgium – What do you get when you recycle car dashboards, beverage bottles and refrigerators? Sunglasses, if you ask Belgian start-up w.r.yuma, which just started producing a whole range of these recycled accessories following a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The recycled sunglasses are 3-D printed and assembled by hand in Antwerp, in a process that is said to produce zero waste. The ‘sturdy’ glasses are designed for disassembly and feature premium mazzucchelli lenses that offer 100% protection from ultra violet light.
Most of the recycled plastics used (90%) is derived from post-consumer PET bottles, while the car dashboards are imported from the Netherlands. On average, a car is estimated to travel the world six times before its dashboard ends up in w.r.yuma’s sunglasses.
The new venture’s founder Sebastiaan de Neubourg argues that ‘waste is only waste when wasted’. He aims to ‘challenge every design and industry standard’ to provide what it believes is ‘a new generation in eyewear fashion’.
‘Next summer you can find us at music festivals throughout Belgium and the Netherlands where we will 3D print sunglasses live using recycled festival drinking cups,’ De Neubourg adds.
As the entrepreneur concludes; ‘We believe that quality, style and sustainability are in fact the same thing. The circular economy is the future.’
The start-up is named after the Yuma in the US state of Arizona – ‘the sunniest place in the world’.