The Norwegian independent brand Karmoie derives its name from the Sanskrit word karma meaning “action” or “deed” and the French word joie for “joy”. With this stimulating philosophy, Kirsten and Lars created the company in 2013 with their concept of excellence, integrity and quality. Karmoie was awarded The Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury, for the brand’s commitment to protect the planet’s resources. They share their perspective with Eyestylist.
Please tell us about how Karmoie was created. “We knew that we wanted to create a business that reflects our values and our personalities. Social commitment and creating a product that feels as good as it looks was at the core. The idea of doing that within the industry came to us as we were driving around in the South of France. It was one of those moments where everything just felt right. We knew we had a lot of research to do and an industry we knew nothing about to figure out, but we just had to go for it.”
Your designs are streamlined and pure – how do you develop your concepts? “We don’t really launch extensive new collections every season; rather we add on a couple of styles so our collection is always made up of both models from the first years and a few new releases. Whenever we develop a new model we make sure that it fits in with the rest of our frames, and that the colour palette remains cohesive.”
What inspires you – nature, architecture, colours – when you are creating frames? “We are inspired by everything that surrounds us. Our friends and family, their style and requests give us ideas. While fashion is always inspiring, the pace of fast fashion is so stressful, so we seek more towards architecture and interior design, as that feels more built to last. When it comes to colours, we believe that nature is flattering on everyone, so our colour palette and patterns are based on soft, natural shades.”
How did your partnership with Eyejusters come about? “We had seen a segment on The Colbert Report about social innovation that featured adjustable glasses. Since we are not opticians or optometrists ourselves, the way Eyejusters work, allowing anyone to participate in distributing glasses, really resonated with us. With more than 700 million people worldwide without access to refractive care, it is great to be able to recruit anyone who wants to participate in helping. It also makes it possible to reach out to very remote areas that are hard to access with trained personnel and advanced equipment.”
Karmoie is now entering its fifth year – what is the most rewarding aspect of your work? “We love hearing feedback from our customers and from our donation projects. Seeing people wear and enjoy our eyewear validates all the effort we put into creating them. Hearing from our donation partners and following the important work that they do in the field gives us hope and motivation.”
Any additional insights you would like to enumerate about Karmoie? “We believe that every positive action has a positive impact. We created a brand that is mindful of the importance in all the big and small choices we make on our way to the final product. For this we have been awarded the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark. Awareness is spreading and we are proud to be part of it.” www.karmoie.com JG