Learn more about the sunglasses industry and our choices along the way.
Did you know that 90% of sunglasses you buy come from the 2 big companies?
First, most sunglass brands on the market are owned by a couple of giant conglomerates, and "Sunglasses Hut" are their storefront. It’s a highly competitive, tough-to-access world.
How do we establish a price?
There are many factors but here are a few things we need to consider for the price:
lens, acetate, other materials (metal), design time, receiving and shipping goods duties, production communication, marketing, photography, media content, offering free shipping, ads, returns, packaging, accessories, office space, warehouse, packing, package follow-up, electricity, domain name, web hosting, email, support team, accountant, graphic design, social media, webmaster, loss, misc office expenses.
With all that in mind, we are still underpriced.
Did you know that we are still underpriced compared to our premium competitors? One of the reasons why we have chosen not to go into stores…
“your price is not high enough for the quality you are offering... Your price should be at least 1.5 to 2.5x more."
You can see for yourself at a site like Farftech the pricing of premium brands. And it's not only about the brand name. Some of them we are sure that you never heard of. Simply they are not part of the conglomerate and they are a premium luxury brand using the same kind of materials and craftsmanship as we are.
Polarized or not?
Polarized doesn’t mean better —> Just different utility.
Both polarized and non-polarized sunglasses will give you essential UV protection. Non-polarized lenses treat all sunlight equally and reduce the overall intensity.
Polarized are mostly useful on reflective surfaces such as flat water, glass, snow, or smooth hardtops.
Is your car better because it’s 4x4 or because it’s standard? Depends on the use.
Why do premium brands like us often choose not to polarize?
Polarized lenses are usually not a part of our handcrafted designs. Sometimes this type of lens is included in recurrent projects like the SUNSEEKER 2 (prove of concept and best sellers).
Premium brands like us usually produce micro-production premier quality eyewear from a high-end CR-39 lens from Zeiss Vision. Producing polarized usually means higher cost and bigger MOQ (minimum order quantity) therefore, we do like what is different and don’t want to produce a “standard black polarized lens”. Then if we want a custom one, we need to go in “R&D” and Zeiss needs to pull out some tests on new lens combination colours and polarized. Ending up being time-consuming (months) and in the end not even sure if our lens will pass the test due to our selected combination.
Even if the test comes out positive we need to order a large quantity that doesn’t reflect our production number… Ending up paying extra for polarized, for tests, and far more lenses than our needs. This process is for “standard lens size and base”. The process is even less “achievable” or mathematically business-wise intelligent, with a visor lens, like our FEARLESS model.
You can now understand that luxury brands don’t produce polarized mainly for those reasons. But for example, Oakley does because of the massive order they do, but even then, they release and re-use these lenses for a while. We prefer offering a wider variety.
What is acetate and why is it superior?
Acetate is a plant-based plastic and is a natural material, like leather. There is a break-in period when the sunglasses will conform to your head and fit better over time, like a leather glove or shoe. It is normal that the sunglasses seem tight at first, but the more they are worn, the more comfortable they become. Acetate is a perfect material for sunglasses, it is a durable nylon-based plastic. It is very strong, durable, flexible, and hypoallergenic. Most luxury handcrafted eyewear brands are acetate-made.
Acetate comes in slabs of different thicknesses then "CNC’ed" to the respected design pattern. Sometimes laminated with 2 different acetates like our SUNSEEKER 2 and TRAILBLAZER model to create a unique design.
Want to read more about acetate? Read this article
It's a 9 months process.
No, we don’t use Alibaba or another major white label supplier. We design from the ground up!
We don’t stick our logo on a design already made!
It’s a challenge, yes, but that’s what makes us different and stand out from the crowd.
- We get inspired
- We go on the drawing board
- We send the drawing to our manufacturer in Japan for design approval and confirm certain technical aspects
- Many backs and forth before the final design
- They send us a production sample
- Then we send our adjustments
- In the meantime we chose the materials:
- Acetate colour from Mazzucchelli (Italian acetate)
- Lens from Zeiss Vison
- Metal from our factory in Japan
- The team production leader contacts Mazzucchelli, Zeiss and confirms our selection and ship all raw materials to our Japan factory. (around 2-3 months of lead time if we asked for custom selection
- Production starts and takes around 5 months
- In the meantime, we design and process our order for packaging from Korea and other regions in Asia
- We do receive some samples and do the same kind of process of back and forth prior to ordering
- Then once all is received we process with the creative content of producing photos and video
- We edit them all and create graphic designs as well, logos, etc.
- We design the website and make sure everything is well integrated, from design to payment process, to mobile-friendly
- We create social media content and post
- We create and share to the world our love and passion for sunglasses.
So next time you see polarized sunglasses offered at 60$ and free shipping included… And they are profitable… RUN!
Or understand that you are buying a 3$ crap for your eyes. Price may fluctuate in the hundreds but they are usually made in China. Remember our frames are crafted by the world’s finest Japanese acetate manufacturers.
MALF & Jordan
BRAVE Vision Co-Founders
To read more about our story if you haven’t already: