Future 50: Coral Eyewear launch to support Marine Conservation Society

Model on beach wearing Coral Eyewear's Blue Sunglasses

Coral Eyewear's sustainable Blue Sunglasses will raise money for the Marine Conservation Society - Credit: Coral Eyewear

Ahead of World Oceans Day on June  8, Future 50 member Coral Eyewear is launching a new line of sunglasses that will directly support the Marine Conservation Society. Every pair of the new Light Blue Sunglasses - based on Coral’s popular Hector design – will raise money for the UK’s leading marine charity. 


The Future 50 programme is supported by the partner businesses - Credit: Archant

Like the brand’s other frames, the new sunglasses are injection-moulded from ECONYL® - pellets of recycled nylon created from regenerated ocean fishing nets and fabric scraps from landfill. This reduces the global-warming impact of nylon by up to 90% when compared with the material from oil.

This is the heart of Coral Eyewear, founded in 2019 by student George Bailey and his father Calvin who had 30 years’ experience in the optical trade. “Dad had been looking for a sustainable eyewear brand, but there was nothing that had the recycled qualities but also had the style, the comfort, and material that could last for a number of years,” explains George.

Entrepreneur George Bailey, a student at UEA

George Bailey founded Coral Eyewear while an undergraduate at UEA - where his studies continue - Credit: Coral Eyewear

“At the same time, I was at UEA and every part of my course had a sustainability or environmental focus... I was learning about plastic waste and then learning about solutions. One module was to have a trial run at doing something to reduce either plastic pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.”

After launching a Kickstarter to fund the development of prototypes, the business took off in 2019 with the help of UEA’s Student Enterprise Service and investment from the University’s ‘Scale It’ programme. George has spent the year working on it full-time on a “year in enterprise” element of his course, which is due to resume in September. 

Coral Eyewear sustainable sunglasses

The Coral range is now stocked by more than 100 opticians and is available online - Credit: Coral Eyewear

The range now has six unique designs and over 30 colour and lens combinations. “We have around 100 opticians stocking our fames,” George explains. "For those who can’t make it to a stockist, our online store allows us to ship sunglasses directly to our customers via a plastic-free, carbon-neutral delivery system.”

For more information, see www.coraleyewear.com

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