Maybe most of you don’t know this, but in the early years of Karün, we only had wood sunglasses 100% made in Chile by an expert artisan from Pucón (South of Chile). Our first frames were big and heavy. The prototype process was very long; it took years and a lot of resources to get to the product we have today (still handmade, but now in Italy).
At Karün we want to demonstrate through example that it is possible to create high-quality products, under a very different logic. That is why in every product we make, we try to ensure lifetime durability, and we make sure that every decision, worker and collaborator is aligned with our philosophy of generating positive impact in our society and environment.
The work behind our straps is no exception. We believe that in this Industrial Growth Society it is crucial we go back to rescue traditional trades. This way we can help to preserve our culture and ancestral customs. In this highly technologized world, we want to add value to artisanal trades, creating handmade and high-quality products that carry with them a scent of our origin and culture.
The artisans behind “macramé”
Behind every creation, there is a story. This is the story of Camila Muñoz (25) and Gabriela Reinoso (27) the niece and aunt behind our “macramé” straps.
First, let’s explain what Macramé is: Macramé is a weaving technique where the cotton is twisted and knotted from beginning to end to create fun textures and mixed colours. This combination makes our straps unique.
Camila joined Karün very early, she used to make the wood sunglasses. A few years later, she studied Interior Design and took courses to learn about crafts: “ I didn’t know much about this at the beginning, in fact, I didn’t start working with the straps, it was very different to what I was doing, but Karün offered me to learn about the technique and I liked it”.
Camila knows very well the company and team, she has been part of it from a very early stage: “ it has been a long process. I’ve seen all the changes in the products (…) it is amazing what they have accomplished with the materials, they work with so many different materials and techniques now (…) I can tell the love that the team has with the work and company in general”.
Gabriela Reinoso is Camila’s aunt and she entered the team more gradually: “I met Karün though my niece. In the beginning, I was just helping her, and then I got fully involved (…) for me this work is very important because it’s my only job and I really like the company. I feel I’m important in Karün and I feel identified by them”.
Camila and Gabriela take about 15 minutes to make each strap but it is a very thorough process: they start braiding the threads, then knotting the end and finally adding the recycled leather and the metal rivet. Once they finish they have a quality control process to verify if the product is in perfect conditions.
Leather: A noble material
We use another material, as noble as cotton, but more classic: leather. Actually, it is recycled natural leather. Orlando Díaz (48) is a physics and math professor with an amazing hobby that he learned from his father. He is the creator ou our recycled leather straps.
“I started very young to work with this craftsmanship, and then I realized I needed a “real” title, so I studied to be a teacher”. Orlando started working with Karün 7 years ago, to create our first leather cases. He did not know how long and deep our relationship with him would be. He learned about tannery when he was just a boy, spying on his dad and asking “can I help”? That’s how started getting small tasks and understanding that this wasn’t just a trade, it was art.
Our straps, handmade by Orlando, are very unique. One of the most relevant features is that they are made from scraps of other products. “You have to try to use the whole piece of leather. Some people throw away the scaps but I don’t, I use them for smaller products. Besides I like to use natural leather”.
He has been working with us for 7 years now, and we have a very strong relationship with him “Karün is a different kind of customer because I learn from them, about how they work and about the products they create. That is what I value the most”.
This trade is disappearing, but Orlando knows that it is unique and he understands the value and importance of keeping it alive “When I’m working I do everything with love”. He also explains to us, that he uses some tools that don’t even exist any more, so he has to create them as well.
Our new straps
Straps, also known as retainers, are made to sustain your sunglasses or keep you from losing them when you are not wearing them. We just launched new models to give variety to this unique product and add some functional features.
We have 3 new macramé straps: blue, tricoloured blue and tricoloured red. We also added a new strap to our leather line: black leather. We added technical improvements in two ways: one is a better piece to adjust the grip to the temples, so you can use with any temples. Universal and simple to use.
And the other one allows you to adjust the length of the strap for better comfort. This new piece is made from ocean plastic from Patagonia, just like our sunglasses!
Now that you know a bit more about the story behind our straps and the people involved in the process. We invite you to see our models and to keep choosing high-quality handmade products, locally produced and helping to preserve our culture.
If you have questions or suggestions you can write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us HERE