Grazzhopprz got to have one on one time with Colin Balls – Designer and Owner of Colin Leslie Eyewear Ltd, to find out more about the inspiration behind his ethical bamboo mix eyewear.
What inspired you to get involved in bamboo mix eyewear?
I have been a carpenter on the building sites for the past 30 years and have always loved the look of natural wood. I had a site accident injuring both my ankles, where I was unable to work for 9 weeks. I was looking for something to do for the future, fearing that I would not be able to continue to do the work I loved so much. I came across the idea of designing eyewear, but with the ethical element. I think the unique look of bamboo mixed with modern materials in classic, retro, vintage and geek styles works very well.
You have been generating quite a celeb following, does this surprise you in the eco world?
Oh yes very much so!! I think that even though my glasses have an ethical element, they work very well because they look so different to the everyday style you see on the street . Each pair of bamboo glasses is hand made, so none are exactly the same as the other .
The celebs that wear my sunglasses at the moment include UK singer Olly Murs, Hollywood actress Ellen Hollman (the lastest co star to join the much loved tv show in the US and UK Spartacus vengeance) and also US actor Trent Garrett – a regular to US tv show “All My Children” and the new series of “90210″. My glasses have also been worn by a presenter called Leo on MTV in Vietnam .
My latest 100% Eco optical frames are to be worn by a Miss Califorina contestant and to appear in a new tv ethical show in the US .
Where do you like to hangout in London?
I am based in a small village in Essex and often travel to London. I love Covent Garden. I recently had my latest ranges on show in the LFW2012 with ethical fashion company ” The Good Fashion show “.
What must have sunglasses would you recommend for this spring/summer?
For SS2012 I would recommend:
- Aviator classic Black Acetate and bamboo temple arms Uv400 rated with matching black gradient lenses, which are celeb favourites
- The gold aviators uv400 rated with gradient lenses
- The Gunsmoke silver Aviators
- Square edge wrap around Unit.T ranges
If your looking for something a little different check out the 100% Eco Unit.T ranges. They are made from recycled frames with bamboo hand made temples and eyewear pouches that are made from recycled drinking water bottles and are available in the following styles:
- Vintage pearl affect sunglasses with gradient rose tinted lenses and colour changing frames
- The Ox horn or stripes affect sunglasses
These are available with matching lenses colours. Each pair has a one off pattern!
Basically all of the sunglasses and fashion frames I produce are handmade and unique each in there own ways either by style or just the fact that they are ethical .
To find out more about Colin Leslie Eyewear, visit http://www.colinleslieeyewear.