Aaron Perry


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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 93 - Mike Lewis, Plant-based Eye Wear at Zeal Optics

Colorado native Mike Lewis has focused his career on the outdoor industry with a focus on sustainability. With degrees in Environmental Sciences and Journalism from CU Boulder and an MBA in Sustainability and Marketing from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Lewis’s goal has been to find ways to showcase how brands can profitably impact and lead the environmental conversation. Before joining Zeal Optics in 2013, where he is director of marketing, he served as Editor in Chief for TransWorld Business. On behalf of Zeal Optics, Mike works with the 1% for the Planet network and the Outdoor Association’s Sustainable Working Group in order to continue advancing environmental stewardship.

RESOURCESzealop.link/yonearth (get a 10% discount on your purchase!)zealoptics.comInstagram: @zealopticsfacebook.com/zealopticstwitter.com/zealopticsyoutube.com/user/zealopticsUSAonepercentfortheplanet.orgnationalforests.org


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Hey friends, I’m really excited about this episode we’re about to do with Mike Lewis

at Zeal Opticss and just want to make sure you hear right away you can get a 10% discount

on any of the goggles or sunglasses that Zeal is offering and a portion of the proceeds

will come back to support the YonEarth community. You can do that through the link

zealop.link slash YonEarth. So that’s Z-E-A-L-O-P dot L-I-N-K slash Y-O-N-E-A-R-T-H.

So hope you enjoy that and hope you enjoy this episode with Mike.

Welcome to the YonEarth community podcast. I’m your host, Aaron William Perry and today

we’re visiting with Mike Lewis here at Zeal Opticss. Hey Mike. Hey Aaron. How are you?

I’m doing great. Happy to be here or happy here. Yeah thanks. I’m really excited about

this episode and I’m a big fan of Zeal and have actually been wearing your guys sunglasses

for years now so and we’ll get into some of what you guys are doing and innovation

around materials and sustainability and the ways that you’re giving back and hopefully

a lot of folks in our community and audience will get some Zeal products for their own

use or for gifts or what have you. Yeah that’d be great and hopefully the message and

our mission and vision really resonate with them as well. Yeah I have a feeling. I should

go up here and what I know about Y on Earth. Yeah exactly. So Mike Lewis is the director

of marketing at Zeal Opticss. He’s a Colorado native and has focused his career on the

outdoor industry with a particular focus on sustainability. With degrees in environmental

science and journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder and an MBA in sustainability

and marketing from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Mike’s goal has been to find

ways to showcase how brands can profitably impact and lead the environmental conversation.

Before joining Zeal Opticss in 2013 and becoming director of marketing, he served as editor

in chief for trans-world business and yeah so it’s so fun for me Mike and I’m smiling

because as we were setting up the equipment before we started recording we were talking

about the upcoming ski season and getting kind of excited for getting up there in the

snowy country and you know I love we’re right here in downtown Boulder, Colorado and this

is one of the storefronts that I always enjoy walking by and popping into because of what

you guys are doing and I guess before we get into the sustainability stuff let’s just

talk real quick about the kinds of products you’re making available. Yeah for sure. So

we focus on sunglasses and goggles, ski goggles specifically and these are you know really

gear for any sports in the outdoors you know especially here in places like Colorado where

we have so much sunshine, so much UV light coming through it’s essential to have a good pair of

shades but you know really for adventures anywhere around the world you know this is a great

way to marry our passion for outdoor sports and for sustainability in a product that everybody

needs and it uses. Yeah very cool and we’re going to at the end of the episode we’re going to do a

bit of a walk around around the store and show you guys all the different products it’s really a

lot to look at and it’s so beautifully laid out it really if there’s a nice aesthetic experience

coming in. Thank you. Yeah I enjoy it so and I also I want to ask you a bit about your background

and what you were doing in your your studies that led to now what you’re doing professionally.

