Good Citizens

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  • 2020

  • Product
    Housewares and Objects

Designed By:

  • Vert Design
  • In conjunction with Good Citizens

Commissioned By:

Good Citizens

Designed In:

Australia

Each pair of sunglasses is made from one post-consumer, 600ml plastic soft drink bottle. These modular sunglasses are 100% recycled and recyclable. They are fixable and mixable. Every customer receives a citizen number and for every pair sold, Good Citizens pulls a kilo of plastic waste from the ocean.


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Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis
  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • To turn trash into good. The world is drowning in plastic waste and one of the biggest problems is single-use plastic bottles. The brief was to make a pair of sunglasses out of a 600ml bottle. They had to be made from 100% recycled PET (except the lenses) with no added virgin material and no metal in the hinges. They had to be modular to be fixable and mixable. rPET behaves differently to virgin plastic, so the design had to address flow into the moulds to achieve a premium finish, eliminate post-finishing processes and allow manufacturing at scale.

  • The sunglasses are designed to be injection moulded, require no post-finishing and can be assembled in 10 seconds, all of which allows for scale. We have re-engineered the typical hinge and screw system by creating a proprietary shim hinge that can also be made from 100% rPET. This shim hinge is the basis of the modular system that allows the frame and arms to clip together and to be interchangeable. Each part is easily replaceable without the use of tools and they be customised to mix colours and styles, extending their lifespan. The shim hinge is a visual, brand identifier.

  • Our sunglasses are made from the plastic of discarded bottles so it makes people think twice about buying single-use bottles. We take bottles before they reach the ocean or landfill and for every pair we sell, we remove a kilo of plastic waste from the ocean. Customers become good citizens, are issued citizen numbers and spread the eco-message through wearing their glasses. We have shown that rPET can be used for more than just packaging. rPET uses less energy than virgin plastic and uses no new resources. Injection moulding means we can scale easily and there is less waste.

  • Using rPET has not been easy. We have challenged everything designers and manufacturers understand about rPET and we have pushed the material to its limits. rPET is typically used for packaging so we have had to experiment every step of the way. It’s taken 18 months and 30 design changes to our tools to perfect the intricacies of the design using rPET. Without a doubt, the hardest part has been sticking to 100% recycled. All our problems would have eased had we added virgin plastic. Our manufacturing and supply chain is based in Australia so we have visibility of the process end to end. We are set up to scale. Instead of the typical 100 hours to make a pair of glasses, we can mould a pair of arms, two clips and a front in 90 seconds and trim, assemble and fit lenses in another 90 seconds. We've created a universal size with the plastic allowing for easy adjustments to suit your face; we call it 'happy fit'. We hope to inspire others to use recycled materials in their product design. The more we sell, the more impact we will have on both the planet and in changing behaviour.