HOW THESE SUNNIES ARE CHANGING THE LIVES OF THOUSANDS.
Pala Eyewear was founded by John Pritchard who knew he wanted to make a difference to the lives of people in Africa, "Pala started with a cause first. Having spent some time in Africa and learning about the lack of access across the continent (Africa has 73% more blind and visually impaired people than any other region in the world), I felt drawn to finding a solution. Having seen the way TOM'S [shoes] had operated with their shoe giving at the heart of the business, I decided to take a similar stance and create an eyewear brand that would deliver change in eyecare. I had no experience in fashion, let alone eyewear and so had to start right at the beginning. It’s taken while!"
Pala Eyewear is a certified B Corp business which John states, "Being a B Corp is a good way of ensuring we have the right checks and balances in place as well as having a road map for the future." John acknowledges that being a business with manufacturers in itself is not good for the planet, therefore for this brand it is about alleviating the negatives, "From a business point of view, we will always be negatively impacting the planet by being a manufacturer, so it’s about mitigating our ecological footprint as much as possible through our sourcing of materials, the manufacturing process itself, the packaging and final delivery." The team at Pala are always looking at the long-term goal of achieving "ecological balance", and John does so within his life by "creating small positive changes and converting them into habits, I've still got some way to go!"
John comments on how people can make sustainable choices from their own home when it comes to travelling, "We often think about jumping on a plane to our next great destination, but forget we have some true delights right on our doorstep." When asked his favourite place on Earth (so far) was, he replies, "You’re not making this easy! There are lots of places that are favourites for different reasons - culture, nature or a specific experience. However, I think everything considered, I have loved my visits to the Isle of Skye. It’s a stunning place and great to explore on foot, bike or paddleboard."
For John, one of the best feelings in running Pala is, "It’s always the visits back to the eye centres where we can see for ourselves (pardon the pun) the impact of our work. People who would otherwise not be able to access eyecare getting the opportunity to have clear vision, for children, the empowerment that gives them from being able to read books/blackboard, and others more elderly, who may have had significantly blurred vision for the majority of their lives. Either way, seeing their reaction to having their sight restored is a warming and memorable experience."
Learn more about Pala Eyewear's sustainable mission, and their credentials.