Yeah so growing up in Colorado my parents were huge outdoor enthusiasts then you know backpacking

and you know skiing since like before I could walk really and you know over a lifetime of

traveling around the world seeing amazing places and you know seeing those change on you know a

timeline that shouldn’t be the case has you know really taken what started as an interest in nature

and natural processes and you know geology and climatology and you know shifted that to a focus

on you know how we can use our voices how we can use you know whatever reach that we have whatever

leverage we have to make an impact and get people to think and you know hopefully change the way

they operate. So you know it’s been it’s been a fun journey and you know one that’s you know

constantly changing for all of us. Yeah absolutely you know this is causing me to think about something

I’ve reflected on and even written about a little bit which is the evolution of the culture here in

Colorado and I also as you know grew up did a lot of my grown up in the Denver area and it has

been remarkable to see this region grow from a pretty sort of white bread kind of meat and potatoes

culture into a very progressive culture leading a lot of innovations in the sustainability arena

and also has a very strong and healthy ecosystem of entrepreneurship right and it’s when those

two are coming together I think that we see a lot of exciting action it’s not to say there aren’t

other hot spots around the country and around the world indeed there are but I think you know this is

one of the one of the special ones. Yeah a hundred percent and you have a very good point

are reflecting on that and growing up Colorado is incredibly red and you’re seeing it’s

skew now you know more and more blue purplish is you know they like to say is you know very nice

that at the same time it’s taken a huge influx of population which has changed a lot of the

recreation opportunities that we enjoy around here too so and there’s always trade offs in life

yeah yeah it’s really true yeah yeah well it’s a good place to be I sure do love and appreciate it

so I’d like to ask a bit about zeal’s history and you know how a goggles and sunglasses company

is helping lead the conversation with sustainability and the materials being used in the products

yeah great question so the company was actually founded in 1997 in Moab, Utah by a couple that

were professional mountain bikers and huge skiers and they wanted to start an Opticss company that

lived up to you know the the rigorous you know nature of the products that they needed you know

the Opticss on the market just weren’t serving their needs they moved to Boulder a couple years

afterwards just for you know better access to distribution and talent pool etc and you know they

were very focused on these sports and the technical aspects and you know the focus on sustainability

was there but not really a driving part of the business and in 2010 Maui Jim purchased the company

and we’re really really looking at the technology the patents in an intellectual property that

Maui that zeal Opticss had and decided to you know find some ways to you know really re-engineer it

from a design standpoint and to refocus its niche on sustainability you know the Opticss world

is so big and it’s so competitive that you know looking at the Boulder market looking at you

know the younger outdoor consumer they saw an opening for that and we had the opportunity to

take this brand and really reshape it and figure out how we can continually push you know what goes

into our products the messaging as well as what we’re doing as a brand to give back to the community

in the world yeah to me is such an interesting microcosm to dig into a little bit when a company

identifies an opportunity for competitive advantage by leading the pack when it comes to sustainability

attributes and qualifications but part of the hope is that leadership also means the industry is

going to transform and do some catching up and have you already seen that kind of phenomena out

there with the other brands that maybe have more you know market reach already yeah must definitely

there’s when we started we were the only ones with our full line being made from plant-based

materials yeah and we’ve seen a lot of other brands step into that yeah following suit as well

as larger players you know launching you know smaller collections that use similar materials and

you know pushing the boundaries on what other materials exist and we’re still the only ones that

have a hundred percent of our line using that side of things but you know especially on the

goggle side we’re a very small player and there’s just very few factories on that side and so

getting the materials to a place where we can use plant-based materials requires you know other

larger players to kind of come along for the ride yeah so we have actually been actively reaching out

to our competitors and you know showcasing materials that exist and how well they perform

and lobbying that you know people get on board you know at the end of the day especially on the

snow side you know that’s the bleeding edge of the impact of climate change and you know if we’re

not espousing what we’re telling our you know customers then we’re doing it wrong we’re

destined to fail yeah yeah that’s a really good point well it’s been wild to watch some of the

evolution in the the outdoor industry in particular you mentioned the founders of Zio coming

originally from Utah and of course there was recently a major shift with the big outdoor annual

convention moving from Utah to Colorado and I’m curious if these conversations with some of

these larger competitors are turning into opportunities for collaboration are you are you seeing a

generally collaborative atmosphere across the industry or is it a little more silo than that it

depends as a larger industry 100 so the outdoor industry association is based here in Boulder

