Karun: Leading Change in Fashion

From the wild open spaces to the starry sky, the snug fields of green tucked between snow-capped mountains and the raw expanse of open ocean, Chile has got to be one of the world´s most beautiful specimens of Planet Earth.  It seems only fitting, then, that it is also a country taking the business model and embedding it with an environmental conscience (as we have seen with TTANTI and Apicola del Alba).  This next business is one that is setting a new benchmark in the fashion world by merging concepts of sustainability and responsibility with quality eyewear in a way that is quite simply revolutionary. Enter Karun World, sunglasses and glasses made ´from a different point of view´ which I am so excited to feature on my blog because I love the concept, all that they stand for and the sunglasses themselves which are effortlessly stylish and unique.  Here are some reasons why they should be on your radar too.

They symbolize a new vision

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¨.

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Photo: Karun

They look to nature for inspiration

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.

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Photo: Karun

They are revolutionizing eyewear

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.


Their eyewear is special

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.

Proceso Clothing CollectionProductos jeans

How You Can Get a Pair

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!



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More Information

Website here

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Kickstarter campaign here

If you liked this, you might like to support one of these other amazing small businesses:

TTANTI watches made from fallen Patagonian trees;

Pajarito de Mimbre books & toys;

Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics.


Apicola del Alba: Natural Cosmetics

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If you have been reading my articles, then you may know that life can be hectic, stressful and tiring with two young children. For this reason I make sure that I have some time every day where I am completely alone – where no-one is rushing me, I can listen to my thoughts (which often tell me to write) and I can take care of me.  I love hopping into a steamy shower and using products that make me feel womanly (my absolute favorite is Ro´s Argan Body Conditioner by Lush – it makes you smell amazing!).  Another company whose things I love is a local one, named Apicola del Alba, which combines health, science and the bounty of Chile´s nature to create a range of creams, aromatherapy oils and vitamin supplements.  I first came across their products at a little stand in Olmue after stomping my way around the natural palm tree forest at La Campana and,  after buying a bagful, I´ve been using them ever since.  It is only natural, therefore, that they feature on my blog as one of my favorite Chilean businesses to shine a spotlight on.  Here i interview Maria Soledad Muñoz, head of marketing at the Apicola/

Si tu has estado leyendo mis artículos, entonces puedes saber que la vida puede ser agitada, estresante y agotadora con dos niños pequeños. Por esta razón me aseguro de tener algún tiempo todos los días donde estoy completamente sola – donde nadie me está apurando, así puedo escuchar mis pensamientos (que a menudo me dicen que escribir). Me encanta tomar una ducha diaria y el usar los productos que me hacen sentir femenina (mi favorito es Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner por Lush – que te hace oler increíble!). Otra de las empresas que amo es una local, llamada Apicola del Alba, que combina la salud, la ciencia y la bondad de la naturaleza de Chile para crear una gama de cremas, aceites de aromaterapia y suplementos vitamínicos. Encontré por primera vez sus productos en un pequeño stand en Olmué después de recorrer un hermoso sendero alrededor del bosque natural de palmeras llamado La Campana. Compé muchos productos y los he usando desde entonces. Es natural, por lo tanto, figuran en mi blog como uno de mis negocios chilenos favoritos para brillar. Aquí entrevisté a María Soledad Muñoz, jefa de marketing de Apicola del Alba.

Hola Maria! Who is Apicola del Alba and what is the story behind the business/ ¿Quién es Apícola del Alba y como empezaron?

Our goal was to protect the conservation of native forest in the mountains of Curacaví and develop beekeeping and therapeutic products as a means to this goal. This project materialized as soon as Luz Sotomayor and Leandro Díaz finished their biology studies, with the installation of the hives and the first production workshop, which soon grew with the integration of valuable women into our team, all of them from Curacaví. An integral condition of the project was to live in harmony with the forest and to enhance its conservation. Thus Apicola da Alba was born.  The team comprises of Luz and Leandro, Fernando (Luz’s father), Alejandro (Luz´s uncle), Lourdes (Luz´s cousin), Amparo (Luz´s daughter), Anita (Luz´s sister), as well as Pamela Vásquez and the support of all our families.

