Jack Spencer, 32, has spent the last eight years dedicated to developing a range of stylish eyewear, made from upcycled denim from his workshop in Cornwall, UK, that he calls ‘Shades of Denim’.
Jack came up with the idea when he was tinkering around with carbon fibre and wondered what would happen if he put denim into the mix instead of carbon. The result was the ability to create sturdy glass frames from the discarded denim.
Infusing waste denim, that would otherwise end up in a landfill, with resin and pressing the wet layers together until dry, Jack is able to create a solid material, aptly named ‘Solid Denim’, that can be handcrafted into frames. Having developed five styles, in black or blue denim, the frames are also available for prescriptions from Jacks’s company, Mosevic.
Initially believing he could turn his creation into a successful business in just a matter of months, after 436 prototypes later, Jack had to turn to Kickstarter in order to bring his grand plans to life.
But after only five days, Jack exceeded his goal by reaching 700% funding, with $24000 (over R350000) being raised within 15 hours of the post going viral, giving the young entrepreneur hopes that the funds raised would truly kickstart his company properly. Jack said he has a background in sustainable product design, having studied it at degree level.
“I am aiming to start an e-commerce store selling this eyewear which will be made in my workshop in Cornwall, UK. I would also like to be in retail stores around the world.” But the journey to realising his dreams hasn’t been an easy one.
Jack also shared how "this really has been a bit of an obsession" for him. "I've had to scrimp and save, borrowing money from family, getting a business loan and eating beans on toast pretty much every day. At first I made little tests on my kitchen table in a shared house. I bought the parts to make a CNC machine and it took me about three months just to get it working," he says.
“I then had to learn how to use it and started to make crude prototypes in the corner of a brewery who rented me some space as a workshop. It had rats in it and always smelt of beer," he added.
With fast fashion being responsible for a considerable percentage of global carbon emissions, Jack believes that if more things were made with a bit of patience, and were designed to last longer, then real progress could be made to help save planet earth, all the while looking fly.
Prices for the glasses start at £145 GBP/ $180 US - roughly R2750 and R2600 respectively.
Images: Jack Spencer/Caters News
SOURCES: CATERS NEWS/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA
Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.