Colorado and they have a sustainability working group that is focused on you know how as an

industry as you know product specialists as marketers you know really drilled down into the

various aspects of all of our businesses we can improve our processes how we can certify our

factories our supply chains and you know that on kind of the global scale if you will for from an

industry standpoint is is huge and you see you know very close competitors working together on

that front as far as working closely with your direct competitors you know that’s still a little

touchy at this point but we’re getting there and we all collaborate you know that every it’s a very

small industry but very influential at this point especially in the western states and growing

land globally yeah yeah well and if what I’m about to ask you know is is is is verging into the realm

of proprietary and the strategic trade secrets and so on let me know but I’m very curious you know

what is Zeal’s plan looking out over five years is the idea to get acquired and help you know to

grow further off that stronger capital you know balance sheet of a larger corporation or are

you guys anticipating continuing to grow and diversify your offerings as a as a standalone player out

yeah I mean we’re very fortunate as I mentioned we were purchased by Maui Jim a few years back

about a decade now yeah and Maui Jim is the last independently held large scale Opticss company

in the world I mean they are on the scale they’re they are bigger than any other one single brand

huh you know they are actively being pursued by the lexatica’s of the world but you know the

owner of the brand is very focused on doing what he does and his team does very well and that

is Opticss you know they make sunglasses eyeglasses and with a zeal goggles yeah very cool that

reminds me of some of the real leadership of folks like Yvonne Chinard with Patagonia and the the

folks out at Cliff bar and others who you know have chosen to stay sort of independent and continue

to grow and provide the leadership that that that independence allows it’s a lot easier to focus on

your mission when you don’t have shareholders free that on your neck that’s right that’s right

now we’re in a good spot for that yeah that’s great Mike well listen I first heard about zeal Opticss

a few years ago now at a presentation here in town with folks from the story of stuff yeah

right and um I would love if you could tell us a little about what they’re up to and how that

overlaps with what you guys are doing so they are very focused on the life span of products yeah

and you know really dissecting what goes into things and getting people to think about what

their decisions as consumers what our decisions as businesses mean to the impact on our environment

on our society and you know that really resonated when I started talking with Steve Wilson who used

to be there who was leading the talk here and you know he had some incredible conversations that’s

great to hear that’s how you connected with the brand and has really you know let us to continue

to focus on how we’re continually improving what we’re doing that’s great yeah I appreciate that

and I think we’ll probably make a quick reference to a story of stuff in the show notes if folks

are interested in diving deeper on that so I want to I want to kind of geek out a little bit on the

on the technical stuff so what what’s going on with the materials can we talk like polymers or you

know extrusion technology I don’t know what are you guys doing so I mean the primary story from

a raw material standpoint is on our sunglasses so the majority of our sunglasses are made with a

material we call z resin in the frames and aluminum polarized in the lenses and that is all derived

from the caster plant so the caster plant is basically a weed that grows on you know marginal

agriculture lands can be growing on the you know edges of you know other fields etc and we heart

we harvest this in Switzerland and if anybody’s familiar with caster oil that nasty taste and stuff

it’s super easy to produce and it has very similar properties to your typical petroleum based oils

so rather than using the petroleum based oil we replace that with the caster oil and it makes for

you know incredibly lightweight and durable material for the frames and there’s super clear

material for the lenses and you know it’s really interesting when people hear it’s sustainably

focused products or materials they typically think there’s going to be a trade off so it’s either

going to be more expensive or you know subpar quality and the majority of our sunglasses are at

