Our latest Conscious collection features brands with eco-friendly and people-first missions. One company in particular that lives this mission daily is Genusee. Ali Rose, Founder and CEO of the company gave us an inside look at the brand and her personal tips on sustainability.
Q: Who is Genusee?
A: Genusee is the first circular economy eyewear brand & manufacturer. We make sustainable sun and eyeglass frames in Flint, Michigan from recycled single-use water bottles.
Q: What is your role in the company?
A: I am the founder & CEO which at this stage means I wear many hats and fill any and all gaps to support our small but mighty team - from product design, marketing, content creation, customer service, and unlike many founders I know how to physically make our product and will still step in to help with production when necessary.
Q: What does the process of converting plastic water bottles to glasses look like?
A: Bottles are collected, cleaned and barreled by a recycler; they are then processed from water bottle into pellets or resin which we injection mold into our frame parts. Our frame parts (the faces and temples) go through post-processing which includes sanding, tumbling for 144 hours, two step buffing, hand-finishing, installing riveted hinges, assembly, and lens installation.
Q: What inspired Genusee’s signature frame?
A: Our signature, the Roeper, is democratically designed to fit the median range of face shapes and sizes. The unisex frame features a slightly oversized round shape with key hole bridge and riveted hinges. It was named after the high school I went to which was founded by George and Anne-Marie Roeper who were two Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany. It was at the Roeper school that my passion was first ignited for social justice and living a life of service to bring about change in the world around me.
Q: Why is sustainability important to you?
A: Climate change is the biggest threat we are facing as a global community at the moment. Sustainability to me means taking personal accountability and reducing my individual impact on the planet and climate and advocating for systemic change that will ensure we have a future Earth that is inhabitable and just for all beings.
Q: What advice do you have for someone that wants to be more eco-conscious?
A: Just start somewhere and start NOW. You don't have to do it perfectly. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Pick one behavior you want to change, and make it a habit. Whether that's refusing single-use plastic water bottles, eating plant-based, or deciding to walk to work instead of drive your car. Objects in motion stay in motion and once you start living more consciously it is a snowball effect in your own behaviors and decision making - and often it inspires and provokes change in the people around you.
Looking to learn more about this amazing brand? Click here to visit Genusee's website.