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Style, innovation & equality

Danish fashion profile has launched a sustainable eyewear brand — and it’s an instant success

38-year-old Tim Hancock says he didn’t start KAMO because he thought it would be an easy project. Instead, he aimed to stand out in a high volume industry with the quality and the tone of voice of which how the costumers connect with the brand.

Words: Johan Magnusson

Hancock is self-taught and has gained great experience from 20 years in the fashion industry. He was working within photography, architecture, denim, and ready to wear design before starting Han Kjøbenhavn, in 2008.

— Han started as an eyewear label and within two years grew into a full concept brand. After 10 years of running a global business with stores in New York, Paris, and Copenhagen and a global wholesale market, I wanted to press the ”refresh button” and test myself with new projects and new ways of thinking, he says.

— And so in 2017, I founded the creative agency Ssoon International which focuses on branding, design and marketing, within furniture, beauty and fashion. In 2018, my new sustainable eyewear label KAMO was founded.

There has to be an easier mission within the fashion industry than starting a new brand on such a competitive market. How come that you started?

— It was not because I thought it would be an easy project. I started KAMO because I love design and the details within designing and creating eyewear. I know it’s a high volume industry with lots of competition, but I believe that we stand out on quality and tone of voice which is how our costumers connect with the brand.

Since its inception, the brand’s goal was to develop high quality eyewear, with a distinctive design at an affordable price. Danish design, made in Italy and Japan with Carl Zeiss sun lenses. The frames have already been seen on personalities such as Lebron James, Westbrookk, MØ, and Jonah Hill.

You have a highly successful first year running, what’s your key to success?

— The know-how and commitment to quality — the craftsmanship must be on point. KAMO has only been around since last year, but in the last nine months opened up many new markets, such as Germany, China, Japan, the U.S., Sweden, Greece, Cyprus, UK, and France.

Together with Mazzucchelli, the market leader in the production of acetate, they process acetate waste into the black frames. They consist of 97% recycled acetate. The remaining 3% are merely black ink. For the non black-coloured frames bio-based acetate is used. This material is made without crude oil or toxic plasticisers, bringing pollution down to a minimum.

How do you work with sustainability?

— With focus on sustainable thinking in the form of multidisciplinary holistic design, I try to look beyond traditional solutions for innovative possibilities in beautiful, sustainable eyewear, says Hancock. The label’s search for more knowledge about raw material extraction, materials, production methods, recirculation methods, and labor laws has inspired the move to produce locally in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions.

You just launched an exclusive collab with Danish designer Tobias Birk Nielsen. What other special projects do you have coming?

— To keep working on creative projects. This process is always pushing my understanding of what is doable and the design development to the max. I have just started working on the two new collabs for SS20: one will be with a major Danish brand and the other with a Japanese one. I try to make each collab as relevant as possible and together with the brand make a unique mix of each brand’s dna. My plans for 2020 is to focus even more on Asia and North and South America. These markets are in demand of design driven products with our sustainable mindset.