149 in the US which is right on par with substantially you know poor Opticsal quality products out

and we have the same we have the same warranty the same quality standards that Maui Jim does for

their frames so you know from a quality standpoint and a price you really the advancements in

plastics in plant-based plastics has come a long way and if I can touch on another material we

just launched we just launched a new sunglasses frame that’s called C-grass so that’s made from a

mixture of recycled PET and agricultural grasses so like waste products from hemp rice straw I think

like the stocks of those and those get mixed together and you know that that chase from the

agriculture materials is almost like a rebar in concrete so it makes it again super lightweight

incredibly durable and you can see the little flex of grasses in there so each frames a little bit

different but the feel on it is super smooth it’s almost like a matte rubber and I want to show you

some of those here in a little bit but it’s really exciting on that always looking for new materials

yeah that’s really exciting and let me just mention folks that we’ve got a very special

for-profit nonprofit partnership going and folks can go to zeal Optics slash why on earth in fact I’m

maybe reading the link wrong we’ll put it in the show notes for sure but at any rate if you go to

that link you’ll get a 10% discount and some of the proceeds will come back to the why on earth

community to support our podcast series and our community mobilization work so it’s just a great

opportunity not only is there already excellent value but you’re offering folks in our community

another 10% discount on that yeah and supporting why on earth and all the great work that you guys

do as well which is a big part of our mission is giving back to organizations such as yours

yeah it’s super appreciated and I got to give you a shout out for connecting us with the folks

over at 1% for the planet and now why on earth is one of the nonprofits approved in that ecosystem

and of course we recently published a podcast with Kate Williams the CEO over there and they’re

doing so much work so it’s this kind of collaboration is the sort of thing I get really excited about

and love mentioning that in the sustainable development goals that our global community has

created together of which there are 17 the final the 17th is partnerships in collaboration

and I think this is a really fun example of what that can look like walk the talk yeah exactly

exactly well let me ask you about some of the other partnership work your guys are doing I know

you’ve got a really special thing going on with the National Forest Partnership for Tree Planting

yeah so we work with the National Forest Foundation here in the US and each year we run a campaign

called by a zeal planetary and it actually started this last Monday on November 16th and runs

through the end of the year so this is the fifth year we’ve been doing it and it started by you

know just you know partnered with the NFF which is the marketing arm of the National Forest Service

and we were just doing the plantings for things sold on our website and our staff the

Maui Jim staff our retailers got so far behind it that we’re now doing it in every channel of trade

globally we are we’re fortunate through Maui Jim to have distribution centers all over the world

and have grown like crazy in Canada Europe Australia so for this year we’ve added tree Canada as a

recipient in Canada and planted arc which runs the seedling bank and national tree day down in

Australia so really cool to see the momentum on that last year we planted 10,000 trees with this

campaign and this year we’re looking to grow that by 50% so hopefully we’re able to meet our goals

with COVID this year it’s definitely going to be an interesting one but you know excited to be

you know right in the heart of of this additionally for every pair of sold on giving Tuesday through

our partners we’ll be planting 10 trees as well so perfect timing to go to that link that Aaron’s

going to publish in here and give back to the Y on Earth and plant 10 trees in our National Forest

yeah that’s really what a win win win this is when we’re talking about regenerative economics and

how to put value into a bunch of different localities and actions with a single purchase like

this man that that is so powerful yeah and you know a lot of us enjoy wearing sunglasses many of us

need goggles and so when we’re making these purchasing decisions I’d love that this provides

an option to do so much good with that yeah with all the fires that we’ve seen this year as well

there’s so many areas that are in dire need of reforestation to you know keep our

soil on the land yeah no doubt about it no doubt and then it sounds like in the summertime you’ve

got another program you’re doing that focuses more on the oceans is that right yeah so this uh

just this year in 2020 we had plans to launch a program called Shades for Seas yeah I was supposed to

go on all of Earth month but every place was pretty much locked down at that point so we wound up

launching it in June of this year but basically we took that concept and worked with an organization

called plastic bank up in British Columbia it has a very cool model if you’re not familiar with it

but basically they work with communities around the globe to buy recovered plastics and then

they pay them in what’s basically a micro loan to you know sponsor you know small economies in

these areas and get them out of recurrent poverty but anyway for every pair of sunglasses goggles

accessory lenses and e-zeals that were sold during that time we pulled five pounds of plastic out

of the ocean well and you know the goal is to make this an annual thing just like by a zeal

planetary and run that for all of Earth month with you know kind of the uh climax around it on

