The sunglasses shining a light on a huge problem

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Plastic contaminating our waters and the dire need for increased environmental and wildlife protection has hit centre stage of late. The grim statistics show that 8 million tonnes of plastic, including harmful fishing nets, end up in our oceans every year. Frightening stuff! Fortunately, more and more people and companies are getting onboard and deriving awesome ideas to tackle these issues head-on.

One such initiative is shining a light (so bright you’ll need shades) on the northern Great Barrier Reef. VisionDirect has partnered with wildlife conservation organisation, WWF-Australia, to upcycle 100 percent of the commercial gill nets that have been removed from the region. The result is ReefCycle – sustainable, chic sunglasses rescuing the ocean and protecting our eyes. The latest must-have fashion accessory with a purpose? Indeed!

Dermot O’Gorman, CEO WWF Australia says: “What a story behind these sunglasses – plastic once used to kill marine life becomes a product to protect your eyes. They are ideal for people who value saving wildlife, sustainability and creative reuse. If unwanted nets are upcycled, instead of dumped, we can reduce the pollution choking our wildlife.”

Each year an estimated 98,228 marine animals, including dolphins, dugongs and turtles, are caught in commercial gill nets on Queensland’s east coast. Last year, WWF-Australia supporters bought and removed the last full-time commercial gill net from the northern Great Barrier Reef.

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Now, the goal is to sell 1,000 pairs of sunglasses made from the net, and with 50 percent of all proceeds going back to WWF-Australia for conservation work, this means that every pair purchased helps to remove even more plastic from our oceans.

VisionDirect CEO David Menning said that upcycling old nets is another way to give back to the community and unlock “a circular economy in eyewear”.

“We’re benefiting the environment by taking discarded materials that damage wildlife and creating something sustainable and worthwhile,” he says.

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ReefCycle sunglasses come in two different lens colours and can be polarised or non-polarised. They will cost $89 for regular, $139 for polarised, and a prescription option will be available.

As an exclusive pre-sale offer, the first 1,000 pairs will be personalised with a marine animal of your choice (dugong, turtle, dolphin, hammerhead, swordfish).

Remember: the more sunglasses sold the more plastic that can be removed from the ocean.

Pre-order your pair here.

A new initiative is shining a light (so bright you’ll need shades) on a huge problem in our waters at the northern Great Barrier Reef. But thankfully, a According to the CEO of wildlife conservation organisation WWF-Australia, Dermot O’Gorman, a shocking 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, including harmful fishing nets. offering a ‘shady’ solution.