Sunglasses made out of CO2? As strange as it sounds, featuring lenses made of captured carbon emissions is the latest innovation in the sustainable fashion industry. The UK fashion brand Pangaia has released its new eyewear collection, including lenses developed by Twelve – CO2 capture and utilization company making materials out of carbon dioxide.
Twelve is the rebranded Opus 12, founded in 2015 by Dr. Etosha Cave, Dr. Kendra Kuhl, and Nicholas Flanders, that develops critical chemicals from CO2 instead of fossil fuels.
The startup has gathered a team of electrochemists, material scientists, and engineers with cutting-edge expertise in the field of CO2 electrocatalysis and electrochemical reactor design, delivering the company’s proprietary “CO2Made” technology.
Pangaia’s new sunglasses made of CO2 will be the first commercially available product made with Twelve’s carbon capture technology. Twelve’s tech is called “carbon transformation technology” which can be implemented into existing industrial supply chains to make useful materials out of CO2 emissions. It can turn them into consumer products like electronics, cars, or in this case, lenses for sunglasses.
“Our goal is not only to showcase the endless possibilities of science-based solutions but also to promote industry-wide adoption that will help scale technologies and help rid the world of fossil-fuel-based polymers and over industrialized materials,” said Dr. Amanda Parkes – Pangaia chief innovation officer.
The brand is also planning to create a platform showcasing the latest scientific innovations in materials like the Twelve eyewear range. The sunglasses will be just 200 units and will be available in three color styles for the price of $495.
Other brands are also exploring the new concept of carbon capture or sustainable fashion. Sportswear giant Nike is looking into AirCarbon’s carbon-negative materials made from microorganisms in the ocean that capture emissions. They might be used to replace materials like leather carrying a substantial carbon footprint and synthetic materials from petroleum plastics.
Carbon capture sunglasses are just one of many examples of products made out of CO2. As the number of interested retailers increases, soon the technology might become widespread across the fashion industry and thus offset part of its heavy carbon footprint.