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Contxto – Sustainability doesn’t have to be left to NGOs and governments to sort out. There are plenty of Latam startups that through entrepreneurship, are creating a better future and providing jobs along the way. And it’s not a matter of charity either, it’s a legitimate and potentially profitable business.
Proof of that is the fact that startup Karün and its recycled eyewear recently raised US$4 million through Chilean investors. We’ve reached out to Thomas Kimber, Karün’s Founder to learn more about what’s to become of these funds.
In any case, this isn’t the startup’s first investment. In 2016, it raised around US$230,000 through broota’s investment platform. Then, in 2018, it closed US$2.85 million through Swedish fund, Blue AB.
Why it’s a big deal: Covid-19 is leading to less-frequent funding towards startups. However this case illustrates that there are certain consumer goods whose future goes beyond current constraints.
Karun cleans up humanity’s mess
Beyond Karün’s frames’ stylish look, there’s something more profound at work.
The startup uses recycled plastic—a lot of which comes from discarded fish nets—to make this eyewear. FYI, fish nets or “ghost nets” are one of the seas’ biggest pollutants. You thought plastic straws were evil? Look up fishnets’ devastating impact.
And if being environmentally-conscious wasn’t enough, Karün is also a socially responsible business. In order to gather these plastics, it works with micro-entrepreneurs in Southern Chile who gather the nets, ropes, and other materials off the coast.
- Related article: 9 Chilean startups developing eco-friendly products
The startup then uses the ECONYL regeneration system—which consists of a way to transform discarded plastic while retaining its quality into nylon, the basic material for these frames.
As far as current projects are concerned, Karün was working to launch a product line in partnership with National Geographic.
Stylish but more importantly, it’s good for the environment and good for local communities.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or in this case… a business opportunity.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Chile!