It was back in 2011 when I accidentally broke my pair of shades. It happened before I knew it. I heard the "snap" of the lens that popped out. That was the only damage with an actual sound effect. But there certainly was more damage. Upon closer inspection I realized that it was probably a clear case of "total loss".
So what exactly had happened? Well, I ran back to my car after grocery shopping. The sunglasses slipped off and I stepped on one of the temples. It seemed like it happened in slow motion, and while it happened I knew exactly what was happening. So I even corrected my movement and held back. So, it was nog my entire weight on my shades.
But still... "snap"!
Sunglasses designed to last
Things break. I get it. And normally I would not mind too much. But these were sunglasses I paid 160 Euros for not too long ago. So, yes, things break. But right then and there I realized that this 160 Euro product was definitely not designed to last. It seemed to be designed to be replaced.
I was back in my car, and drove 20 minutes to the store where I had bought them. But in the store they confirmed that they were beyond repair (and warrantly for that matter). So In needed new ones. The thought of spending another 160 or more on yet another one cheaply made product made me cringe.
600 Euro designer sunglasses
In the store I saw other models, some even up to 600.- Euros. Upon closer inspection I noticed that these (even more) expensive models were not designed or built differently from the ones I just broke. They didn't feel more durable or special from a material or design point of view.
I decided not to buy a new pair then and there. I went home and thought about my next move. And I had a crazy plan in mind...
How to make sunglasses... and can be improved
That weekend I took my broken pair apart. I looked at the different parts and how they were made. I looked at the design and the weak spots in that design. How they were put together. I saw opportunities how they could be improved.
I have always been quite good at wood crafting, and remade the different parts from wood. I used the new wooden parts and some of the materials I took from my broken pair (most importly the polarized lenses) and meticulously crafted my own natural looking, wooden creation. They looked extremely cool and unique. And it was not just me who thought they looked cool; also other people loved the look of them and asked if I could make them a pair.
Replacement for plastic products
That feeling of excitement! Not necessarily because of money saved, but because I saw the opportunities to craft products from materials that were different from the plastic and metal you saw (and see) everywhere. You have to know that back then I didn't realize the incredible global threat that plastic would pose on our planet. That realization came years later. But I did know that it was something unique at that time.
BEINGBAR, how it all started to make sunglasses
So that is how it all started. The shades we now make are still all hand made (just not all by me!). They are made with wooden parts and we added models made with bamboo. Some of the models are made with metal parts and others have durable plastic parts or are made from ecotate™, our very own eco acetate. We decide on the materials of the parts based on look and durability. Because what is equally important to materials used, is that our sunglasses are designed and built to last. Not to be replaced anytime soon. So any materials we use will not end up in a landfill anytime soon.
Premium features for affordable prices
For example, we use flex hinges, that make the legs bend and flex when they need to. This prevents the hinges and temples from breaking easily. These sunglasses are also ultra light weight. Our lightest model weighs only 22 grams. When you wear them you'll immediately notice just how comfortable they feel, on your nose and ears. The lenses are polarized, which means they are comfortable during many different activities, like driving during the day, outdoor sports, hiking etc. So you only need one pair, for all different activities .
Coolest looking sunglasses, just better!
So this is the story why I decided to craft my own sunglasses and how BEINGBAR came to be. A cool little origin story, that explains how different we are in our approach. We think about how things can be better. Better for you and for the environment. We live by the principle that if you do things, you better do them right. And do something different.
More about high quality Eyewear?
Are you interested in browsing through the current BEINGBAR range? Almost everyone of our newest models have polarized lenses. That's a premium feature without the premium price. All BEINGBAR shades have the flex hinges and the hidden BEINGBAR message in their design. Click here to see more. And if you're not interested in buying your shades, we recently launched our ultra flexible Sunglasses Subscription service. You can have premium sunglasses for the price of a cup of coffee per month!