SideRoot is an eyewear boutique that sells eco friendly sunglasses made from ethically sourced hardwoods and cotton acetate. Nordique is delighted to stock their stylish range of sunglasses in our store, and spoke to SideRoot's founders to share more about this fantastic start-up!
Who is behind SideRoot? Tell us more about yourselves and how you came to form the company?
We are husband and wife, Richard and Emelie. We met in London while we were both studying Film and Broadcast Production and Graphic Design. After our studies ended we decided to have a baby and to move back to Sweden where Emelie comes from. Now we live in Örnsköldsvik in the north of the country and have two beautiful daughters.
We wanted to create something that followed a sustainable path and something that we believed in. We had lots of different ideas for what we wanted to do and in the end we decided upon sunglasses as they are something everyone needs, and there is plenty of scope for design creativity! Sustainability is important to us so we chose to make our glasses from eco friendly materials. In the beginning we started to order in glasses that were pre-designed but we felt that we needed to create something ourselves so we began designing our own frames from scratch.
Where did you take your inspiration from when launching your SideRoot collection?
We took our inspiration for our collection from our surroundings here in Sweden. We are inspired by classic Swedish design - meaning clean lines, simple forms and elegant shapes. We kept our first collection relatively simple in form but with future collections we aim to be a little more daring.
Tell us more about where you live – and how do you draw inspiration from your surroundings?
We live on the High Coast in Västernorrland in the north of Sweden. It is a world heritage site and unparalleled in its beauty, consisting of multiple islands, mountain ranges, rivers and lakes. Everyday we are inspired by our surroundings, not only in our designs but also the process and our lives. If we can manage a few minutes away from our two girls we like to take the drawing process outside and all creative people know what the outdoors can bring to the table: fresh air, beautiful scenery and new inspirations.
Where is your favourite place to visit (& wear your SideRoot sunglasses?)
As a standard we wear our glasses everywhere we go - be that into town, or to the beach. Recently Richard took some to Glastonbury Festival in the UK. We love to go camping as a family to a place called Genesön in Örnsköldsvik, it has a secluded beach with room to camp, a small concrete fire place to grill and these rocks that stick up out of the water so that you can climb out and fish. And the views look great through our polarized lenses!
Tell us more about your 'Plant a Tree' scheme
The idea came about after we decided that we wanted to give something back. The natural thought progression led us to planting trees and after some research we decided upon Trees for the Future (TFF). As a goodwill gesture we decided to plant 10,000 trees before we had even opened our website.
They do great work through their forest garden programs. Where some charities plant rows of trees and try to do re-forestation, TFF have devised an education program where they teach communities in Sub Saharan Africa to grow their own forest gardens. They learn how to plant certain trees, what trees are good to plant where, about soil, what they can do with the trees once they are grown and many other things. The end result is that they are self-sufficient.
At the moment we plant 10 trees for every sale but we plan to make this 100 next year and from there onwards increase every year.
How do you make sure that SideRoot is an eco-friendly company? What are your drivers behind this philosophy?
Our first focus is on what woods we choose to make our glasses. We make sure that all of our woods are sourced from suppliers that hold an FSC license meaning that the woods/trees and ethically grown from sustainable crops. However there are many misconceptions about certain wood types such as Ebony or Rosewood, two woods we chose to use in our ss16 collection.
Rather than being the name of one wood type these are in fact umbrella terms for many different woods that fall under this category and as such some people believe that Ebony and Rosewood are endangered and we shouldn’t be using them. It’s a justifiable claim and it lays with us to educate people about this. Our Rosewood for example is grown in Indonesia as opposed to African Rosewood which has a slightly different colour and is in fact endangered.
For our acetate tips we chose to use cotton acetate. There are many different ways to make acetate and we chose cotton acetate as it is bio degradeble.
Of course we realise that to be 100% sustainable is very difficult but we try our best where we can. We use paper and card for our packaging, have a Kraft paper case for our glasses box and use string to tie it all together.
We are just at the beginning of our journey and hope to learn better more sustainable ways for us to operate as a company in the future but for now we are happy with the direction we are going in.
Nordique stocks SideRoot's awesome range of sunglasses in our shop