Origem, a bamboo sunglasses brand, that was founded in 2017 by three young Portuguese entrepreneurs and which already counts with a universe of over 1000 clients, 18 retail stores, countless participations in lifestyle and ecology events, as well as official representation of the brand in Angola.

We met with one of its founders to understand a little more about their product and their vision for a world without plastic - get to know them.

How did you come up with Origem Brand?

ORIGEM was first founded in 2017 with a single goal: finding a sustainable and viable alternative to substitute plastic in the fashion industry.

Why bamboo sunglasses?

Bamboo is at the center of what we envision as a new order for fashion. It is the fastest growing plant in the world - contrary to other types of wood -, making it a sustainable and renewable solution at scale. Moreover, it is a very versatile material that can be used in a very wide variety of products: just like plastic. For that reason, we believe that bamboo could really be the material for a greener future and we are just getting started!

Sunglasses was our first project for 2 main reasons:

  1. We thought it to be the perfect accessory to introduce bamboo on people's daily routines. More than that, since it is such a visible accessory, sunglasses send a strong fashion statement and say a lot about who we are as consumers. We wanted to start with a product that served as a conversation starter and sunglasses definitely to that job well.
  2. By thinking big and going after such an established industry, we were also looking to defy people's preferences for brands that "have always been there". The eye-wear industry is one of the most well established with big brands completely dominating the market. Much more than other realms of fashion - and mostly because sunglasses take care of your eyes - people associate quality with price and brand recognition much more than any other characteristic. In turn, big brands use this to charge the consumer very high premiums for plastic sunglasses that cost a fraction of ours to produce. For that reason, by going after many of these myths and providing a very high quality, competitive and sustainable alternative to normal sunglasses we are hoping to change people's perspectives and encourage a more critical assessment of the brands that we buy from.

Tell us a bit about your mission?

Here at ORIGEM we believe in the power of individual action for structural change. And everyday we work to make that reality come to life. Our sunglasses are a prime example of that since with each pair you are not only saving plastic from hurting our oceans and our planet you are also supporting a fairer and more sustainable future. More, you are planting 5 trees for each pair purchased and you even get to have your name next to one of them so that you can see, touch and even visit the very direct impact of joining us.

This is what we want ORIGEM to look like: a community of like-minded individuals that believe in a future where non-plastic alternatives are the norm rather than the exception.

Any plans to add new lines and or new products?

We are always looking out for new sustainable bamboo products that we can add to our portfolio. And even if they're not our products we are always excited to share new solutions with our community. However, at this moment, we believe that our greatest impact is on focusing to be the best at providing high quality solutions that can disrupt the eye-wear industry and promote a structural shift.

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