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Former ECCI resident launches world's first hemp sunglasses

Former ECCI Climate-KIC Accelerator resident Hemp Eyeware has officially launched the world’s first sustainable sunglass line made from hemp fibre.

The Edinburgh-based company launched on Kickstarter in October, bringing their unique eyewear frames to the market just two years after founder Sam Whitten entered ECCI's early stage start-up programme.

Working out of a studio in Leith, the growing Hemp Eyewear team has developed an innovative, sustainable technology that processes plant fibre into solid material. Each pair of sunglasses is then handcrafted by artisans using sustainable technology, organic materials and traditional artisanal techniques.

Sam Whitten, Founder of Hemp Eyewear said: "Hemp is the ideal alternative to harmful plastics as it’s one of the most beautiful and sustainable materials on earth. Using hemp in the core material allows for a unique pair of sunglasses that are both one-of-a-kind and good for the planet."

”ECCI was a great platform for me to develop sustainable practices within my business as well as accelerating business growth at the same time."

"The Accelerator programme improved my entrepreneurial skills and one of the best aspects to the centre is the network. You meet a lot of like minded people in a wide range of industry sectors all pushing towards a similar goal".

Hemp Eyewear's Kickstarter campaign offers the chance to pre-order sunglasses from the unique range at a discount price and is live until Tuesday 26 November.

The Climate-KIC Accelerator is ECCI’s three-stage programme for low carbon entrepreneurs and start-ups in the UK - getting entrepreneurs and start-ups investment-ready by offering the knowledge, resources, tools and coaching you needed to grow into a great business. Since launching in 2017 ECCI's Accelerator businesses have secured more than £1.75m worth of investments and won more than 50 awards.

Could you benefit from ECCI's start-up programmes?

Climate-KIC Accelerator is ECCI's three-stage programme for low carbon entrepreneurs and start-ups in the UK.