Good Citizens

  • 2020

  • Fashion

Designed By:

  • Vert Design
  • In conjunction with Good Citizens

Commissioned By:

Good Citizens

Nik Robinson

Designed In:


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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Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Andy Lewis
Image: Ingvar Kenne
  • 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 100% recycled PET (except the lenses) with no added virgin material and no metal hinges. They had to be modular to be fixable and mixable. The design had to address how rPET behaves in the moulds to achieve a premium finish, eliminate post-finishing processes and allow manufacturing at scale. The supply chain had to be Australian to ensure ethical production.

  • The sunglasses are designed to be injection moulded, require no post-finishing and can be assembled in seconds, all of which allows for scale. We have re-engineered the typical hinge and screw system by creating a proprietary shim hinge also 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 tools and they can be customised to mix colours and styles, extending their lifespan. The shim hinge is a visual, brand identifier. Supply chain is Australian for transparency.

  • 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 sustainable 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.

  • Good Citizens began because our children (9 & 7) were concerned about the plastic waste issue and challenged us to help solve the problem. Our children are heavily involved, bringing a wonderful innocence and determination to our business. It's important that we actually make a difference. Using rPET has not been easy. It's challenged and pushed everyone to breaking point. It’s taken 18 months and 30 tool changes to perfect the intricacies of using rPET. The hardest part has been sticking to 100% recycled. Adding virgin plastic would have solved many issues. Our sunglasses are made in Sydney so we have visibility and control of the process end to end. We are set up to scale. The more we sell, the more impact on the planet and in changing social behaviour, however, it is our consumer reach that is so impactful. Our product starts a conversation and people are prompted to think about the single-use plastic issue. In addition, the media coverage we have secured to date has reached millions in Australia and around the world. And we've only just begun. We hope to inspire others in the fashion industry and beyond to use recycled materials in their product design.