Courtesy of Costa Sunglasses

Made in the (recycled) shade

By Mary Tomlinson

Discarded fishing nets and gear make up ten percent of the ocean’s pollution and are four times more harmful than all other forms of ocean plastic pollution combined. Unfortunately, the number grows by over half a million tons each year—yikes! But two ocean conservation-minded companies are turning that harmful waste into a cool summertime staple: sunglasses.

Costa, a Florida-based sunglasses company with a Kick Plastic campaign to reduce oceanic plastic pollution, has partnered with Bureo’s fishing net recycling program to make 100% recycled shades called “The Untangled Collection.”

“Healthy oceans have always been a crucial part of our core mission at Costa,” Holly Rush, CEO, Costa Sunglasses, says in a press release. “The Untangled Collection is helping to raise awareness and provide a solution to keep discarded fishing nets from being lost in our oceans each year.”

Related: Meet Our Ocean Heros

Bureo’s Net+Positiva recycling program, which the California-based company started in 2013, collects retired fishing nets from fishing communities in Chile (they’ve collected 220,000 pounds of netting to date). The used nets are then washed, shredded, and turned into small pellets that are used to make new products. In addition to the Costa sunglasses partnership, Bureo has produced other surfer-cool items such as skateboards and Frisbees.

The end result of this coastal collaboration? Four pairs of shades with 100% UV protection and polarization in four styles, from the classic Baffin frame to the cat eye-reminiscent Victoria shades.

From top to bottom: Baffin, Pescador, Victoria, and Caldera frames
Courtesy of Costa

The Untangled Collection is available on Costa’s website and at a number of national retailers (click here to find a dealer locator). Prices range from $199 to $269. We definitely can see ourselves donning a pair on the beach this summer—because ocean conservation looks good on everyone.