“We are on a journey to change the environmental and social impact of sunglasses.” -Panda
Imagine it's the first day of sunshine for the year, it's hot, it's bright, you need your sunnies. You slide them out of their sustainable bamboo case, and pop those lightweight frames onto the bridge of your nose. At the same time, a small child in a far off place is getting ready for school. They wake up to blurry vision and reach for the prescription glasses they were given because you purchased the pair of Panda sunglasses that are shading your corneas. And thus, the mission of Panda comes to life.
Panda sunglasses are handcrafted using bamboo, that is not only lightweight, but sustainable. Every pair is equipped with TAC polarized lenses, and automatically have a lifetime warranty. They are also water resistant and float in water! How many times have you shied away from taking your fave shades boating or kayaking in case they fall in and sink? Problem solved!
Why is bamboo so sustainable, you may wonder?
When you feast your eyes on those hardy stalks, you may well assume that bamboo is in the tree family. But you know what happens when you assume right? Sometimes you get it wrong. Bamboo is actually a really tall, really strong grass. And much like grass, it grows real fast. Some bamboo can actually grow several feet in one day, making it potentially the fastest growing plant on Earth. Compared to trees, that is like light-speed growth! Again unlike trees, once bamboo is cut, it actually regenerates itself and grows new stalks right from the same root structure. It is currently toted as the most durable hardwood, even compared to the strength of some varieties of steel. It also doesn't swell or shrink, issues that many other hardwoods present. Plus, it is gorgeous in texture, color, and natural grain. These facts mean that bamboo is an extremely durable, renewable resource for a number of industries. These properties have contributed to the recent increase in use of bamboo in the Western world in things like housing, furniture, and fashion.
Along with being chic and sustainable, Panda styles are a socially responsible choice of accessory. With your purchase you are also supporting a free eye exam and a pair of prescription eyeglasses for someone in need. Panda partners with Optometry Giving Sight, a non-profit organization that aims to provide proper sight and vision care to those who are without the means to find it. They work with optometrists to provide local education and training for countries in need of more skilled eye care professionals, they establish sustainable Vision Centres in impoverished parts of the world, and work to provide eye exams and affordable glasses to as many of the over 600 million people in the world living with uncorrected refractive error.
Panda has broadened both their product line and their social impact to include a beautifully crafted watch as well. Bamboo is used to construct the face, the band is a flexible strip of light, Portuguese cork, and the tick-tock of the hands is powered by a Swiss Movement internal mechanism. The cork was chosen as it too is a sustainably harvested, water-resistant, and durable material. The strap is designed to be adjustable for all wrist sizes and the watch is suitable in size and style for both men and women.
With this purchase, Panda contributes enough to support 100 days of education to a child who otherwise would not have access to this fundamental necessity. Their partner Pencils of Promise believes that “...every child should have access to quality education. [They] create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.” Panda shares in this belief and continues to work with them to change lives through the gift of sustainable education in hopes of breaking the perpetual cycle of poverty and stagnant economic growth experienced by some of our most deprived communities.
Thrive has carried Panda styles since the summer of 2014. Currently available are their Nelson sunglasses and coming back by popular demand will be the Warhol and Munroe styles as well. Visit our online shop or come and see us in store so your summer statement piece can herald the same values that Panda puts into their design and production: ETHICAL * SUSTAINABLE * HANDMADE.
Shop for your pair online today, click your fav's below!