CHILDE INTERVIEW with Wanderer Magazine
Intro: When it comes to buying a new pair of sunnies you probably don’t think about the amount of plastic production and waste that goes into creating a pair. CHILDE is an eco-sensitive sunglasses brand for the rebels with a cause, for the people who care about looking cool and owning lifestyle products that make a difference. We had a chat with the ever-cool founder of CHILDE Jon Laurenson about the importance of eco-consciousness of the brand as well as where he finds his inspiration for his designs. We also had the privilege to put together a little shoot… enjoy!
Who are the shady guys behind Childe Co, and how did it all come to be?
I am the founder of CHILDE but here’s a few crew who have helped along the way so far - Jacob Boylan, Mario Belem, Ash Schumann, Tim Okkerse, Vaughan Blakey, Ozzie Wright.
I was previously a co-founder of Electric Visual way back in the year 2000. CHILDE came about while I was living in Portugal a few years ago and Mario Belem inspired me to do what I really wanted to do - create a rock n roll activist fashion brand founded on eco-sensitive eyewear.
CHILDE was developed for the Rock n Rollers of today and by that I mean the rebels with a cause.
Nobody really puts much thought into the synthetic materials and plastics, when it comes to buying sunglasses. As a brand is this something you are super conscious of?
We are for sure but there are many hurdles and limitations with eyewear.
Mainly because Eyewear is super limited to what eco-sensitive materials and resources are available to work with right now. The science in eyewear frame materials is a little slow to react to the “eco-consciousness” I feel.
We currently make our sunglasses from two of the only “green” biomaterials available for our sunglass frames -
1. Mazzucchelli M49 Bio-Acetate which is made from cotton and wood pulp with organic compounds binding the materials to create the acetate. These frames are 100% biodegradable under certain conditions.
2. Plant-Based Grilamid BTR 600 which is a plant-based polymer. This plastic is based on 58% renewable resources and castor oil as opposed to petrochemicals. The big advantage here is way fewer carbon emissions than petroleum-based plastics.
By all means, these materials are not perfect but they are the best we can find to work with right now and you’ve gotta start your best intentions somewhere right. We are doing the best we can with what is available
As the brand evolves I really want to explore and push the possibilities and evolution of environmentally conscious materials for eyewear manufacturing and not just for our brand but for the entire eyewear industry cause at the moment its very old school and rigid in its material options.
Your sunglasses are both unique with a retro flair, what inspires your designs?
Inspiration comes from the rock’n’rollers past and present. The design also needs to be functional fashion so our eyewear is comfortable and ready to wear with the supreme fit.
How would you describe a wearer of Childe?
The rebels with a cause - the Rock n Rollers of today. Your local humble innovator who aims to make a difference and loves live music, appreciates stylish eyewear that enhances your persona and is environmentally conscious. The CHILDE community is built on punk sensibility fueled by design expressions of raw energy, freedom of speech, powerful brand values and environmental sensitivity. CHILDE is for those who define youth culture and seek quality lifestyle products that identify with their persona and attitude.
You guys seem to be involved in the music industry, does this scene influence your brand?
Absolutely. Rock n Roll fashion is especially entrenched in cool wild outgoing sunglasses.
We aim to support the amazing emerging Australian Rock n Roll garage band scene through our brand
When the sunglasses are set aside, what would Childe be working on?
We are always working on sunglasses but at the moment we are trying to build a brand and get recognised so we are getting involved with lots of events and bands and music to get the brand name and product into the market and on our customer's eyes :)
We are also working on how we can contribute to positive mental health and healthy ocean initiatives by supporting and creating events. And of course, right now we kick in to support the NSW Fire rescues and firefighters.
What do you think drew so much attention to your brand so quickly? You have gained such a large following over the short time of Childe Co's existence, did you expect it?
Um shit, I thought we were kinda lagging actually so that's cool to hear ha ha.
If people know about the brand that's freaking great, no I'm not expecting it.
We are trying to create a brand with an authentic and inclusive community. Through this brand community, we hope that develops a voice that can speak out collectively to make a positive change and have a good time.
Right now we create quality and innovative sunglasses that feel great to wear and hopefully with our events and vibe it makes you feel connected and part of the CHILDE brand family. CHILDE is a kick in the teeth to the mundane and a kiss on the lips to the progressive.
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