{eco eyewear} article one: bringing clean water + clear vision

i'm not sure when my intrigue with water came to be. i've always been fascinated with clean water and its direct link to our health + happiness. it quenches our thirst, it keeps us clean + refreshed, it grows our crops, and in the movies, it always seems to fall from the heavens above, just enough, during really saccharine outdoor declaration-of-love scenes {coincidence? i think not!}. 

water really is a divine + precious resource. 

clean water is also a human right. the water crisis in flint, michigan, where cost-cutting measures led to tainted drinking water that contained lead and other toxins, brought the subject of water to the forefronts of our minds. and it has certainly been on the mind of wes stoody, founder and ceo of article one, a sustainable eyewear company located in the heart of flint. this is when stoody stepped in + stepped up. 

stoody is a young, bespectacled eco entrepreneur who has breathed life into a fashion brand of ethically manufactured eyeglasses + sunglasses; article one eyewear is crafted by hand in northern italy by skilled artisans. originally based out of chicago, stoody later decided to relocate headquarters to his home state of michigan, specifically flint, where he has created jobs within the community + a thriving business among a struggling economy. 

from the beginning, stoody was a man on a mission. his mission? to help people see. and he did this by taking on the issue of vitamin a deficiency. from our friends at article one: article one was founded to raise awareness and funding for vitamin a deficiency in developing nations. we accomplish this mission by donating a portion of each pair sold to helen keller international.

most people are unaware that about 500,000 children globally go blind each year from vitamin a deficiency, and half of those children die within 12 months as a result of vitamin a deficiency. even more astounding, it costs just one dollar for a year’s worth of supplements for one child. that means a one dollar donation to helen keller international will ensure at least one child will not die or go blind from vitamin a deficiency.

article one donates $2 from each sale to helen keller international, and to date has raised over $12k for the foundation. and now stoody + his eco eyewear crew have created "the flint collection" to support the city that has always supported us". 100% of the profits from the limited edition frames will be donated directly to flintkids.org, an organization dedicated to long-term solutions for the health + development of flint's youth in the wake of the water crisis. your purchase of a pair of sunglasses from the flint collection will contribute to the goal of raising $40,000 for the the affected children + families of flint. 

stoody penned the following poignant message to deliver to members of the u.s. congress:

even if we are able to repair all of the lead pipes in a timely manner, and if we are able to change outsider’s perspectives of flint, and if we are able to remediate the lead poisoning done to our children, we will still be in the same position we were two years ago. we will still have one of the most disenfranchised populations in the country. 

i hope that we can begin to talk about policies that will enfranchise the disenfranchised of flint. while we absolutely need funding to be directed towards new infrastructure, we also need substantial funding to go to education and healthcare.

invest in a pair of handmade glasses that will have a positive ripple affect across the flint community or donate to the flint child + health development fund created to help with the long term remediation of lead poisoning. 

because education is empowerment, knowledge is power + water is indeed a human right.

{images via article one