Earth Day that is so cool wow and that’s called plastic bank yes okay great yeah I’ll make

note of that as well um this is so exciting so let me uh remind our audience that uh this is

the why on earth community podcast and I’m your host Aaron William Perry and today we’re visiting with

Mike Lewis the director of marketing at zeal Opticss I want to give a shout out to our sponsors

and uh some of the wonderful companies we’re collaborating with to make this podcast series possible

as well as our community mobilization work and uh that includes earth coast productions

the LIDGE family foundation alpine botanicals purium earth hero vera herbals growing spaces

soil works earth water press one percent for the planet zeal Opticss doctor browners and

wheylay waters also a huge shout out to our ambassadors and others in the why on earth community

who have joined our monthly giving program and if you haven’t joined yet you can go to

whiners.org click on the donate button and set up any amount you’d like on a monthly basis

if you give at certain levels 33 dollars and above you’ll get monthly shipments of the hemp

infused aromatherapy soaking salts from wheylay waters and they’re sourcing that hemp from

organic and biodynamic growers uh here in calirato so it’s another example of the

win-win regenerative economics that we’re all developing together so just a huge thanks to

everybody uh making all this possible and again uh remember there’s a special link uh

that we’re providing so that you can get to zeal Opticss and uh get your 10 percent discount while

also uh helping to get some of those proceeds also back to the why on earth uh for that work

so uh we’ll say also zealOpticss.com um you can connect with mike and his team on social media

it’s at zealOpticss on instagram, facebook, twitter and youtube and uh we’ll also mention

one percent for the planet uh and they’re at one percent for the planet.org and uh national

forests.org is a resource you can go to on the tree planting work that’s being done

so let’s talk real quick about uh one percent for the planet and how you guys are collaborating

and kind of what’s happening in in that ecosystem. yeah definitely um it’s such a cool organization

and let’s just catch you not with our uh regional um contact for them uh yesterday and really need to

hear that they have added over 2,000 businesses this year and that the brand awareness around one

percent is up to almost 40 percent here in the states and growing by leaves and balance internationally

but what that organization does is to become a member of it as a business you have to um dedicate

one percent of your gross sales to nonprofits that work on sustainability such as why on earth

and for nonprofits to become a part of that they have to be vetted to show that their work is

directly giving back to creating more sustainable ways of life and you know giving back to the

planet as well yeah so you know not only is it a way as a business to ensure that you are giving

to you know verified and reputable nonprofits but as you know a person in our society to better

bet when a company says they’re doing good and are focused on environmental issues that they’re

not greenwashing you know this is a seal of approval that is very well vetted as well as on

the nonprofit side too so it’s a great way to channel programs like buy a seal planetary shades

for seas and then you know all of the other things that we do throughout the year as well yeah it’s

so wonderful and you know 1 percent off of the top line that’s often a very substantial portion of

a company’s profits and you know if a company’s you know say doing 10 percent net profits you know

that 1 percent represents 10 percent of those profits it’s a very significant commitment

and I’d love to that they’ve recently launched a program where we as individuals

can engage and give 1 percent of our earnings for the work we’re doing at the individual level

and we’re actually in the process of developing a whole system of achievement badges for our

ambassadors okay and one of them is becoming a 1 percent contributor so that’s another fun

way for us all to kind of engaging this work together and with our ambassadors with these badges

coming out soon a way to sort of demonstrate what you’ve already accomplished see what more there is

you can do and kind of see what each other is up to very cool so yeah that’s a fun thing we got

in the works right now it’s also really neat you know we talked about you know partnerships as

the 17th point for why on earth yeah they are very focused on getting like-minded businesses

together so that you know we can have a larger reach there’s a front-range steering committee

that we serve on and you’ll work very closely with regional businesses as well as international

businesses through other avenues and being that it’s the holiday season there’s a auction going

