Positive Luxury Meets… Karmoie

Eyewear company Karmoie is the latest accessories brand to receive Positive Luxury’s Butterfly Mark. 

The brand aims to create beautiful, uncompromising eyewear whilst also contributing in a committed and conscientious way towards a better future.

For every pair of frames sold, a pair of corrective glasses is given to a person in need.

For co-founders Kirsten and Lars Iversen, the brand is a place to explore their shared desire to combine the world of fashion with something more meaningful.

We caught up with Kirsten to learn more.

Kirsten and Lars of glasses brand Karmoie

Kirsten and Lars

Tell us about your Eyejusters project.

For each pair of Karmoie frames sold we donate a pair of Eyejusters to a person in need. Eyejusters are adjustable glasses that are easily adaptable to each user’s needs.

We’ve chosen to partner with Eyejusters because of their innovative approach to solving a global problem. The system requires a very little amount of training to learn how to test and dispense glasses, meaning that anyone who wants to contribute can join in and make a difference.

This allows us to reach very remote areas, such as rural villages in South Sudan, and sparsely populated islands in the Pacific. We partner with reliable non-profit organizations, and when we can we participate as volunteers on various projects.

We provide the frames and the material they need to perform the vision test. It’s a wonderful thing to experience first hand how well the Eyejusters work and the difference they’re making within communities. Donating Eyejusters is more expensive than donating readers, but it’s worth supporting such a great innovation.

How do you think sustainability and design can influence each other?

Good design lasts longer and allows us to buy fewer, better things. That in itself is a more sustainable choice than having to constantly replace our possessions. Also, I find that people are more willing to pay a fair price for something they know they will enjoy for a long time, allowing manufacturers to make better choices for people and the planet.

Making more conscious purchases and spending a bit more also encourages us take better care of our belongings, resulting in less possessions going to landfill. 

Then there is the fascinating field of social design. Though we do not ourselves create the wonderful innovations such as Eyejusters, we are proud to support those who do by buying their products.

How do you think the fashion industry can influence consumer demand for sustainable and ethical production?

We believe in giving the consumers more credit for caring. Making information about manufacturing practices and charitable contributions more easily available would encourage people to make positive purchasing decisions. However this information needs to be clear and concise.

A seal of approval such as Positive Luxury’s Butterfly Mark makes the right choices easier to distinguish and is an important step in the right direction.

What is your vision as you take the brand forward?

Our goal is to build a solid and respectable eyewear brand that stays true to our integrity and our personalities. We want to prove that a brand doesn’t have to be just one thing – we don’t like to condense our concept into an elevator pitch. Our concept is about integrity, it is multifaceted, and we intend to keep it that way.

What is your greatest achievement?

Our donations. We are passionate about good design and are proud of our collection, but our heart and soul is our donation program. Privilege and luxury without generosity and compassion feels empty.

The words “sustainable” and “ethical” are often used as marketing tools, rather than being asserted as essential elements of business. Do you see this attitude changing?

“Sustainable” and “ethical” should not be optional. There are an increasing number of brands making an effort to change their business practices, but this will be a long road for the international business community as a whole. 

Skimping on sustainability and ethics is cheap, and cheap is too often mistaken for frugality. We need to reconsider how we view value and cost.

Until a more responsible business practice is the norm, I think those who follow them should promote these concepts by informing conscious consumers and encouraging them to use their power. This will be a long journey, but we are hopeful that we are on the right track and truly feel we are a constructive part of this movement.

Describe Karmoie in three words.

Integrity, design, joy.

To find out more about why Karmoie have been awarded the Butterfly Mark, click here

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