There is a place in the north of Sweden where the nights are dark. In the winters, long and freezing, the sun seldom manages to peep and darkness wraps everything. But there are days when the sun never sets, it arrives at the edge of the horizon and it remains suspended for an indefinite time. Hard to say whether it is day or night, the light of the Northern Lights envelops everything and the stars sparkle vivid in the sky. It is Lapland, a strip of land where the balances are delicate and nature so majestic and at the same time fragile.
In 2010 Erik and Emilia Lindmark have fun with the snowmobile in the surroundings of the village of Ammarnäs and the beauty of the place strikes them with force. How not to be breathless in front of the rarefied colors, in the light that floods the landscape and the sharp line of crevasses and mountains. The horizon seems endless and the time suddenly disappears. Earth and sky seem to melt.
The brand EoE is born of impetus, almost without even thinking about it. Erik and Emilia take inspiration from what surrounds them and who love them most. Together they draw a collection of spectacles that combines the Nordic design with respect for the environment. Each piece is inspired by the surrounding nature. It is simple but with a strong visual impact. The shapes are minimal, at times sparse. Impossible not to be fascinated. Completely biodegradable and recyclable materials.
In a few years they have become a leading brand in the production of 100% sustainable eyewear. In 2019 they achieved a new record: re-use the more than three billion scrap acetate to create new frames. Their plan is simple and ambitious: to minimize the environmental impact and preserve that enchanted land called Lapland.
Chatting with EoE
(Q) EOE borns in an unusual way, what is the unexpected?
(A) The combination Swedish Lapland meets Eyewear I would say. We use materials never been used in eyewear before, like reindeer antlers and small pieces of birch together with Swedish recycled steel.
(Q) In 2010 you started the first collection. What moved you?
(A) EOE was born on a bright and snowy spring day. The crisp air and the scenery over the snow covered mountains really moved us. We created a collection of eyewear that combined the elegance and simplicity of Scandinavian design with the barren beauty of the nature in Swedish Lapland. The heritage from the Swedish north is reflected both in the names and colors of the eyewear, not least in the details and materials brought from the wild and beautiful nature. And from there the inspiration and vision has just become clearer.
(Q) Sunglasses and opticals are a tough battlefield. Why did you choose the hardest path?
(A) I would say that the best thing when starting a new brand is to know nothing about the industry… Haha! We didn’t understand how huge the giant players were or how exact a pair of eyewear must be when making the drawings, which actually was good. It kept us open minded and creative in the design, which made us stand out.
(Q) Have you ever thought it wasn’t a good idea?
(A) Yes several times! One must remember that being an entrepreneur and running a business is not always easy. From the start me and Erik made some of the drawings ourselves and the fitting wasn’t always the best when the glasses arrived, so after employing our designer we definitely had less of a headache.
Making the difference
(Q) EOE is something different, functionality and glam coexist. Sometimes being so far beyond can ruin but help. What about you?
(A) Yes I understand your point, and I remember in the beginning when no one really cared about us. People were used to buying eco grocery but not when it came to eyewear. But I really feel that that has changed. People have knowledge and interest in the climate change today, so they are more eager to learn more about what we can do in the future and how you can help by buying from brands with transparency.
(Q) I love the way you mixed together Scandinavian heritage and something futuristic. What is the formula?
(A) The biggest part is that we always go back to our roots, our heritage and the nature up north to find inspiration. And we combine that with the classic Scandinavian clean forms and simplicity. But I would say that the formula is that we never loose our self and what we believe in.
(Q) Can you explain me your creative process?
(A) The crew always goes to Lapland, just to “smell the nature” and we start brainstorming. It can be a certain light, stones or just a sound. We also go to fashion shows since it’s important for us to see which way the fashion industry is taking. Then we try to find materials that goes together with idea we are working on. Then we start with the shapes and colors.
(Q) Plans for the future?
(A) We are actually working on a totally word unique new material. Our recycling project where we collect eyewear from stores (people leave their old, brokens frames) and turn them into a new world unique material. 100% closing the loop.