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Cork Independent

So Last Season

What we can ex-specs this summer!

Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 3:20pm

So we entered Phase 1 of re-opening this week, and while it hasn’t made much difference to me personally, it is nice to see the beginnings of a return to normality or a new type of normality as the case may be.

Fashion and fashion retail is still very much in the later stages of reopening so I’m still at home making the most of my enforced career break. One thing I’ve been looking at the last few days are sunglasses and glasses frames and there are two really interesting businesses that I’ve spotted.

The first is an online eyewear business developed by three Cork sisters which launched in February, and by cutting out the middle-man, you can get stylish frames for a fraction of the price. It’s all done online so it’s really perfect for people who are not comfortable yet with leaving their homes but need new glasses. You can get prescription eyewear delivered straight to your home in a matter of days which sounds ideal.

All you need to do is email a prescription dated within the last two years and Espy and Iris will take care of the rest. The most difficult part is choosing the frame as they have an impressive collection of styles, sizes and colours. All of the prescription eyewear starts at €60 with blue blocking light lenses an extra €25.

I have blue blocking lenses on my own glasses, and with all the screen time we get on average every day, I have to say it’s well worth getting. This is also an optician-led service so professional help and advice is guaranteed.

I’m also a major fan of sunglasses so I was really interested to see another Irish business, Crann, introducing the Tra Collection of eco-friendly sunglasses. With names like Inchydoney, Lahinch and Curracloe, it immediately reminded me of fun holidays with family and friends around the beaches of Ireland and also made me excited for the day when we can staycation. I for one have about a million trips planned in Ireland once it’s safe to do so but enough daydreaming about holidays!

These sunglasses are made with 100 per cent recycled and sustainable materials, and not only that, they have partnered with the National Woodland Trust with €2 from the product going to the charity. Eoin, from Co. Meath, started Crann in 2018 and wanted to introduce eco-friendly products to the Irish consumer. Eoin believes that by upcycling and recycling materials into products, he can play his role in the clean-up and reduction of waste pollution in the world.

“We take stainless steel, PE plastic and wood that would have ended up in a landfill or the ocean. We break them down to workable materials and turn this waste into beautiful, handcrafted, fashionable sunglasses and watches,” he said.

The company also work closely with several ethical manufacturers in south east Asia to ensure the Crann supply chain is safe, employees are paid fairly work equal hours and provide equal working opportunities. In the current climate, these are the types of things we need to see happening in the fashion industry. Who doesn’t want to buy something stylish but which also has an environmentally conscious message?

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