My full-time job is all about getting kids—particularly those from underserved demographics—into beautiful outdoor spaces. Our goal is to show them the meaning of true adventure and expose them to the diversity of places that are less than a day’s drive away.
Each year, we bring dozens of participants to the Washington Coast. Many of these kids have never left their urban neighborhood, and certainly have never seen the ocean. We load up our gear and drive to the trailhead, going through a safety talk and discussion about Leave No Trace ethics before setting foot on the trail. A short hike through the forest and suddenly there it is: the Pacific Ocean, in all its beauty and power. Seeing a group of kids experience the coast for the first time makes even the most rugged guide soften at the vision of playfulness and joy and exploration that unfolds at the beach.
But the scene is always littered with the trash of a world’s neglect.
Discarded nets turned into sunglasses
Water bottles, discarded fishing nets, and countless wrappers mingle with enormous buoys and various plastics. Every time I bring these kids to the coast, my Leave No Trace talk turns to ash in my mouth. There is trash, everywhere. It’s not news that our oceans need our help to reconcile the wrongs we’ve thrown into it—most people have at least heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the implications of plastic pollution on marine life is detrimental. And if you are apprehensive about just how permeated our beaches are with litter, take a trip to the coast. Pick a place that requires you hike in to see it, and take in the sights of man-made garbage that finds its way to these sacred places.
According to the Ocean Conservancy, “Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments.” A metric ton is 2,205 pounds. If I did my math correctly, then that’s 17,640,000,000 pounds of plastics finding their way into our oceans every year. A number that large is difficult for me to comprehend. What does that much plastic even look like? And where do we start addressing this enormous problem?
There’s recently been wave of media coverage for the eradication of plastic straws by establishments throughout the country. From boutique bars to Starbucks and American Airlines, businesses are recognizing their immense consumption of single-use plastics and making moves toward more sustainable options. Creating less waste is vital to limiting plastic pollution in our oceans, but there is still an overwhelming amount of trash already in the water.
Recognizing the overwhelming amount of plastic pollution in our oceans, Costa and Bureo have partnered to create a product that takes the discarded pollutants and recycles them into an object in demand: sunglasses. Whether you’re an angler, a fresh-water fisherman, a beach comber, a landlocked backpacker, or a person who simply appreciates a comfortable, high quality pair of sunnies, there are a multitude of reasons to love the Untangled Collection.
Costa Untangled Collection Caldera Features:
- Costa x Bureo Collaboration
- Scratch-resistant 580G Polarized Lenses
- Frames made from discarded fishing nets, taking plastics out of the ocean as a solution to plastic pollution
- Comes with repurposed fleece soft case
- MSRP: $219.00
Caldera 580G’s to the test
Bureo is a company based in Ventura, focused on designing unique products crafted from recycled fishing nets. According to Bureo, an estimated 10% of the plastic cluttering our ocean is from discarded fishing nets. In response to this reality, Bureo launched Net Positiva as a sustainable recycling venture. Net Positiva operates out of Chile to provide fishermen with collection points to recycle their discarded nets. Bureo is then able to use the fishing nets as a durable raw material. They melt down the nets into pellets that can then be injected into steel-molds to create items like skateboards and the Costa collection of sunglasses.
Now, it’s not news that Costa makes incredible eyewear. Their products are durable, high quality, and allow you to do the things you love without being hindered by ill-performing sunglasses. A good pair of sunnies is a critical item for the passionate outdoors-folk, allowing all who love the outdoors to play, fish, float, and hike without worrying about sun damage to their eyes. I spent the last few months wearing my Costa Caldera sunglasses for every activity that got me in the sun this summer: from rafting trips to summer hikes to spending the day by the tributary river north of my hometown, these glasses were my go-to.
Many of Costa’s products are geared toward the fishermen and anglers of the outdoor community, and they’ve designed a lens that can meet the demands of heavy outdoor activity. All of my sunglasses quickly end up scratched—my Croakies slide off and the glasses fall on the ground, they slide down the rock that I set them on as a take a break on a hike, or just the everyday wear-and-tear normal for the items we love the most and the hardest. But a couple months of hardcore play with the Calderas and they still look remarkably new. The color and clarity of the lens is impossible to ignore, and any scratches on the surface are negligible.
Costa’s patented 580G Technology (G is their glass lens, and their 580P is a polycarbonate lens) is designed to be scratch-resistant, maintaining exceptional quality clarity while offering polarized protection, enhanced color, and high clarity. These lenses are lighter and thinner than most polarized lenses, and I loved the beautiful quality of color and light that these lenses offered. No more squinting through scratched up lenses. The world looked lovelier when seen through these.
Additionally, Costa offers lens colors specialized toward whatever activity you find yourself most often doing. I chose the Copper Silver Mirror lens, as my activities can range from backpacking on the coast, guiding whitewater rafting trips, and more. This lens is great for environments with varying light, and are also great for everyday activities. Read more about Costa’s lens options here.
Now is where Bureo comes in: the frames. These frames are fashioned from the pellets derived from Net Positiva’s collected fishing nets. The Untangled Collection features four different frame styles: Baffin, Pescador, Caldera, and Victoria. Each frame offers a specific frame width—XL, L, M, and S, respectively. The width of the Calderas was perfect for my face shape, and I never had any discomfort or headaches that a too tight pair of glasses can cause. My only quip with the fit is that the arms were too long to comfortably wear with a hat or a buff.
The net-based materials make the color and texture of the frames unique. A brushed black with grey texturing, these frames are casual and versatile. The aluminum Costa logo adds a little bit of flair to the simple design. The inside of the arms and the nose are padded with PLUSFoam pads. These pads ensure that your glasses stay on your noggin while you sweat and play, and PLUSFoam prides itself on being entirely recyclable while producing no manufacturing waste and zero post-consumer waste. So you won’t be seeing PLUSFoam in that Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The importance of caring for this planet we live, breathe, and recreate in cannot be understated. Whether this world is your holy place, your playground, your classroom, or something else entirely, it is most essentially and undeniably your home. And if we don’t do something to remedy the effects of climate change and pollution, then we are setting fire to our living room.
A quick Google search produces an abundance of resources available for learning more about sustainability and environmental stewardship. Everyone can take action to purchase products that lessen their impact on the earth. Recycle. Ride your bike or walk instead of driving. Use sustainable, resuable products instead of single-use items (i.e. a stainless steel straw, instead of plastic straws).
Costa and Bureo’s partnership offers consumers yet another practical way of engaging with recycling efforts. These glasses are kind to the earth we love, protect the eyes we use to appreciate it, and are durable enough to get through the adventures at hand.
- High quality 580G lenses protect your eyes and offer exceptional clarity
- Tumbled finish on the frames is attractive and casual
- Specific sizing and lenses offer a custom product to fit your needs
- Costa x Bureo’s initiative is environmentally friendly, resourceful, and actively taking loads of plastic out of our oceans and putting them into repurposed products.
- The width fit my face well, but the arms were too long to comfortably wear with a hat or Buff
The Bottom Line: Costa Caldera Sunglasses
The Caldera sunglasses in the Untangled Collection are made from repurposed materials and designed to last, so you can protect your eyes and protect your oceans all at once. Even the soft fleece case they come with is made of recycled materials. The Calderas are a high-quality pair of glasses, offering incredible clarity and premium comfort that I loved wearing for everything I did this summer. The Untangled Collection utilizes the craftmanship of Costa and the sustainability of Bureo to produce and innovative and exceptional line of glasses that will keep you playing hard in the wild places you love.
Buy Now: Available from Costa