Costa’s Newest Launch: The Untangled Collection
Costa Del Mar has always been dedicated to its mission of giving anglers and outdoor enthusiasts alike sunglasses that offer superb performance, while withstanding the toughest adventures. Conservation is constantly on the forefront for Costa. Whether through their Kick Plastic Initiative, IndiFly Foundation, or the partnership with shark research organization OCEARCH, protecting Earth’s natural resources is just as important as producing products themselves.
This new generation of The Untangled Collection is an attestation to Costas commitment of protecting the outdoors. Built from 97% recycled fishing nets, these glasses are crafted from the sport, for the sport. By teaming up with Bureo, the pair are removing the most harmful form of plastic pollution in the ocean while creating a product for anglers alike. This partnership has allowed for further advancement of recycling and molding techniques since the original Untangled Collection of lifestyle frames that hit the market in 2018. Implementing a more durable and functional NetPlus material has allowed for this highly recycled frame construction, supported by a 100% traceable supply chain.
Inside the Collection
Released in this upgraded collection are Santiago, Pargo, Antille and Caleta. Sporting several different styles and features, the Untangled Collection has a model for everyone. Costa Del Mar has a reputation of trust through its products by the performance they deliver, which can be shown in the craftsmanship and detail in this collection.
Santiago is specifically designed for anglers. Its maximum coverage frame features hooding and side shields, creating incredible sun protection and the ultimate polarized view. Keeper-ready temples and Hydrolite rubber grips allows you to stay focused on fish during rough weather when others have called it a day. High ventilation and every aspect of Santiago create the perfect tool for that slight advantage on the water.
Pargo sports a more stylish look than its brother Santiago, combined with the same technical features. The smaller frame is perfect for those who need performance without the angler necessities.
Antille takes on a youthful style with numerous performance features. In order to minimize light leaks, micro top shields and hooding were introduced. Temple grips and a rubber nose pad to keep the frames locked in were implemented to reduce fogging and keep your eyes locked in, whether its for tailing bonefish or an ice cold cervesa.
Caleta is the perfect frame for the waterwomen out there changing the outdoors as we know it. Fluid lines and feminine shape provides style and performance that will change how you see adventure.
We had the opportunity to speak to Jessica Bryant of Costa Del Mar and learn more about the collection.
Tell us about the Untangled Collection, how long has it been around, what does it mean to the Costa team?
We first launched the Untangled Collection back in 2018 with four lifestyle frames made from 100% recycled nets. It was an amazing moment for the brand because it allowed us to truly show that our longtime commitment to conservation could be integrated into our products. We made strides back in 2016 when Costa converted its entire nylon frame line to our Bio-Resin™, but nothing compares to the sustainable and tangible supply chain solution NetPlus brings to the table.
The first generation of the Untangled Collection frames grew our tribe, especially out West, but our anglers pushed us for even more performance. They wanted to support the cause too, but they required more coverage. With this new collection, we were able to advance the material, which allowed us to add more coverage/wrap and increase durability. We got the frames on the water before launch for some validation, and the response from our pro and ambassador team was proof enough. This collection meets at the confluence of sustainability and performance. It’s unlike anything else out there!
How was the idea of recycling fishing nets created? Does Costa have plans for expanding this past solely fishing nets?
Funny enough, this story started on social media. Our VP of Product, John Sánchez, saw that the team at Bureo was making skateboard decks out of recycled fishing nets they sourced themselves, and reached out to learn more about how. Once he realized that the material shared many properties with the nylon used to make sunglasses, the rest was history! Bureo has become our partner in sourcing the nets and helping us to innovate the material to push the boundaries of what we can do with it – this new collection is a testament to that. The Bureo story is an incredible one if you haven’t heard it. What they’ve identified is an issue area that is not only one of the greatest risks to our oceans, but also one that has a supply chain that is scalable and helps support coastal fishing communities and jobs. They have come up with a solution to take in the nets at end of life, clean them (which is hard work!) and then recycle them into high-quality, positive products.
Costa is ALWAYS looking for ways to bring more sustainable solutions into our products. We have several initiatives across the brand that have helped us improve – and will help us keep innovating—but at this time Untangled is still the highest standard we’ve found in making products that not only are good for our planet, but also allow us to create a high-performing and durable product. Since majority of “waste” is generated upstream when making consumer products, the most sustainable thing any brand can do is make a product that lasts – and that’s our team’s golden checkbox when identifying new opportunities.
Will recycling plastics be the future for Costa sunglasses? Would you expect this to become the new normal?
We’ve been integrating recycled and/or recyclable plastics in our products, packaging and marketing materials for quite some time—but our vision is actually larger than that. As a company, we want to reduce single-use plastics overall and inspire others do the same. The way that we’ve felt about ocean plastic pollution hasn’t changed, but our efforts to do something about it have grown. From the start of Kick Plastic in 2015 to making frames from fishing nets today, we believe the best way to protect our oceans and waterways is to “turn off the tap” and keep plastic pollution from ever ending up there in the first place.
The conversation around conservation and sustainability have certainly changed. Communities are coming together like never before—realizing that for us and future generations to keep exploring our waters that we must protect them and make changes. It’s no secret that the next generation is among the most energized to do that, and they’ll keep pushing the brands they love to do the same. It will certainly become the new normal. For Costa, it’ll fuel our team to invest even more of our passion and focus towards making an impact.
How does the performance of NetPlus material compare to that of traditional frame composition? Is there a difference in performance for the new recyclable, polarized, and color enhancing 580 mineral glass lenses?
NetPlus has evolved continuously ever since Bureo first used it to make a skateboard deck. Alongside of our own R&D, the Bureo team has made improvements to advance the recycling process, achieve incredible purity in material and even offer a new NetPlus material which has started showing up in hat brims across the industry (including Costa’s!). The original NetPlus material we used was 100% fishing nets which allowed us to make a great product but had some limitations in performance, specifically the amount of frame wrap we could achieve. The NetPlus material we’re using in the new line is 97% fishing nets and 3% performance additive, which is how we were able to achieve maximum coverage that will help keep light leak out. These frames are functional and built to perform during long days on the water, and they’re really close to looking like “regular sunglasses” too!
As for the lens? This is actually the same polarized and color-enhanced glass 580® lens you find in all Costa products. All Costa glass lenses are recyclable. We only offer our mineral glass in the Untangled Collection to make sure that the sustainability story is complete.
Thank you to Jessica and the Costa Team to make this interview happen and their continued support for the outdoors, conservation, and all those that enjoy the resources that bring us together.