Use less. Give back. Explore more. When Zeal Optics first began as a brand in Moab in 1997, these guiding principles forged the path for eco-friendly active and lifestyle eyewear. Today over 20 years later, these principles have only continued to grow in importance as the company has expanded into a Boulder-based global brand.
Zeal Optics was started by Michael and Wink Jackson, a couple who were avid mountain bikers, skiers, adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. They wanted to create sunglasses and goggles that were good for all aspects of life - from exploring a mountain side straight to a family dinner, the eyewear needed to be versatile and durable. And on top of performance, it needed to be eco-friendly. So they created plant-based sunglass frames and polarized lenses, with a large focus on giving back to local and international charities.
“I was really drawn to the brand right out of college,” said Tracey Kennedy, Retail & Office Manager. “I’ve worked for Zeal since 2010, mostly because I value our pillars. We give so much back to environmental causes - the National Forest Foundation, Tree Canada, Plastic Oceans and so many more - that I do believe we can make the world a better place through sustainable eyewear.”
The culture behind Zeal Optics is all about exploration. “Many of our brand ambassadors are photographers, yogis, skiers and adventurers. As a company, we embrace the idea of getting out there and testing the eyewear ourselves. Boulder was the perfect location for the opening of our flagship store in 2012. Our staff can go for a hike, get a margarita on the roof of Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant and be back in the office working by the afternoon.”
Downtown is the perfect location for the store and the staff. “As a community, Boulder really encapsulates our whole brand essence. The people and businesses downtown are incredible. The community feeling here is so strong.”
To use less, give back and explore more, come into the store to support a local Boulder business and share positive word of mouth with friends. “The flagship store is the only physical Zeal Optics location. It gives Boulder locals the exclusive opportunity to see and try on the entirety of our sunglass and goggle collections.” (You can find Zeal on Spruce Street between 13th and Broadway - just a block north of the Pearl Street Mall.)
Keep up with the adventures by following (@zealoptics) and take a visit downtown to see the only store that exists. As it turns out, sustainability can really be as simple as starting with eyewear.