Nuestro proyecto fue hacer sustentable y proteger la conservación de un  bosque nativo, en las montañas de Curacaví y desarrollamos como un medio para este objetivo la apicultura y sus productos terapéuticos. Este  proyecto se concretó tan pronto Luz Sotomayor y Leandro Díaz terminaron sus estudios de biología, con la instalación de las colmenas y del  primer taller de producción, que a poco andar creció con la integración a nuestro equipo de valiosas mujeres, todas ellas de Curacaví. Parte integrante y condición del proyecto fue el vivir en armonía en y con el bosque y potenciar su conservación. Así nació Apícola del Alba, cuyas tareas principales hoy las desarrollan, además de Luz y Leandro, Fernando, el papá de Luz, Alejandro, tío de Luz, Lourdes, prima hermana y encargada del diseño, Amparo, hija, Anita, hermana, todos familia, con el apoyo de la jefa de Taller, Pamela Vásquez.

What is your primary objective/Cuál es su objetivo principal?

First to keep being creative. We want to consolidate ourselves as a company that develops and promotes the values ​​of responsibility in its various senses: therapeutic responsibility, ecological responsibility and social responsibility, especially with our workers. We maintain our aim of respecting nature and its inhabitants, which we express in the creation of our natural products; we keep them clean with a high therapeutic value, we don´t test on animals, and above all, we take great pride in them.

Lo primero, mantener el placer de ser creativos. Queremos consolidarnos como una empresa que desarrolla y promueve los valores de responsabilidad en sus diversos sentidos: responsabilidad terapéutica, responsabilidad ecológica y responsabilidad social, sobre todo con nuestros trabajadores. Mantenemos nuestro objetivo de difundir nuestra emoción de respeto hacia la naturaleza y sus habitantes, que expresamos en la creación de nuestros productos naturales, limpios, con alto valor terapéutico, no testeados en animales, productos que junto con nuestro equipo son nuestro gran orgullo.

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The daily moisturizer that I use in summer and which Luis uses every day.  It is very light and easily absorbed and it also contains sunscreen.

What are your favorite del Alba products/Cuáles sus productos favoritos?

The sprays of  Propóleo y Miel which are without alcohol and with a significant proportion of propolis and honey, are unique in Chile. Los Aloes, made with lyophilized aloe with a concentration of 99%, are equivalent to the direct consumption of the gel. In cosmetics there are two lines. Among the hair cosmetics, the Champú and Bálsamo de Ortiga y Romero, and the Champú de Jalea Real, are highlights for their revitalizing ingredients. Among the creams, the stand out is the Crema de Aloe y Jalea Real,  and the Serum.  In aromatherapy, we have various colognes, oils of pure essential oils and mixes, and among them the Oleo del Bosque, which is a mix of 16 natural essential oils, stands out.

Los sprays de Propóleo y Miel, sin alcohol y con una importante proporción de propóleo y miel, lo que los hace únicos en Chile, por no tener alcohol.  Los Aloes, elaborados con aloe liofilizado, con una concentración del 99%, equivalente al consumo directo del gel, sin aloína. En cosmética hay dos líneas, la cosmética capilar, destaca el Champú y Bálsamo de Ortiga y Romero y el Champú de Jalea Real, con ingredientes revitalizadores. Entre las cremas, destacan la crema de Aloe y Jalea Real y el Serum. En aromaterapia, las aguas de colonia, los oleos de aceites esenciales puros y los mix. Entre todos ellos destaca el Oleo del Bosque, un mix de 16 aceites esenciales naturales.

