BALLO SUNGLASSES WILL MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH WOOD
BALLO SUNGLASSES, https://www.ballo.co.za/
At the core of every pair of Ballo sunglasses is a combination of recycled paper and off-cut timber laminated together with bio-resin. Every pair of their wooden frames is made by hand. The frames come with 100% polarised lenses or CR39 UV400 revo mirror lenses for enhanced glare reduction and superior eye protection. All made with love in South Africa. Founder Alistair Barnes is committed to sustainability.
- Tell us about yourself. What are your fashion creds?
I hate fashion. My fashion creds are that I’ve been obsessed with textures and patterns from a young age and have never liked much that I see in the shops, especially when you buy something and wear it twice then it unravels. I am just frustrated with fast fashion and try to make clothes with simple designs and strong fabrics. Form follows function and I build garments to last.
- Why did you decide to start Ballo and how are the glasses produced, what materials are being used?
I didn’t like the way big businesses were run – especially the monopoly that exists in the worldwide sunglass market. At Ballo, we use old machinery and 23 different processes all done by hand to make the glasses – hard materials in frames are all upcycled or recycled (timber offcuts, recycled paper, fabric offcuts), laminated together with bio-resin, lenses are polarised and spring hinges fitted. I like the fact that to make more sunglasses I have to employ more people.
- Why is sustainability so important to you?
I grew up in nature on a farm in the Drakensberg Mountains in the middle of South Africa. Being in touch with nature gives me energy and makes me feel connected and refreshed. All I see around me is humans draining the planet dry and I have chosen to try make the best lifestyle and business decisions to respect and save our planet.
- What’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned as an entrepreneur in the fashion industry?
You can’t think outside the box when you’re in the box. So get out.
- Describe your personal style. Who are your style icons and why?
Sustainable Gangster. Yoda – comfort and function are key.
- What’s always in your fridge?
Zucchini, broccoli, parmesan, carrots, hummus.
- What three things can’t you live without?
Meditation, swims in the sea, and dancing.