Article One is an independent eyewear company that produces handcrafted eyewear in a family-owned factory in Italy in a completely transparent process. More interestingly, the company headquarters are based in a place that until earlier this year wasn’t on many people’s radar: Flint, Michigan. Founder Wes decided to move the company from a trendy neighborhood in Chicago to Flint a couple years ago. Aside from the infamous water poisoning, the city has been economically depressed and beset by crime for sometime. Yet the city has hustle – there are other creative ventures there, and even a craft brewery.
Article One was founded as a giveback company: For every pair bought, $2 is donated to Helen Keller International with the goal of alleviating Vitamin A deficiency, which can cause blindness and death in children in developing countries. So far, Article One has raised over $12,000 for the cause.
While the company has matured in style to become a chic eyewear brand that happens to have a giveback element as a bonus – no pity shopping here – doing something for Flint was an obvious choice.
Thus, the Flint Collection. An impressive $150 of the $200 price of a pair of Article One Flint Collection sunglasses – that’s 100% of the profits – go to help the children of Flint, who might have to contend with the effects of lead poisoning for the rest of their lives. Their goal is to raise $40,000 for the the city.
Article One sent me a pair of the Motts in Crystal to try*, complete with a beautiful leather case, and I’ve found myself picking them up every time I leave the apartment, ignoring my six other pairs of sunglasses. They just look so modern, minimalist, and go with every outfit. (Want evidence? Check my Instagram – I wear them every day.)
So yeah, I would tell you to pick up a pair just for the looks and ethical production alone. The fact that they help address one of the most scandalous cases of environmental injustice of our time? I say that truly makes them a “Must Have.” And you know I don’t toss that term around lightly.
*As a gift to try out