Clean water in every ocean and from every faucet, that’s our wet dream. But of course, Dopper’s not the only brand with a mission. There are lots of other entrepreneurs and initiators who get out of bed, pushing for a better world, every day. We call them the Wet Dreamers.
Our Antwerp colleague Ella spoke to Sebastiaan de Neuborg of w.r.yuma.
Sebastiaan goes through life in a daydream, for he now lives his dream. With his trademark sunglasses, w.r.yuma, he wants to show that a recycling business certainly doesn’t leave you chomping at the bits, nailed down in one spot – in fact, it catapults you straight into the future! Although, according to him, we ought to go back to basics to save the planet, because in nature, waste simply doesn’t exist. The w.r.yuma slogan is therefore no coincidence – It’s not waste until it’s wasted.
Waste in your face
While coaching companies wanting to do things the sustainable way, Sebastiaan’s been following the growing plastic problem closely for quite some time. In the end, the desire to start his own brand was too big, and he decided to take the step towards a better world. “With w.r.yuma, I want people to look at waste in a different way. I like to do so quite literally, with a very visible product like sunglasses.” With glasses made from old refrigerators, car dashboards or discarded plastic bottles right in your face, it’s of course very difficult not to see it. Vice versa, it also works perfectly: “Besides being a lovely product, I wanted to create a conversation starter. We quite literally place the problem and the solution in your face, whether you wear the glasses yourself, or look at it on someone else’s face. So you really can’t NOT talk about it.”
Dispose of disposables
Thanks to the 3D printer with which w.r.yuma sunglasses are being made, after years of use, each product can be melted again and be printed in a new model. “By tackling it the recycling way, we can respond to the trend-sensitive needs of consumers in an ethical and aesthetic way. Thus, we create a kind of revisited recycling business in which waste isn’t seen as a waste product, but a source of untapped material.”
We’re going to Yuma
That he won’t be having a huge impact on the environment with a relatively small product like sunglasses, is quite clear to Sebastiaan. Yet he deliberately didn’t opt for recycled cars or homes, because “my brand had to be one with emotion, something that would also have an effect on humans. This way we can have a definite effect on consumers’ mindsets, and hopefully even change it. Besides, other than through w.r.yuma, there has always been a certain coolness associated with sunglasses, and this we want to try and tap into in changing the perception of sustainability.”
So, once w.r.yuma becomes successful, will Sebastian be kicking up his feet and chill-out in Yuma, Arizona – the sunniest spot on Earth? No way, because the start up of his trademark sunglasses is just a small part of his recycling dream for a wasteless world!