There will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050, according to predictions, so recycling discarded plastic fishing nets into sunglasses is one solution.

One way to help rid the world’s oceans of plastic pollution is by turning it into sunglasses. Every year, the amount of discarded fishing nets and gear littering them grows by 640,000 tons. Following its heritage of being “born on the water,” Costa is doing its part with this year’s launch of the Untangled Collection, a limited edition of four sunglass styles with frames made of recycled fishing nets.

The “Untangled Collection” is made by joining forces with Bureo, a company working together with fishing communities to recycle discarded fishing nets into all kinds of quality products, and now transforming nylon pellets recycled from fishing nets into a collection of Costa’s premium sunglasses. “Fishing nets are collected from the coast of Chile and recycled into ‘fishnet formula’ pellets. The pellets are then formed into Costa sunglass frames,” explained Costa’s product vice president, John Sanchez.

“The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive from associates and customers. We just sold one of the Untangled Collection to a gentleman who owns a marina nearby,” said Jamie Troster, owner and licensed optician of Eyes on First Avenue, located in the New Jersey shore community of Atlantic Highlands. “We live in a fishing area, and people love the fact that Costa is giving back by working with organizations that protect the water.”

Collaborating with fishing communities on the Spanish coast of Catalonia, Sea2See Eyewear placed hundreds of containers at 22 ports to collect plastic waste that is then converted into sunglasses. “Every three days, we collect one ton of plastic that is then classified, washed, cut and turned into pellets for injection,” said François van den Abeele, founder and CEO of Sea2See Eyewear of Barcelona. The company was the 2017 Spanish Winner of the Chivas Venture, which gives away $1million every year to the most promising social startups from around the world.The company focuses on recycling lost, abandoned or dumped plastic fishing nets, which comprise 10% of the total plastic contamination in the ocean, according to van den Abeele. “Abandoned fishing nets represent one of the biggest sources of contamination. These drifting nets entangle and kill millions of animals, creating islands of waste and taking up to 500 years to disintegrate.”Sea2See has collaborated with the Estée Lauder La Mer brand and has U.S. distribution through stores in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and California.In addition, “We’re also committed to providing entire communities of fisherman with free eyewear every year,” van den Abeele said. “Together we’re making the ocean a better place”

About the Untangled Collection, Troster predicted, “It’s going to be huge,” and not just for oceanfront communities but everywhere “as people are becoming more socially conscious about the water. It couldn’t have come at a better time as people everywhere are switching from plastic bags to reusable totes,” she told VCPN. Of course, having an optical shop located near the water only adds to the sunwear’s appeal. “Living by the ocean, everybody has become more aware. A lot of towns and restaurants have eliminated plastic straws or started using paper straws,” she said.

Eyes on First Avenue even gets the word out about the availability of Costa’s Untangled Collection by advertising on a ferry boat that runs through the area, in addition to the more traditional newspaper ads and Facebook and Instagram posts.

The new collection also includes several features to reduce possible waste from the packaging of the frames. All frame styles in the 2018 Limited Edition Untangled Collection will be offered exclusively with Costa’s premium polarized glass lenses, a case made from recycled water bottles and upcycled garments, and 100% recycled paper packaging. In an effort to make this collection as environmentally responsible as possible, the product will not include any plastic lens stickers. All styles are Rxable.

In addition, the Untangled Collection incorporates responsible materials designed with a complete end-of-life solution, making them eco-friendly even when they are no longer in service to the wearer. Customers will be able to ship their sunglasses via PLUSFoam (which provided recyclable rubber for the collection’s nosepads and temple tips) to be recycled at the end of the product’s life. (Learn more at

“We have always looked to be as sustainable as possible in our operations at Costa, including our ongoing Kick Plastic initiative that encourages our communities to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic,” said Holly Rush, CEO, Costa. “We also know discarded fishing nets are a huge problem in our oceans, with an estimated 640,000 tons of netting being tossed into the sea a year. By partnering with Bureo, who is helping us turn discarded nets into premium frames combined with our superior lens technology, we have an innovative and unique opportunity to directly protect our watery world through our product itself.”

A large fit frame, the Pescador offers a squared wayfarer shape for a classic sunglass look, with textured detailing on the lower lens rim, outer temples and interior rubber temple grips. Additionally, this frame comes with an optional side shield stainless steel and canvas attachment that can be purchased with the frame or separately (both styles feature exclusive colorways). Lens and rubber temple grip accent colors for the Pescador without the side shield included are gray, copper or green mirror lenses all with black rubber temple grips, and a blue mirror lens with sky blue rubber temple grips. The Pescador with side shields included is offered in a copper silver mirror lens with black rubber temple grips, and a blue mirror lens with sky blue rubber temple grips.

The medium fit Caldera features a cat eye wayfarer shape and, like the Pescador and Baffin, offers textured detailing on the outer temples and interior rubber temple grips. Lens and rubber temple grip accent colors include copper or copper silver mirror lenses with black rubber temple grips, and gray or blue mirror lenses with sky blue rubber temple grips.

The smaller fit Victoria offers a feminine, rounded cat eye with textured detailing on the lower lens rim, exterior temples and interior rubber temple grips. Lens and rubber temple grip accent colors for this frame include copper or copper silver mirror lenses with black rubber temple grips, and gray or blue mirror lenses with sky blue rubber temple grips.


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