Sunglasses with an even greater purpose: Meet the next best use for bamboo

Sunglasses are not only a fashion statement, but they can just as much double as a medical device - especially if you have Skin Lupus, which is a disorder that makes you extremely sensitive to the sun. That’s exactly how Ana from Amevie got started with her eco-friendly bamboo sunglasses business. I connected with Ana to chat all things biz, bamboo, and giving back...


Q: Why did you start the company?

In 2015 after a long winter spent in Southern California I learned that I have Skin Lupus. I soon implemented ways to adapt & protect to still enjoy life in the sun, biking, hiking, sailing... After almost 2 years of research, I launched Amevie, with the goal of creating premium sunglasses that don't cost a fortune and with a minimal environmental impact. This is just the beginning of our journey, and eventually we want to launch natural sunscreens and UVA/UVB blocking clothing.

Q: Why is bamboo your choice of materials?

Bamboo is the world's super-plant. Actually it is a grass, it grows really fast and it sprouts again where you cut it. This makes it an incredible environmentally friendly resource as opposed to exotic woods that are endangered plant species. It also has hardwood like properties (did you know that you can buy bamboo flooring?!) and it is the perfect material to cut into sunglasses because of its durability.

Q: Can you tell us more about the charity that you work with?

We are proud supporters of Seva Canada, an international charity with i's Canadian headquarters in Vancouver. They are on a mission of eradicating blindness around the world, and they do so by providing medical training, cataract surgeries and prescription eyeglasses. I can not imagine children being robbed of their childhood because they can't see, so I decided that for each pair of sunglasses sold to donate to Seva Canada directly to their children program. Thus a child in need receives a pair of prescription glasses for each pair of Amevie sunglasses sold.

Q: Do you have any tips for consumers when it comes to shopping (for accessories) and how we might make more mindful choices?

Let's be honest, none of us really need more stuff, more fashion items or accessories. Make your next purchase intentional, ask questions of where it is made, how is it made, what is it made from?  Purchase a product that will last longer that is not trendy, but rather classic (so it never goes out of fashion!)

Q: What does "retail therapy" mean to you?

I love going to small local boutiques to meet the makers and hear their stories. It is a different kind of window shopping where I am more engaged with the product, with the activity, and in return I get my retail therapy :)

You can shop for your own pair of eco-friendly bamboo sunglasses at the upcoming Retail Therapy event - grab your tickets here.

Kiki Athanas