We are Jbird Collective, a small group of industrial designers and craftsmen based in Portland, Oregon. What we've created is: The World's First All Leather Eyewear. There is no structural frame beneath the leather; they only consist of leather, hinges, lenses and thread. We've developed a patent pending process that allows us to precisely harden leather into structural forms that not only hold their shape, but create an experience like nothing before.
As designers and leatherworkers, we saw a disconnect in the eyewear marketplace between the product and the user. There is nothing like the aroma and tactile feel of a vegetable tanned leather wallet. through every-day use, it begins to wear as it slides in and out of a pocket. It absorbs natural oils from your hands and even darkens with sun exposure. Your once natural colored wallet is now a beautiful golden brown with wear pattens that tell the unique story of your time together. This is the experience we wanted to bring to the eyewear and fashion marketplace.
Leather is arguably the most diverse material in the world. No man-made fabric has the abrasion resistance, unique aging qualities and molding capabilities found in all natural leather. Through extensive trial and error we've developed the technique of layering molded leather to create precisely shaped and structurally sound leather frames. After months of development and countless prototypes, we've found a solution that challenges what is thought to be possible.
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" -Thomas Edison
The most amazing thing about leather eyewear is that it keeps leather's unique tactile feel and characteristics, allowing each pair to wear according to use and to naturally tan in the sun like all vegetable tanned leather products. By making them of 100% pure vegetable tanned leather, we are able to capitalize on those attributes in addition to other leather working details, such as hand stitching and edge burnishing.
Blending age-old leather working techniques with state-of-the-art precision, we've created sunglasses unlike any other. Die-cut layers of Wickett & Craig vegetable tanned leather are bonded together and heat-molded into form before being hand shaped and edge finished. Carl Zeiss polarized lenses and securely seated while arms are attached and aligned to the frame. Finally, hand stitching sets off the eyewear creating both structural detail and visual interest.
Molded leather sunglasses feel much like a dense rubber, in the way that they flex and return to their shape while maintaining the valuable feel and appearance of leather as mentioned earlier.
We take pride in United States manufacturing and greatly respect those who are committed to it. Likewise, we believe in sourcing sustainable materials in order to produce natural eyewear by hand. All Jbird Collective leather eyewear will be manufactured in our studio in Portland, Oregon. Quality will always be our #1 goal, and there's no better way to make it happen than to do it ourselves.
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