Villa Seca + Paihuano
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The philosophy governing Karun is that their products form symbols of a new way of being; a new way of thinking of ourselves and how we view the world around us. As founder Thomas Kimber says, ¨it´s clear the world needs a big change. I don´t pretend to change the world by making sunglasses, but prove that we are able to make the best products in a completely different way that respects the planet¨. They follow a circular and regenerative model, aiming to prove that it is possible to manufacture products that are high in quality and that have a lower impact upon the environment than the usual extractive methods that define the norm. They also see themselves as much than just a company, in fact their Kickstarter page states ¨ Everything we do is a reflection of the dream of a great group of people sharing similar values and way of life. We are working as hard as we can to prove through example that we can change the way we interact with ourselves and our planet¨.
Karun is inspired by the wilds of Patagonia and means ´to be nature´ in Mapundungun, the common language spoken by the Mapuche indigenous people. This rugged landscape at the southern end of Chile is a place known for its beauty and raw energy, and this is channelled into the designs. They don´t focus upon inventing new things, instead they look to nature to inspire them.
Karun is a Chilean business that is revolutionary. Their first collection (Wood) used fallen trees in Patagonia, carefully selecting them rather than cutting any down, to create unique eyewear that embraced the differences found in each specimen. After this they teamed up Bureo, a company creating skateboards made from recycled fishing nets sourced from Chile, to make the first glasses in the world made from 100% recycled fishing nets using recycling programme Net Positiva. Discarded fishing nets cause around 10% of plastic pollution in our oceans and cause major damage to sea ecosystems and marine creatures. Net Positiva was developed by Bureo and launched in Chile in 2014, where it collected some 3000kg of discarded fishing nets in just six months. Net Positiva works across the USA and Chile to clean up coastlines, and are engaged with various non-profits that remove ocean pollution.
Now Karun bring you The Clothing Collection. This collection highlights the issue of waste in the fashion industry, where items are mass produced and quickly discarded by consumers. Jeans are some of the contaminating, with around 3 billion pairs produced annually, of which 80% then end up in landfills. From there greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released which cause considerable damage to our soils and water. The Clothing Collection is the world´s first eyewear made using recycled jeans, combining 75% recycled jeans and 25% bio-resin. Karun have partnered with Balloon Latam, where a portion of sales from each pair of sunglasses goes towards entrepreneurs in the Llanquihue Lake region of Chile. Balloon Latam works across Latin America to help develop local economies in a way that is respectful of each community´s identity, cultural conditions and productive possibilities. The designs in this collection are influenced by native Chilean birds such as the Chucao, which is native to the south and known for its emblematic sound, the red-breasted Loica (Long-Tailed Meadowlark) and the crested Kuru, or Magellanic Woodpecker. Karun has been lauded everywhere, from Cosmopolitan to CNN and GQ.
The materials are 100% Chilean and designed in Chile, and are put together using the finest technology in Italy. The sunglasses use Zeiss official lenses which offer complete protection from UVA/UVB rays, and are available in either grey or amber, or as optical lenses. They contain German stainless steel spring hinges and have no added chemicals. The current collection come with a hardcase container made from jeans and fully recycled cardboard packaging.
Karun are currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, a global crowdfunding platform that got their other designs off the ground. The campaign ends in late July, and the first 500 models will be completed by August. In October all the models will have been completed to be delivered by November.
During the campaign, the glasses have a price of USD$149 which is 40% less than their actual retail price so get in there quick to take advantage!
Kickstarter campaign here
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TTANTI watches made from fallen Patagonian trees;
Pajarito de Mimbre books & toys;
Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics.
– Sarah Goldsmith, TTANTI
Over the years I have become really passionate about Chile. Knowing its quirks, its people and flora and fauna, and giving my support to the #hechoenchile movement that is finding its stride with leaps and bounds recently. I also want to encourage the support of small businesses, often born of as much love and passion as hard work and stress to get a simple dream off the ground. I believe TTANTI, a small business that has appreciation for Chile at its heart as well as a focus upon sustainability, is the epitome of all these things, creating beautiful timepieces that represent not only the passing of time but a respect for life, and each one contains Patagonian materials. Wearing TTANTI, then, means you are keeping a small piece of Chile at your side throughout life´s moments. Here is my interview with Sarah Goldsmith, an expat from the United States who is the Director of Communication and Sales for TTANTI.
