A couple of months ago, we highlighted a few major companies that deserved recognition for their commitment to sustainability. We wanted to feature one that deserves its own column for its incredible steps towards eco-friendly business practices. This company is Hawkers.
Hawkers – an Eyewear Company Predicated on Sustainability
Hawkers is an eyewear company that was built on challenging the status quo. Started by a few friends with plenty of vision, this tiny enterprise had big goals to disrupt a behemoth industry. Between the retail costs and the inefficiency of the manufacturing process, the company wanted to see a serious revamp.
With very little seed money (in fact just €300) the founders got ready to set the world on fire. Recently, the company came out with an eco-friendly sunglass line that fashionistas everywhere will be proud to wear.
This isn’t the first eco-friendly eyewear company that we have featured. We previously talked about Colin Leslie Eyewear, but Hawkers has taken their eco-friendly business model even further.
Sustainable and Ethical
Hawkers is committed to creating sunglasses that respect our planet, and their customers know it. The new eco-friendly line of sunglasses provides superior protection from glare and excellent color contrast. These environmentally-responsible models are also encased in 100% sustainable packaging.
The new sunglasses are durable, able to hold up against everyday wear and tear. It makes sense for a company that caters to those who spend their time in the Great Outdoors. From surfers to snowboarders to weekend enthusiasts, those who buy Hawkers are those who take full advantage of our natural resources. Their commitment to quality explains why the company has sold more than 4.5 million sunglasses in more than 50 countries.
And if you’re looking for independent confirmation, look no further than Knoji, a reputable online review site. The site reports that the company’s products are both ethical and sustainable, an assessment based on real shoppers who take our environment seriously.
The Philosophy of Hawkers
The philosophy behind Hawkers is to provide high-quality, high-fashion sunglasses without high-price tags. This ethos has not changed as they prepare for their new line of responsible products. Eco-friendly sunglasses don’t need to cost an arm and a leg when you know how to fine-tune the many aspects of production.
So just how did Hawkers and manage to pull off this phenomenal feat? A big part of their success was turning to the right people for help.
Stepping Up to the Plate
Hawkers might be flying high now, but the fledgling company stumbled quite a bit before it soared off the ground. In the midst of the initial struggles, Hawkers turned to Alejandro Betancourt. This successful investor and entrepreneur was more than qualified to turn things around. He was able to find investors who believed in the company, strengthen leadership, and improve operations and development.
Since Betancourt took over, the company was able to hire more than 200 employees, establishing offices in Hong Kong, Elche, Los Angeles, Barcelona, and Mexico City. He’s managed to not only to pad the company’s bottom line, but he’s also given the company an international market presence that has made them into a formidable force in the fashion world.
Reaching Out to Consumers
Those who purchase Hawker’s sunglasses care about what a company does behind closed doors. Whether the company is mistreating its employees or abusing the natural resources that surround it, more shoppers than ever before are paying attention.
Hawkers didn’t want to use traditional marketing to promote its products. The company wanted to reach out to potential customers and begin a real conversation with them. It was one of the first businesses to benefit from using Facebook advertising.
Hawkers also recruits brand ambassadors, including thousands of college students to promote their products online. Alejandro Betancourt understands the true value behind word-of-mouth and social media. Ambassadors receive incentives for photographing and posting the Hawkers’ line, showing off the best of the brand and giving more customers a reason to try it for themselves.
After running campaigns across social media platforms and utilizing brand ambassadors, the company managed to acquire 6.6 million likes, increase sales, and turn their name into a household staple.
This method has also allowed the company to conserve its marketing budget, allowing Hawkers to pass down additional savings to consumers. This cost-savings approach is augmented by prioritizing online distribution channels rather than brick-and-mortar stores. Up to 90% of Hawkers sunglasses are sold online.
Looking Back to Look Forward
Alejandro Betancourt has said that “Ideas are the result of an ongoing process of creativity and productivity.” For him, the key word is ongoing. His career has been full of failures, some that land one right after another. Giving in to disappointment is not an option for him, and he constantly reminds the people around him to adopt the same values.
Moving forward, Hawkers will continue to push for innovation in eyewear. Its social media campaigns, product lines, and mission will prioritize the health and safety of our planet and all those who live in it.
Hawkers represents a new way of doing business. The company markets to young people who don’t want to spend their lives in front of a screen. And while its founders and employees live up to their responsibilities, the staff doesn’t take itself too seriously. They believe the true value behind the brand begins and ends with the customers who buy the products.
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