The Ocean Cleanup Sunglasses

Nonprofit organization The Ocean Cleanup has been doing the imperative for the health of our oceans by developing new and advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, but they aren’t stopping there: they are also recycling the collected trash and repurposing it into something new, beautiful, and useful. Through our collective passion and love for the ocean and a deep sense of responsibility to do our part as entrepreneurs and designers, fuseproject and The Ocean Cleanup collaborated to develop a sunglass design made directly from Pacific Ocean plastics using Boyan Slat’s innovative retrieval system. The final look is a classic sunglass silhouette, with beautiful variants of color and textures from the raw source material. It represents a beacon of hope for our planet’s health that’s delivered through a sustainable process that truly embodies the concept of “reuse”.


Early on, we identified four core strategic goals for The Ocean Cleanup. First, any product made from the retrieved plastics needed to stand out and send a message of optimism and proactivity. Second, to set a positive example of how plastics should be used, we will create a product that can create a sense of hope and wonder. Third, delivering a well branded product will enable The Ocean Cleanup to pursue future products with a recognizable identity that reinforces their mission and core values. And lastly, respecting the material, its origins and implications for design/manufacturing in simple ways that will reposition them to be highly valuable and own able.


A core goal for the TOC glasses was to be easily distinguishable from other sunglasses and identify the wearer as part of a tribe that cares about the cause. We looked at a variety of approaches that would achieve this, but ultimately we designed a hinge that would stand out and creates a visual signature that is recognizable from afar. Nearly all eyewear hinges disappear when being worn, we deconstructed the hinge and put it on the outside. We paired this innovative hinge with a classically flattering frame design and eye-catching accents that offer universal appeal and an aesthetic that anyone can be proud of. For those that contributed to the success of this project, it was important to create a confident and classic look.



  • Fast Company Innovation by Design

    • Honorable Mention - Social Good and Sustainability, 2021
  • Green Good Design Awards

    • Winner - Green Product, 2021

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