on at 1 percent of the planet where hundreds of their member organizations have donated items

that you can bid on and there’s some really cool stuff on there for you know very reasonable amounts

that all goes back to 1 percent of the planet very cool I have to check that out you know I think

also it’s great to hear about what’s going on regionally with the collaborations through the

network and it’d be fabulous to learn a little more about how we and our team can plug into that

a bit more we’ve got our next meeting in late January so that just came on the calendar today

so I’d love to get you out that I think that’d be really neat it’s a good group of folks great

sure you’re familiar with a lot of them already so maybe yeah it’d be fun might be a nice way

to network some more well what do you think should we do a little walk around to her yeah let’s do

it yeah where do you want to start um you would think everybody’s got a pretty good view of this area

yeah I’m gonna get behind the camera so here we go this is also our global headquarters behind

the this little hallway over here is all of our offices this is where we run marketing sales

events normally events that is and all the logistics and operations for the company so we use

this showroom as a way to try out marketing concepts new displays to show our retail partners how

the brand can live and breathe in a physical space and typically as Aaron was mentioning we usually

do a ton of events in here we have a monthly event series where we bring people together our

ambassadors other organizations we work with to have educational series tales of adventure and

find ways we always have a nonprofit partner around those as well so really looking forward to for

those days to come back we can get about a hundred people in here and then this is a good little

update for presentations but for the most part at this point it’s our selling area and if this

is a look at some of our older goggles these are our sale products right now and I’ve taken a

focal point as we’re coming into the holiday season and as we kind of pan around here

you’ll see some of our displays you know being from Colorado as a brand and a lot of us as

individuals we’ve really taken elements from nature here all of our displays are going to be

wood and cold road steel and backdrops that feature you know mountains capes from the lands that we

love over here we have some of our more performance styles as well as our auto sun glasses which

are polarized in photocromic so get a change tint throughout the day so you only need one pair of

shades if you’re fly fishing trail running things along those lines and you’ll see a much larger

focus on goggles right now than typically as the resources starting to open up snow start to fly

here and we’re all getting super stoked and hoping it’s a big winner to come so this is a few of our

hatchet goggles feature our rail lock system that allowed it to slide in like this great for the

backcountry you can stay up for a little extra bending and then very similar

you’re going to be editing this little bit right no it’s okay perfect keep rolling we’ll move on

to auto sun and then also our automatic lens so like the auto sun on the sunglass side this lens

is going to transition it’s polarized in photocromics perfect for you know when it’s sunny in the

morning snowstorm rolls in and one lens for every condition best lens out every is wow give a

product plug that’s great that’s exciting and then as we follow around you’re going to see you know

more of our goggle line along the walls here some more sunglass displays

we’re going to be some of our newer more fashion focused displays that greet you as you come in

the store and then some of the homemade displays that we built here that really tied the brand

together that leveraged the materials and you know design inspiration that you know we focus on

but the the violin here is super laid back we’ve got a great team of people working in here

that are always happy to explain a bit more about who we are as a brand you know we’d like to be

more than just a you know seller of sunglasses you know we don’t want to be thought of just as a

piece of plastic that you put on your face but you know an organization that focuses on how you can

tell a story how you can vote with your dollars and how you can promote conscientious consumerism

in everyday purchases awesome and what do you have over here so getting back into our sunglass

line these are going to be some of our newer sports styles and then going into some of our older

styles shields more performance side of things and then this is kind of the bar and DJ booth

for our event series yeah that’s great

bar and DJ booths I got to check that yeah what’s what about this case right here uh

directly in front of you so that’s going to be our more fashion focus line and you know part of

the beauty and real focus of zeal is creating that quiver killer style so you know taking

a pair of shades like this that is very lifestyle um focused with kind of a fashion edge

but adding performance attributes in it so this is going to look just as good at the pool at the

beach as it will you know on a 20 mile run all of our glasses have pro-flex which is a proprietary

porous rubber so the sweater you get the tackier it gets so they’re always going to stay in place

