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Brooks Dame of Proof Eyewear: Social Enterprise with an Ethical Edge

In the Amazonian rainforest alone, an estimated three football pitches of trees is felled every 60 seconds. Brooks Dame is the social entrepreneur behind Proof Eyewear, a fashion brand manufacturing wooden sunglasses in a sustainable way.

Brooks Dame is Working to Create Sustainable Eyewear that Protects Forests

Brooks Dame had devised an exciting idea for a business. He adored how wood felt on his fingertips, and was inspired by his grandpa to create a brand offering wooden accessories to the masses. Aware of the sustainability issues surrounding the use of wood worldwide, Dame decided that his company, Proof Eyewear, should give back to the community.

Although many of the products that Proof manufactures are made of wood, Dame also has a firm belief that it’s best to focus on sustainability. He believes that using natural materials is far superior to the use of plastic. Dame’s belief is that wooden frames for sunglasses are timeless, and won’t be subject to obsolescence like cheaper, plastic models are.

Brooks Dame - Entrepreneurs for Change - Proof Eyewear logoBut he wanted to create sustainable sunglasses, so the company has committed to use only wood from sustainably managed forests and to eschew all endangered wood. Of course, given that the sunglasses are made of wood and therefore biodegradable, in many ways they’re already more sustainable than their plastic cousins. Another key approach to building sustainability into the enterprise has been to plant a tree for every pair of sunglasses that are sold on Earth Day, helping to protect wildlife, natural wonders of the world, and protect rainforests for generations to come.

But Dame wanted to go further and so set his sights on supporting not-for-profits around the world. His approach has been to link with an eye clinic based in India, where Proof Eyewear finances a sight-saving surgery for every pair of frames purchased. According to Forbes in 2010, more than 25% of the world’s blind live in India, with over 4 million Indians suffering from cataracts which can lead to permanent loss of vision.

About Brooks Dame, Entrepreneur for Change

Brooks Dame established Proof Eyewear, along with his two brothers, back in 2010. Owing to this, the business is proud to have a strong family ethos. His inspiration is to think outside of the box, even when the odds are stacked against his favor. The company has seen great success despite the fact that the fashion brand began trading in the midst of a deep recession in the US.

Proof Eyewear now has something of a cult following. They have secured endorsements from a series of celebrities, and rely on social media to keep the buzz surrounding their brand strong. His regular visits to obtain updates on the charitable projects they back also give customers a sense of confidence about what they are purchasing.

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Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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  • Cheryl

    So cool! Saw them on Shark Tank and loved their concept!

  • Jaden Greene

    I love PROOF! Such a good brand to buy from..