In the wake of the water crisis, an emerging eyewear company seeks to bring new hope and vision to the City of Flint by making glasses from recycled plastic water bottles. Genusee eyewear is made In Flint from recycled single use plastic water bottles according to a company press release.

Genusee seeks to launch their first line of sustainable eyewear in the fall of 2018. Their ambition is to bring jobs into Flint and move the waste out. In raising the capital to do so, co-founders Jack Burns and Ali Rose VanOverbeke launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign last week. To pre-order the glasses click here.

Started from the desire to do good for people and the planet, Genusee is the first closed loop eyewear brand made in the USA. While manufacturing companies whose jobs have been an institution in Flint have been slowly shrinking their operations, opportunities, and financial flow into the city, Genusee is determined to bring a new manufacturing legacy to Michigan.

VanOverbeke was in her hometown of Detroit volunteering with the American Red Cross during the Flint Water Crisis. While in Flint, she observed the community facing not only a man-made disaster but also a localized environmental crisis due to the surplus of plastic being brought into the city by NGOs and aid organizations to meet the community’s daily needs. VanOverbeke shared her experience with long-term collaborator and co-founder Jack Burns. Together they began work on a design solution to address issues of plastic waste that would simultaneously create living wage jobs in Flint.


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