Meet the Maker: Jo Skelton, founder of Peep Eyewear
Before we go any further we should probably tell you that we are BIG fans of Peep over at Acala, and their founder Jo is one of the loveliest people we could hope to meet or work with. Her enthusiasm for her work is infectious and we absolutely love working with her.
We are also huge vintage people. Our ethos at Acala is always reuse, repair, reduce and recycle. So, wherever we can shop second-hand, we do. Peep are KILLING vintage eyewear and we are so happy to be stocking a bespoke collection on Acala.
Here we talk to Jo to find out more about her plans for Peep and what makes her so passionate about upcycled eyewear.
Tell us a bit about you. What motivated you to start a sustainable business?
I've always had a thing for vintage and couldn't bear the thought of all these fantastic frames going to landfill or languishing unworn in the bottom of a drawer. With our experience in Optics it seemed the next natural step. I wanted to create a brand that celebrated the craftsmanship, quality and design of these pieces from the past. Showcasing stand out eyewear, that doesn't add to the plastic crisis or harm the planet.
What are your plans for Peep? Where do you want the brand to go?
So many plans! We're in the process of renovating Peep HQ and we're trying to do that as eco-friendly as possible - we've been busy salvaging French doors and repurposing vintage furniture. We've got plans for some exciting accessories in the pipeline and we'd like to become a go-to destination for anyone that wants to take a more considered approach to their eyewear. We plan to grow our range of styles over the next year, as well as moving into accessories.
How do you plan to remain environmentally conscious as you grow?
It's at the heart of Peep. When I launched I only thought about rescuing the frames, but as I've gone further along this journey, I've realised that's not enough. We can do more. Now every business decision I make is affected by how environmentally friendly it is. We're in the process of transforming all elements of our packaging to become 100% eco-friendly. Our new glasses cleaning cloths are made from 100% PET recycled plastic bottles! We teamed up with Trees for Cities earlier this year and now we plant a tree for every pair sold. It's a work in progress, but once you know something you can't unknow it, you know?
What are your top tips for living a more sustainable/conscious lifestyle?
It's the little things - start small. Since starting Peep I recycle tonnes more than I used to. Now I think...where's this going to end up?
Slowing down and stopping to think before I make a purchase - Do I need it? Could there be a greener alternative?
Shop quality over quantity every time - products will last and I've noticed having fewer things makes me feel lighter.
Shop vintage and you'll get quality and individuality. I buy mostly pre-loved vintage clothing with the odd sustainable staple thrown in, I'm a lot more conscious since launching the business.
Upcycle, I don't throw anything away anymore, I try to think who could make use of it or upcycle it into something else, or donate it to my favourite charity.
If you could say anything to the CEO's of all big eyewear brands what would it be?
I follow a few of the big brands and I'm inundated with 'New Product Drops'. The turnover is too fast, we all need to slow down and change our attitudes to consumption. I'd like to see some of the 'big boys' exploring more sustainable materials for both frames and packaging, working alongside charities/social enterprises, to seek solutions for repurposing old and unwanted eyewear. We want to encourage people to turn their backs on fast fashion and invest in quality... make like the 1950s 'Spend More, Buy Less'.
Thank you so much for talking to us Jo. We are HUGE Peep fans at Acala and can’t wait to see your brand grow.
Shop Peep’s bespoke collection for Acala here.