Stockholm-based eyewear brand Oh My Eyes is the first sunglass brand in the world to offer a One for One promise aimed at the albino community in Tanzania. For every sold pair Oh My Eyes will provide a pair of sunglasses with full UV protection to albinos through the non-profit national organisation Tanzania Albinism Society (TAS).
Some of the biggest health threats facing people with albinism are sensitivity to light and the risk of developing skin cancer due to their lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. The inaccessibility and high cost of sun protection, including sunglasses, is a major concern. Without eye protection, this may eventually lead to cataract or even blindness. Sunglasses with UV400 lenses reduce this risk and as a result help clear their vision.
Besides providing sunglasses from its existing collection, Oh My Eyes encourages customers to send in frames no longer in use, which are often in perfect condition. These will be tested for maximum UV protection. As a thank you, customers will receive a 15 percent discount on their purchase from Oh My Eyes.
Oh My Eyes co-founder and creative director Christopher Hunt has just returned from a first visit to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
“It’s hard to grip the scale of discrimination people with albinism face on a daily basis. This includes both physical as well as psychological damage. Although it’s just one of many issues they face, sunglasses make a huge difference to their quality of life. As a way of recycling and finding a new life for frames just laying around in people’s drawers, we would love to be able to provide them to this extremely stigmatised community.”
Severin Edward, representing TAS, is equally happy to introduce this project with Oh My Eyes. As part of the project, Oh My Eyes will help organise seminars with experts on site to inform albinos about the advantages of proper eyewear protection.
“While albinos in average earn less than $0.5 a day, a pair of sunglasses with the right protection may cost up to $35, something they can’t afford. If they buy a pair, it is often without full UV protection. TAS looks forward to grow awareness about this common issue together with Oh My Eyes. No matter what the size will be, every drop counts,” Severin Edward says.