BECAUSE OUR MISSION IS TO PROTECT THE WORLD’S SALTWATER FLATS (BAJÍOS), EVERY DECISION WE MAKE SUPPORTS THAT QUEST. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS CHOICES ARE KEY AT EACH STEP ALONG THE WAY FROM DESIGN TO PACKAGING. EVERYTHING COUNTS—FROM THE MATERIALS WE USE TO THE VENDORS WE CHOOSE—WE ARE CONSCIOUS AND COMMITTED TO FINDING AND CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVING OUR PRODUCTS TO MEET THE HIGHEST PERFORMANCE STANDARDS WHILE USING THE MOST SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES AND BEST PRACTICES AVAILABLE.
While you might think there’s plenty of sand available to make glass, humans use more of it than we do oil. Thankfully, glass is 100% recyclable— it comes from the Earth and goes back to the Earth. Glass has an unlimited life and can be recycled endlessly.
Without sacrificing performance, we are driving the change from traditional materials to greener options. We consciously partner with factories who follow this ethos—those who are powered by renewable energy, self-sustaining, carbon neutral, and zero waste (heck yeah, we recycle our scraps).
CACTUS LEATHER CASES
When it comes to storing your sunglasses, Bajío is in pursuit of the best case scenario. We’ve never wanted to use a traditional plastic sunglass case. Instead, we have sought sustainable materials. We sampled faux leathers made from mango skins, apple skins and more. Unfortunately, these were thin and delicate, and needed a polyurethane backing to hold them together, negating much of the benefit.
When it comes to packaging, why wouldn’t we use recycled paper? Using 100% recycled instead of 100% virgin fiber paper saves 100% of the trees, uses 69% less energy, uses 47% less water, and creates 39% less solid waste.
Bajío t-shirts are made with sustainable GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard—a worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers. GOTS established requirements across the entire supply chain—from fiber to sewing the garment—for both ecological and labor conditions in textile and clothes manufacturing.
We use bamboo instead of wood or plastic whenever we can, because it’s a strong, fast-growing, renewable, and sustainable building material. We are currently using a product called Plyboo in the construction of our sunglass display cases. It is certified by the U.S. Council on Green Building. Bajío is also looking at bamboo for its breathable, moisture wicking qualities in clothing.
Bajío relies on Eco Enclose for sustainable packaging including recycled, recyclable and naturally biodegradable packaging so we can stand behind how we ship in addition to what we ship. From the paper tape used to seal our packages to the packing material and boxes we use for shipping—every bit counts.
Bajío shirts are also shipped in eco-friendly packaging. Most clothing companies ship shirts in plastic bags; some even claim these bags are biodegradable. However, once they degrade, they never completely dissolve but rather turn into microplastics which end up in our oceans where fish (and eventually humans) ingest them. Through Eco Enclose’s partner Vela, we sourced Glassine paper bags. With the appearance of wax paper, these bags feature printing with safe algae based ink and truly are 100% biodegradable—no microplastics.
As partners we both strive to be a sustainable and regenerative force for the environment.
Bajío is excited to work with Desserto, a plant-based producer in our own back yard that supplies cactus leather cases for our sunglasses. With the purpose of creating an alternative to animal leather, our partners in Mexico developed a vegan alternative to leather made with nopal (a type of cactus). This product is a renewable resource that offers sustainability, performance and aesthetics.
After working in the furniture, automotive and fashion industries where pollution was a serious problem, co-founders Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez wanted to reduce environmental impact, so they quit their jobs to start a company focused on developing cactus or nopal vegan leather.
Desserto cactus leather is a highly sustainable plant-based material noted for its soft hand, great performance in a wide variety of applications, and for complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standards. The aim is to offer cruelty-free, sustainable alternatives, without any toxic chemicals, phthalates and PVC. Cactus leather is partially biodegradable and has the technical specifications required by the fashion, leather goods, luxury packaging and furniture industries.
Sustainable Frame Factory
Our main frame factory in Italy started as a family operation in the 1960s known for fine Italian craftsmanship. By the early 80s our partner was the first eyewear factory to introduce revolutionary nylon frame material positioning the small family company as an innovative global provider of high quality eyewear. Today our factory is on the forefront of pioneering new technologies and innovative materials with a focus on eco-friendly products.
Always looking for new materials and technologies that allow a reduction in environmental impact, they partner with suppliers like Bajío who share their values for development and testing in order to offer options for bio-based frames and sustainable lenses.
