A few of SOLO Eyewear's patients Photo Courtesy of SOLO Eyewear

A few of SOLO Eyewear’s “bright eyed” patients
Photo Courtesy of SOLO Eyewear

Sunglasses are a favored accessory for any stylish lady or gent, both making a statement and providing eye protection. However, the need for eye protection goes far beyond the usual polarized pair of shades- approximately one billion people don’t have access to eye care.

Unbeknownst to most people, 80 percent of the world’s blindness and visual impairments are preventable. The majority of blindness is simply caused by cataracts that go untreated.

 “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision.” – Helen Keller

SOLO Eyewear has a vision and is working to end blindness – one sunglasses sale at a time. Their mission is to raise awareness of preventable blindness; there is something we can do to help! For every pair of sunglasses sold, SOLO provides eye care to those in need through either prescription eyeglasses or corrective surgeries.

Business met benefaction when CEO Jenny Armaraneni had the idea while enrolled in an MBA program at the University of San Diego. After reading Paul Polak’s Out of Poverty in an International Entrepreneurship course, she learned of the great need for eye care and her “sights were set.”  Having poor vision herself, she was inspired to help those in need.

Since its launch in 2011, the California-based company has funded the eye care of more that 6,500 people in 16 countries. SOLO can be purchased at Rocky Mountain Family Vision in Fort Collins; remedy that extends across the world starts local.

"T-Woods"  Photo Courtesy of Solo Eyewear

“T-Woods” Classics
Photo Courtesy of SOLO Eyewear

SOLO sunglasses are handcrafted and sustainably made with recycled bamboo temples (the amount of social responsibility alone may even be enough to deflect UV rays!). Sunglasses come in classic wayfarer and aviator styles, with a variety of color choices. Polarized models run between $89 and $160.

"Wave" Aviators

“Wave” Aviators from the “Artist Collection”
Photo Courtesy of SOLO Eyewear

The handcrafted “Artist Collection” has an array of patterns that perfectly encompass the mission: “Let us paint a picture of a world where gratitude fills our hearts, creativity floods our streets and happiness engulfs our everyday existence.”