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To achieve sustainability we need to start using what’s already here. Knowing that about 80% of all jeans end up in landfills, Patagonian eyewear brand Karün decided to turn loss into gain.

We speak a lot about the importance of closing the loop and using what’s already here. So when hearing about brands that have adopted this way of thinking, we get excitement. Patagonian eyewear maker Karün is one such brand, producing locally from recycled or natural materials only. Their philosophy is this: If you really want to improve something, you need to change how it’s made and rethink the purpose of what you’re doing.

Karün recently released a new eyewear line called The Clothing Collection, with high quality eyewear made from 75 % recycled jeans and 25 % bio resin. Did you know that today, about 2-3 billion pairs of jeans are produced globally every year, and an estimated 80 % of these end up in landfills. Add to that all the leftover raw material from production in the form of cutting clips and spinning waste, and you’ll have an insane amount of good, reusable cotton textile wasted.

“If you really want to improve something, you need to change how it’s made and rethink the purpose of what you’re doing”

Cotton farming is already a huge threat to the environment since the extensive water use causes global fresh water crises, and the farmlands occupy huge land areas (now about the size of Turkey). Not making proper use of this over-produced, environmentally high-cost material is just insane, especially since cotton fibers are said to be one of the easiest to recycle. This is of coarse a reason why fashion is one of the most contaminating industries in the world.

The choices we make as consumers have a huge effect on the environment too. Exactly how much depends on everything from how we care for and wash our garments, to what we do with them after we’ve stopped using them, which would be: a) sell, b) give away or c) recycle. We need to realize that clothes can and should never be regarded as mere waste and treated as trash—they’re of absolutely no use when piled up or burned.

For The Clothing Collection, Karün sourced their jeans in the South of Chile through the Joaquín de los Andes Corporation, and together with their partner Balloon Latam they’ve proven one way of making use for this harmful “waste”. At the same time, they’ve also provided income for local rural entrepreneurs in Patagonia, giving them a chance to upscale their sustainable businesses. All in all, these kinds of initiatives show there’s a win in it for everyone.

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