HELIOS EYEWEAR LAUNCHES PROJECT RESIGHT, A CSR AND SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE TO PROTECT MAURITIAN FISHERMEN’S EYES FROM SUN DAMAGE
The local sunglasses brand has teamed with agency CIRCUS! to launch the ReSight Project, aimed at combatting two threats faced by Mauritian fishermen: pollution to the lagoons and sun damage to their eyes.
Sun rays reflected off the water’s surface are destroying the eyesight of Mauritian fishermen who toil for long hours at the coastline each day. Coupled with pollution damage to the lagoons where they work, the livelihoods of the fishing community are under threat. To combat both issues, local brand Helios Eyewear and communication agency CIRCUS! have launched the ReSight Project.
Beginning as a waste collection campaign, CIRCUS! came up with idea of sourcing over 10,000 bottles from the lagoon to be recycled into 2000 sunglasses, distributed over four roadshows in the main fishing villages. The glasses were then freely distributed to every fisherman on the island.
“For fishermen who spend long hours exposed to the sun’s reflection on the water’s surface, 100% UV protection is a must,” says Nicholas Park, General Manager of Helios Eyewear. “Over the years, these rays damage the ocular tissues and can lead to various pathologies such as cataracts, keratitis and sometimes sight loss, amongst others.”
Helios Eyewear is a locally manufactured brand in Mauritius, producing eco-friendly qualitative eyewear at an affordable price. In 2020, Helios introduced a ‘100% Green’ line to its collection, made from recycling plastic bottles.
The ReSight Project has seen the two companies go beyond the simple concept of recycling. CIRCUS! Executive Creative Director Vincent Montocchio says: “Our approach was to engage the Mauritian public through something of prime importance to them: their strong bond with the lagoon and the locals who live by it.”
CIRCUS! Creative Director Gareth Pretorius says: “The challenge was devising an idea that would address the two issues: protecting the eyes of fishermen and cleaning up the coastline. We asked: what if one problem could solve another?”
ReSight has had a palpable impact on the local fishing community and beyond, demonstrating how a brand can achieve multiple sustainability goals with one single initiative.
“With ReSight, we contributed to [the protection of] both eyesight and the coastal environment,” says Head of Communications at ENL Group, Shyama Soondur. “We intend to pursue similar initiatives in our other lines of businesses and hope to inspire our peers to also try harder and do more for the people and the planet.”