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Making Fashion Sustainable: Customizable Sunglasses from Recycled Paper with Paper Shades

November 30th, 2016 05:09 PM
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INTERVIEW

with James Chu
Co-Founder of Paper Shades

James Chu

 

"Paper Shades makes fast fashion more sustainable whilst at the same time giving the industry more space to be creative and much more reactive to trends. And since now you can be more creative in designing sunglasses, the design element has become more fun too."

 

2018 UPDATE

Super excited that James is launching a crowdfunding campaign for his Paper Shades 2018 Collection on SparkRaise! The new collection will feature an updated and improved design and six new styles.
Ultra minimal. Eco chic. Biodegradeable.
Great for your next holiday, event, night out or festival!

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT A PAIR


 

 

How did you come up with your brand? 

Madi and I wanted to do something fun and fresh, and more importantly relevant. We decided to produce sunglasses made from paper and naturally the name had to be Paper Shades.

 

Can you tell us more about the sunglasses that you make?

They're eco friendly, made from recycled paper, tough, durable and designed to last a good season. So right on trend for fast fashion without needing to feel guilty about harming the environment.

We have designed a variety of styles to suit all kinds of faces, and crafted our designs to suit any fun scenario whether you are heading to the beach, a festival, or just to town.

paper shades

 

What inspired your team to start this brand?

James: "I've been working in design for over 10 years now, spending quite a bit of time in product development and production. It was never pleasant watching how much waste is created in the process and I wanted to make products which were more sustainable and had more sustainable business models."

"Paper Shades makes fast fashion more sustainable whilst at the same time giving the industry more space to be creative and much more reactive to trends. And since now you can be more creative in designing sunglasses, the design element has become more fun too."

Madi: "I'm not a designer, I'm a fitness and health enthusiast. I was inspired by my brother's knowledge to turn a simple idea as a drawing into a functional sustainable product, which always had a story. Before Paper Shades, I watched us both struggle with the challenges of being a one-man show with our previous start-ups and it became clear that we both needed the expertise of each other and here we are, making eco-friendly sunglasses! Friends have constantly lost their expensive sunglasses at events and Papershades allows them to look cool, be protected and party on without worry." 

 

What are the key features of your sunglasses?

Our shades are available in 6 unique designs and in 2 sizes - not to mention, the sunglasses can be used as a promotional product with branding and logo design. 

The lenses provide UV400 protection, and the frames/arms are made from recycled paper. The entire product can easily be broken down into its separate elements for full recycling.

 

How are we going to buy your sunglasses?

At current, we are in the process of launching our world wide e-commerce website www.papershades.net. We ensure our product and its packaging provide a smooth delivery process, being light, slim fit and mailbox appropriate. However, at this moment, if you follow us on social media PAPER SHADES, you will see where we are promoting our brand throughout Hong Kong. 

 

What is the single biggest challenge that your team is facing so far? 

Quality control... We are dealing with a very unique product here and so its everyone's first time in production, getting our cutting angles can be hit and miss. The attention to detail is so important, you need your product to stay consistent in the quality of the design, the cutting and the packaging. If you get this right in the early stages, you will find a solution to every fault and problem you have. 

 

What advice will you give to people who also have creative ideas like yourself but do not know how to turn it into a business?

Do your research and be thoroughly prepared for working out of your comfort zone. If you're on a tight budget and outsourcing little jobs isn't an option, then be ready to try something you've never done before; having solid background knowledge about the area you want to embark on is a must (if its just an idea without passion and no previous knowledge, avoid at all costs). Don't be afraid to ask for help, but remember to respectfully give back. Have a good heart, do it because you have a dying reason to do so (and that reason should not be money).

 

Paper Shades

We produce ready to wear shades made from recycled paper in any design, shape or form. Paper Shades are known as the handiest customizable sunglasses - light, eco-friendly, and disposable. UV 400 and funky designs are incorporated in each product. 

 

 

INTERESTS

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Fashion

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Environment