The factory itself is doing its part to reduce environmental impacts by investing in full electric vehicles for transport, 100% LED lighting, solar panels, full electric injection equipment (vs. crude oil), tumbling processes with water recycling systems, free-cooling systems for molds, efficient heat/AC pumps, inverter compressed air systems, filtered drinking water and metal bottles for all employees.
BONE & TARPON TRUST (BTT)
The mission of Bone & Tarpon Trust is to conserve bonefish, tarpon and permit–the species, their habitats and the larger fisheries they comprise. BTT pursues this mission across the southeastern US, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean through science-based conservation, education and advocacy.
Bajío is partnering with BTT on GIS mapping of the world’s saltwater flats and determining an overall strategy for flats fish species conservation and habitat restoration.
Emerger Strategies is a sustainable business consultancy that improves the social, environmental and economic bottom lines of businesses. The company started because its founders love the outdoors and fly fishing and wanted to protect what they love.
Emerger Strategies is Bajío’s carbon neutral partner. They have done a carbon footprint assessment for the company and are helping us buy offsets. Bajío is “carbon neutral from inception,” which is extremely rare. Our carbon footprint has been offset with mangrove planting.
Fly fish climate alliance
The goal of the Fly Fishing Climate Alliance is to reduce its members’ carbon footprint. Because climate change is one of the greatest threats to fish and fisheries on the planet, and according to the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC), to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change, worldwide global emissions will need to be cut 49% below 2017 levels by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2050.
The mission of Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. The organization’s vision is to ensure that robust populations of native and wild coldwater fish once again thrive within their North American range, so that our children can enjoy healthy fisheries in their home waters.
Bajío is supporting Trout Unlimited on a small, local basis now with plans to sponsor work on a system of area rivers in the near future.
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
Illegal and unstainable fishing practices impact the fish populations. To begin to understand these impacts better, we have teamed up with BTT and University of Alabama Professor Michael Steinberg.
Bajío is funding a portion of the study for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Guanaja, Honduras to map the flats in each area. The plan is to fund similar studies for all of the flats we visit. We’re calling it “Project Treasure Mapping.”
BAY ISLANDS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION (BICA)
Guanaja Mangrove Restoration Project is an initiative of the Bay Islands Conservation Association Guanaja (BICA Guanaja) and is a multi-year restoration effort to plant 400,000 mangroves to restore a self-sustaining healthy forest on Guanaja Island, Honduras.
Bajío is working with BICA to plant mangroves and coral reefs in Guanaja, Honduras.
FISH FOR CHANGE
The mission of Fish for Change is to use fly-fishing as a platform to make the world a better place by uniting a diverse group of students in wild fisheries where they engage in a variety of initiatives that promote connection, education, conservation and exploration.
Bajío is currently supporting Fish for Change summer youth camps in Guanaja, Honduras, the Bahamas and a growing list of other locations.
Oceanus, A.C. is a non-profit organization based in Quintana Roo, Mexico that develops projects for the conservation of coral reefs including research, monitoring and restoration activities.
In Xcalak (pronounced ish-ka-lak), Mexico Bajío is helping to fund Oceanus’ coral reef planting using our Temples of Change program—where a limited number of sunglasses will feature unique coral and fish designs on the interior of our frames. Artist and Odyssey crew member Piper Nunn has created designs for two of our styles, Nato and Balam. Bajío is donating $15 per frame to plant coral reefs with Oceanus. One sale will plant one coral.
Indifly is a non-profit organization that believes in a world in which Indigenous Peoples are empowered and inspired by entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship. Indigenous Peoples are custodians of 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity.
Indifly enables Indigenous communities to own and operate fly fishing ecotourism businesses. These businesses provide sustainable livelihoods, generate community-wide economic benefits, and create incentives for the protection of Indigenous homelands.
Bajío supports Indifly’s projects through cash donations and films. Our first project together will be in Honduras.
Sharks are important apex predators in marine ecosystems. Yet they are facing terrible threats such as overharvesting and related finning.
Illegal sand mining (for aragonite) is taking place in many countries around the world. These practices cause loss of natural beaches and ecosystems, and changes in water flows.
The removal of vegetation on the landscape has dramatic impacts on the flats ecosystem, including increased sedimentation and nutrient enrichment.
Mangroves are being destroyed at an alarming rate, jeopardizing essential habitat for marine life and increasing the vulnerability of coastal communities to the effects of rising sea levels.
Dredging is often needed for navigation and cosmetic altering of coastlines. Unfortunately, what is removed cannot easily be replaced. Once gone, the ecosystem is permanently altered.