ICU Eyewear: Ethical Sophistication

by JP Scheetz on April 14, 2014

icu eco glassesSmall business owners are creating change right before our eyes. Who says we need to wait around for Jack to chop down the beanstalk in order to defy the giants? Some entrepreneurs out there have found their very own magic beans and are making a big difference.

One progressive company I’d like to place in the spotlight is ICU Eyewear. ICU is the first eyewear company in the world to develop eco-friendly reading glasses. In addition, they’ve reduce their carbon footprint by aligning with a greener production process and have attainined Carbon Neutral status.

ICU was founded by Patricia Kesten in 1997. She received such overwhelming support for her environmental sensitivity, she decided to create the ECO line – an entire line of reading and sunglasses focused on sustainable materials.

I was fortunate enough to view ICU’s ECO line at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA this year. I wasn’t expecting to see glasses so vibrant and playful! I immediately began trying on these works of art. Who knew being a friend to the environment could be so fashionable!

Some of ICU’s ECO frames are made from natural materials like bamboo, while others are made from reclaimed plastic and metal. In the end, every bit is recyclable.

I asked Patricia what originally inspired her to create environmentally-friendly glasses. She told me about ten years ago, Oscar de la Renta created a beautiful corn silk dress for a runway show. This lit a proverbial light bulb for her: through creativity, fashion can be both ethical and sophisticated.

In addition, to being environmentally-friendly, ICU Eyewear has a humanitarian initiative. ICU collects unwanted reading glasses in order to donate them to those who are in need of vision assistance but can’t afford it. They’ve also partnered with the SEVA Foundation, an international health organization based in Berkeley, California that delivers pediatric eye care to underprivileged children around the world.

It was only at the end of my visit to the ICU Eyewear presentation that I finally looked at the price tags. I had a preconceived notion that because these glasses were so special, they’d be out of my budget. But was I wrong! They’re completely affordable. So much so that I could afford to buy more than one pair!

Please check out their website at and support this forward-thinking company. The bonus is, while helping to create change in the world, you’ll be looking fabulous!

JP Scheetz

JP Scheetz is the Blogging Manager for Green Lifestyles Network and a freelance writer and editor. Ever since she was little, she has had a deep concern for how human beings treat the environment. As a Girl Scout, she was taught that when spending time in nature, we should leave no trace, and believes this is a philosophy to live by, as we are mere passers-by on this planet. JP has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and a Master’s Degree in Education. She likes to spread wildflower seeds in abandoned lots and agrees with Albert Einstein who said, “I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.”


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