Who is TTANTI and how did the store begin?
TTANTI was founded in 2014, but really started to grow in 2016. Our team is lead by the founder, Angel Andraca. Angel is a native Chilean and wanted to combine his love of minimalist design with the spirit of Patagonia and the long tradition of Swiss watchmaking. Designer Rodrigo Bravo brought together the concept in a striking and harmonious way that gives respect to the traditions of Patagonia, while showcasing a modern aesthetic. Our Chilean team is rounded out by Sarah Goldsmith (me), Felipe Rioja, Carlos Bravo, and Mathilde Pfeiffer. Our European team includes Patrizia Vogl, Guillaume Vaslin and Steven Fantina.
What is the motivation behind TTANTI?
TTANTI was born out of a respect for the noble materials of Patagonia and the spirit they encompass, as well as the centuries old tradition of Swiss watch making. Combined into one timepiece by the patient and passionate work of Swiss and Chilean craftsmen, we seek to transmit our beliefs to our customers. We believe that a watch should not only display a point of time as measured in hours and minutes; but should be a constant reminder that time is passing, that we must appreciate every moment that ticks by.
What makes a TTANTI watch unique?
Who designs the watches and what are they inspired by?
Our designer Rodrigo Bravo seeks innovation through simplicity and functionality. He creates unique objects and solutions through a methodology that is born from the study and rescue of traditional carpentry techniques with the most advanced technologies. Rodrigo merged our inspiration with his detailed study and knowledge of functionality to create our strikingly and simple design. Although typically worn by men, and designed with a man’s wrist in mind, they’re popular with men and women alike! I am a woman and wear a TTANTI every day. I love the elegant but relaxed look it brings to my outfits, and love the connection with Chile it brings me.
How are the watches made?
The process to create a TTANTI involves the combined efforts of dedicated and passionate craftsmen from Patagonia, Santiago and Switzerland. After our timepieces are painstakingly assembled in Switzerland to exact specifications, we bring them to our workshop in Santiago. We then hand assemble the watches with the laser cut and hand polished wooden rings and hand cut and sewn leather straps from Patagonia.
How should we care for a TTANTI timepiece?
Your TTANTI is a work of art, and should be treated as such. Our wood has been rigorously tested for durability, but should be treated with care – it is in fact an antique in the making. Just like your grandmother’s oak dining table will sustain scars and memories from life, so too will your TTANTI. This is the natural aging process of wood. Specific care instructions for your TTANTI can be found on our blog.
What does TTANTI mean?
TTANTI means “seed” in the Kunza, a nearly extinct native language from the north of Chile. We want to plant an emotion that evokes the philosophy we deliver and in order to give tribute to the ancient cultures of our country.
How have the watches been received?
Reception has been really promising. We’re growing slowly but surely, and every sale is a celebration for our team! We all truly believe in what we’re doing and love seeing our work appreciated.
What is next for TTANTI?
We want to bring the wild, wonderful nature of Chile to our customers. We want to transmit the beliefs and traditions of our beautiful country, from north to south, to our customers. Eventually we would like to expand our product line to include trees and leathers from the other regions of Chile, though that might be a little further out.
Do you have a special offer for my amazing readers?
Yes! We are offering Querida Recoleta readers a 10% discount off of our products with the code queridarecoleta07
Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), also known as Hernando de Magallanes, was a Portuguese explorer who led the first European voyage to circumnavigate the globe,, while searching for the Spice Islands. He found the route through South America to the Pacific, known today as the Strait of Magellan (estrecho de magallanes).
Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who needs no introduction, traveled the globe on a scientific expedition aboard the Beagle. He explored Chile from Tierra del Fuego to Copiapo; controversially, he is believed to have used the indigenous people he met in Patagonia as an example of his theory of evolution.
Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) was a travel writer from England who wrote In Patagonia (1977), a book which revolutionized travel writing and drew the world´s gaze to the southernmost areas of Chile and Argentina.
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