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Some of the Aloe Vera products. Photo: Apicola del Alba

Which products do you recommend for mums/Qué productos recomiendan para mamás?

Our Nutriderm capsules, the Crema Luz del Alba, and the Crema Propóleo Matico, which is great for irritations.

Nuestras cápsulas Nutraderm, Crema Luz del Alba, Crema Propóleo Matico para irritaciones.

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Photo: Apicola del Alba

Which products are good for children/Cuáles productos tienen para niños?

Crema Propóleo Matico (ages 2+) and the Propóleo for children.

Crema Propóleo Matico, para niños mayores de 2 años, spray Propóleo niños.

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One of the sprays.  We have the kids version. Photo: Apicola del Alba

What are the advantages of Aromatherapy/Cuáles son las ventajas de la aromaterapia?

Aromatherapy is an alternative therapeutic method that seeks to generate healthy benefits in an integral way. Aromatherapy is very good for the skin as it helps to rejuvenate it, so it is recognized for having regenerative properties. In addition, it helps relax the muscles and gives relief from headaches. It can also help improve the mood of people who suffer from depression. Finally, it has been indicated that aromatherapy is an excellent support for antiviral and antiseptic processes, generally improving the symptoms.

La Aromaterapia es un método alternativo terapéutico que busca generar beneficios saludables de una manera integral a partir de los efectos que generan los aromas en nuestro organismo. La aromaterapia es muy buena para la piel ayudando a rejuvenecer el cutis, por lo que se le reconoce funciones regenerativas. Además, ayuda a relajar los músculos y potencia estados de tranquilidad interior, actuando como relajante y dando alivio ante cuadros de dolores de cabeza. También pueden ayudar a mejorar el estado de ánimo de personas deprimidas. Por último, se ha indicado que la aromaterapia es un excelente apoyo para procesos antivirales y antisépticos, mejorando en general los síntomas de estos procesos.

My Forest Roller from the aromatherapy range, which is great for when you´re stressed out.  This is in my handbag at all times given my tendency to have panic attacks.

In the del Alba blog, you talk about Circular Economy. Can you explain what that is/En su blog hablan sobre la Economía Circular, ¿pueden explicar que es eso?

Circular economics is an approach that looks at the process of supply and demand in a similar way to how nature works. In nature all the elements fulfill a function and are reused at a later stage of the natural process. This is why Circular Economy aims to change the linear production model, which generates large amounts of waste, to a circular model in which waste is returned as raw materials in other parts of the same production system. Therefore, the idea is to reduce consumption, reuse and recycle the waste, in a way that is respectful of the environment.

La economía circular es un enfoque que propone entender los procesos de producción del ser humano de una manera similar a como funciona la naturaleza. En la naturaleza todos los elementos cumplen una función y son reutilizados para ser aprovechados en alguna etapa del proceso natural. Es por esto que la Economía Circular apunta a que cambiemos el modelo de producción lineal que termina generando grandes cantidades de desechos, a un modelo circular en el cual se reintegran los desechos como materias primas en otras partes del mismo sistema de producción. Por lo tanto, se relaciona con esto, la idea de Reducir el consumo, Reutilizar y Reciclar los residuos, de una manera respetuosa con el medio ambiente.

In the blog you also mention defending the native flora and fauna. How do you do this/En su blog hablan sobre Defiendo nuestro Flora y Fauna. ¿De qué manera su empresa protege la naturaleza y cómo podemos ayudar en algo?

One of our main values is to live in a respectful way in, and with, the 200-hectare forest that has been protecting our family for 30 years, and which we have managed to use in a sustainable way thanks to the creation of value-added products whose raw materials and extracts come from the same forest. In addition, we are currently facing the challenge of developing products for children which follow these values ​​of conservation and sustainability, and through CORFO [Corporacion de Fomento a la Produccion, government funding that promotes the creation of businesses developed in Chile, such as Start-Up Chile] funding, we want to certify extraction management and take measures to protect these valuable forests from fires and other threats which are associated with climate change.