everything super lightweight and then we also have a line called v light so this infuses microscopic

air bubbles and these come in at less than an ounce with the lenses they look really cool and

they’re going to be super durable you know stepped on these sad on them they’re going to bounce

right back into shape so the cool part about this is yes they’re even more functional but by

introducing that air it’s you know it’s still that plant-based material but it’s less of it so

you know the less you put into it the smaller the footprint is going to be so always looking at

ways to you know reduce our material usage and the impact of everything that we’re making

that’s great Mike and then how about over here at this island so this is going to be our

new releases so here you’re going to find our newest goggle so for this season we launched a new

technology called observation deck technology so ski goggles have been really focused on peripheral

view you know horizontally but when you’re skiing and snowboarding you’re looking down the mountain

so got the idea from looking at an air traffic control tower and ship bridges you know where the

windows tilt out and these are all structures that are designed to have you know a great visibility

downwards and physically they’re also designed to block any sort of reflection when the light’s

coming in so if you look at this it has a 10 degree angle on it which gives you 20% more vertical

field of view which is you know equates to two to three turns or another rock that you might

hit and also like when it’s sunny out sometimes you can see your cheek from like coming in hitting

your cheek and bouncing out the lens that too is the thing of the past so super simple ideas like

the rail access and the idea came from the garage door and you had this came from seeing an

air traffic control tower at the while sitting on a tarmac that’s what I thought as well so

who would have thought about that’s amazing and then as well I mentioned the sea grass material

these are those new styles they come in two styles the divide and ask them not sure how well

it’ll show up but if you can see this you’ll see that you can see the flex of the grass within it

yeah I see that yeah I want to feel that yeah oh that’s nice yeah it feels very finished you know

really well done and you know to have the material story that it does you know that’s

I’m really excited for this piece you’ve seen I’ve seen a lot of other recycled sunglasses that

just look really rough and you know they don’t have that you know it’s a fashion accessory so if

you’re not meeting people’s wants and desires then you can try all you want to reduce the footprint

but you have to you know kind of meet that need as well so the the agricultural components

is it always going to include some hemp or does that vary sometimes that does vary in production the

the goal is to get it to a point you know like and made its pipe dream maybe not no pun intended

but to be manufacturing I’m here in Colorado with the agricultural hemp here yeah that’s

really exciting so you’ve mentioned you’ve got hemp you’ve got straw what were a couple of the

other rice and flax are the four grasses that they’re using yeah oh that’s super interesting

yeah I mean we’re seeing hemp going into building materials all kinds of different products

it’s exciting to see how that plus other agricultural residues are sometimes called yeah

can be utilized and finding uses for what would it you know normally be considered trash or

previously considered trash yeah definitely an area we need to continue to explore yeah yeah so from

here we’ve got a pretty cool shot of the the what do you call it the DJ booth slash register

slash checkout stands yeah that is so fun and yeah you know I I will reiterate this is one of my

favorite stores to visit and I don’t visit too many stores I’ll admit it just has such a nice

vibe in here it’s it’s got that kind of home woodsy mountain cheery joyful vibe that I you know

I consider the best of Colorado we really appreciate it yeah that’s what we strive for and yeah

hope folks I’ll see this as one come in and learn more about what we’re all about yeah that sounds

great Mike well it’s been such a joy to be able to visit with you and I want to again just remind

folks you can go to the link in the show notes to get your 10% discount on these products and help

support the YonEarth community and Mike thanks for all the work you guys are doing and all of

the different organizations and efforts you’re supporting and thanks of course for your support

directly to the YonEarth community and before we sign off for today I just want to ask you if

there’s anything else you’d like to say you know in general or to the YonEarth community in

particular it’d be great really appreciate the interest appreciate everyone’s time listening

to this hopefully you guys getting inspired by the work that YonEarth does and our finding ways to

incorporate their principles in your daily life wonderful thanks like awesome the YonEarth community

stewardship and sustainability podcast series is hosted by Aaron William Perry offer thought

leader and executive consultant the podcast and video recordings are made possible by the generous

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