September 30, 2023

Thrive Insider

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Photo of Alejandro Betancourt Lopez wearing a suit and sitting at a desk

Portraits of Alejandro Betancourt Lopez. 13.10.2020 Photographer Sam Pearce /

Alejandro Betancourt and Eyewear Brand Hawkers Keep a Sharp Eye on Sustainability

Looking good while doing something good for the environment is the ethos of eco-conscious fashionistas. It’s also something that Hawkers is zeroing in on when it comes to its affordable line of sunglasses. With President Alejandro Betancourt at its helm, Hawkers has infused its production process with eco-friendly strategies, starting with the launch of a line that helps out Mother Nature.

“If you want to make an impact on whatever you’re trying to transform or achieve, and if it’s substantially significant, you are going to need the right team,” says Betancourt of the 50-employee-strong Hawkers.

It’s working. Stars like R&B great Usher, DJ Steve Aoki, and soccer legend Leo Messi — and influencers the world over — have been flocking to Hawkers for a flashy new pair.

Launching H20 and Repurposing Plastic Waste

In 2021, the Spanish sunglass brand launched H2O, its eco-friendly line of shades, to much fanfare. Six styles comprise the line, which uses recycled plastics, including plastics that were once considered marine debris. (The debris reportedly causes an estimated $13 billion in environmental damage each year.) The packaging for the lenses is equally sustainable or biodegradable and is made from recycled bottles, paper, and cardboard.

A critical initiative of the brand involves the utilization of other sustainable materials such as bio-based acetate — a plant-based material — which aids in not only minimizing waste, but reducing reliance on nonrenewable resources. Hawkers also employs a closed-loop production system in which waste materials are recycled back into the production process, significantly decreasing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

A ‘Green’ Production Process

The apparel sector stands as one of the most prominent worldwide, but it creates substantial environmental repercussions. Crafting the latest fashions requires a big draw on Earth as designers turn water, energy, and raw materials into in-demand designs.

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Another sustainability initiative undertaken by Hawkers involves the use of renewable energy, particularly solar power, to meet its energy needs. This approach ensures that the company reduces its carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels, leading to a more eco-friendly and sustainable production process.

In recent years the fashion world has earned itself a bad rap for its exploitative employment practices like poor pay and subpar, sweatshop-like conditions. Consumers and advocacy groups have demanded a shift toward more sustainable methods.

It’s a call that Hawkers has already heeded. The brand is also prioritizing an ethical approach to its production process.

Hawkers partners with suppliers who provide fair wages and safe working conditions to their employees. This move guarantees that everyone involved in the production process is treated with dignity and respect.

As eagle-eyed fashionistas look on, the Spanish sunglass brand plans to continue to do good while making its devoted followers look good.

“I believe that you have to understand that the world is changing so fast and with the world of markets, the appetites, the cultures, everything changes and more technology, there is more adaptation needed,” adds Betancourt.

“Building projects, making them successful, making them sustainable, and trying to find new challenges constantly, I think is my main drive.”

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