Uno de nuestros valores transversales en nuestro proyecto de Apícola del Alba es vivir de forma respetuosa en y con el bosque de 200 hectáreas que viene protegiendo hace 30 años la familia y que nos hemos ingeniado para aprovechar de manera sustentable gracias a las abejitas y a la creación de productos de valor agregado cuyas materias primas y extractos provienen del mismo bosque. Además, nos encontramos en estos momentos enfrentando el desafío de desarrollar cosmética infantil asociado a todos estos valores de conservación y sustentabilidad, y para esto a través de financiamiento CORFO [Corporacion de Fomento a la Produccion] queremos certificar el manejo extractivo y tomar medidas para proteger a estos valiosos bosques de los incendios y otras amenazas asociadas a los impactos del cambio climático.

Luis´revitalizing B6 supplement (not suitable while pregnant or breastfeeding)

Where is your favorite place in Chile/Dónde está su favorito lugar en Chile?

We have a special place for the sclerophyllous forest of the Coastal Range, which is a type of ecosystem with a high degree of vulnerability, where you can find wonders such as lingues, quillayes, boldos and myrtle trees in small woods, alongside various types of orchids and other native and endemic flowers. This beautiful ecological spot also hosts a wealth of native insects (beetles, mantis´, bees), reptiles,  birds and mammals such as foxes and huiñas [of the cat family]. And it is precisely in this natural setting where our story begun and the Apicola del Alba project continues to develop.

Por supuesto que tenemos un especial favoritismo por el bosque esclerófilo de la cordillera de la Costa, que es un tipo de ecosistema con alto grado de vulnerabilidad donde hay maravillas como lingues, quillayes, boldos y arrayanes en pequeños bosquecitos asociados con varios tipos de orquídeas y otros bulbos nativos y endémicos. Todo esto en la bellísima trama ecológica que permite alojar una especial riqueza nativa de  insectos (escarabajos, mantis, abejas), reptiles (lagartijas y lagartos), aves (diurnas y nocturnas) y mamíferos (zorritos y huiñas). Y es precisamente en este escenario natural donde comienza la historia y sigue desarrollándose el proyecto de Apícola del Alba.

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From the Boldo tree. Photo: Apicola del Alba

What´s next for Apicola del Alba/ Cuál es el futuro de Apícola del Alba?

From the beginning, Apícola del Alba sought to design innovative products, such as non-alcoholic propolis, and integrate natural raw materials with bioactive ingredients, such as quillay, boldo, aloe vera and matico, backed by tradition and science. That is why we want to deepen this line by certifying the effectiveness of our products with international laboratories, an important component of progress. Our previous reports regarding the efficacy and hypoallergenic properties of our products, have all been very positive. This will deepen our place in the cosmetics market in Chile and then, in the second stage, throughout America. In parallel, we continue to develop innovative, therapeutic and wellness products, functional food and aromatherapy.

Desde el inicio, Apícola del Alba persiguió diseñar productos innovadores, como los propóleos sin alcohol, integrando el uso habitual de materias primas naturales con ingredientes bioactivos, como el quillay, el boldo, el aloe vera y el matico, avalados por la tradición y la ciencia. Es por esto que queremos profundizar esa línea, esa tradición,  mediante la certificación, otorgada por laboratorios internacionales, de la efectividad de nuestros productos, gestión que está en un importante grado de avance. Tenemos los informes previos, todos muy auspiciosos,  sobre la eficacia e hipoalergenidad de nuestros productos. Con ello se profundizará nuestra instalación en el mercado de la cosmética en Chile, inicialmente, y en una segunda etapa, en toda América. En paralelo, seguimos desarrollando productos innovadores, terapéuticos y de bienestar, en la alimentación funcional y en la aromaterapia.

Love this conditioning treatment using Argan and Chamomile

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