Good Citizens - Sustainable Sunglasses Made From Recycled PET

Good Citizens




Made In



  • Transparent Transparent
  • Fair Fair
  • Give Back Give Back
  • Vegan Vegan
  • Made Locally Made Locally
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Circularity Circularity

You know those plastic water bottles that you put in your yellow recycling bin? Well, this is the material of choice for the Good Citizens sunglasses frames. Just one of these single-use bottles is enough to make the frame and hinges of a pair of metal-free sunglasses. Talk about turning trash into treasure!

After 752 days and 2500+ failed attempts, the Good Citizens team – led by father and son duo Nik and Harry Robinson – finally turned a plastic bottle into a pair of sunglasses. Because the eyewear is ethically made right here in Australia, Good Citizens is totally in control of the entire manufacturing process. With UV400 CAT3 sun lenses made by Carl Zeiss Vision, you can be sure that your eyes will be protected from the sun’s rays, too.

This incredible business is also completely committed to environmental responsibility. Not only do their epic sustainably-crafted sunnies divert harmful plastic from our oceans and landfill, but if any part of your sunglasses break, Good Citizens will send you a new piece for home-friendly fixing. Due to their timeless styles, their mixable and matchable clips and arms, their comfortable fit and their modular design, it comes as no surprise that the Good Citizens eyewear won both Best in Class for Product Design Housewares and Objects and Gold for Fashion Impact awards at The Good Design Awards, Australia’s peak international design awards.

Oh, and each and every pair of sunglasses is carbon negative; Good Citizens prevents 10kg of carbon from entering the atmosphere with each pair of sunglasses sold. They even donate to NGOs cleaning up our oceans for every pair of sustainable sunglasses sold, and their back office and workshop is run entirely off green power.

Led by Nik and Harry, the Good Citizens team is putting “style” and “sustainability” in the same sentence. With a commitment to ethical and sustainable production, as well as an inherent mission to rid our oceans of single-use plastic, Good Citizens is proving that business can be used as an incredibly impactful force for good.

Want to know where Good Citizens sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Behind the Brand

“It would have been so easy to add a bit of virgin plastic to get around our production issues, but we were determined to succeed with 100%. The experts told us it couldn't be done, yet we persevered and while we still have issues now and again, we've proved it can be done.”.

Nik Robinson

What made you start your business?

Good Citizens was born over a family dinner in 2018. Harry (8) & Archie (6) were upset about the plastic waste piling up in the world. They hassled Mum and Dad to step up and together (with no experience), they hatched a plan to help untrash the planet by turning single-use plastic bottles into 100% recycled sunglasses frames.

What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?

We’ve encountered so many on our journey, from battling greenwashing from other brands to consumer perception around the quality of sustainable products, but the biggest barrier for us was sticking to 100% recycled plastic in our frames. It would have been so easy to add a bit of virgin plastic to get around our production issues, but we were determined to succeed with 100%. The experts told us it couldn’t be done, yet we persevered and while we still have issues now and again, we’ve proved it can be done. It took us 752 days to crack it, however if we want to fulfil our purpose of untrashing the planet, then we believe we can’t use virgin plastic in our frames.

Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Good Citizen, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?

Our frames are made in a factory in Dee Why. Tom the factory owner has been an amazing support for us. He was the only manufacturer brave enough to take us on when everyone else thought we were crazy. Eoin runs our production and Jarrad is the one that stands with me operating the machine to check every pair comes off the line perfectly.

Then our frames need assembling. Most days it’s Marcus or Fraser who put the frames together and make sure they are perfect and ready for dispatch. Marcus is an industrial design student and Fraser is an industrial design graduate. But to be honest, the whole family chips in. Harry (now 11) and Archie (9) come in to the workshop and help out after school and in the holidays. Archie is the fastest box maker of all us and Harry has a great eye for detail. Even Mum gets on the tools sometimes although she’s happier running operations!

Why did you pick the materials you have chosen to work with?

We chose rPET firstly because there’s a massive pile of it on the planet that we felt could be used for something good. Secondly, it was about education. We hoped that by using recycled bottles, we would get people thinking about their single-use plastic usage and maybe not buy that bottle next time.

Best piece of advice you have ever received?

Be nice to people on the way up as you’ll meet them on the way down.

The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks – it’s a book about the lessons we can learn from past generations. Everyone is scrambling to invent new ways of doing things, when sometimes we just need to stop and respect the proven ways from the past.

The Alpinist. We’re all different, all unique. If you think you’re a risk taker, watch this film and hold on to your seat!

Any other Movers & Shakers out there that you think people should know about?

The team at Lightyear One who have invented a solar powered car that can drive for months without needing to recharge.


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