This article was originally published on Industria Cannabis. More from this media broadcast about Benzingas El Planteo.
Gaia Eyewear is a concrete experience in the industrialization of hemp in Argentina. The industrial designer Mariano Percivale developed this project from Bernal, Quilmes, which combines sustainability with efficiency and functionality.
Gaia Eyewear was created between 2013 and 2014. Its creator, Mariano Percivale, said “Gaia” was “born out of my need to start a project with a sustainable nuance, but that suits my needs as an industrial design student and entering the world of designing and creating a fairly innovative project. “
The glasses developed by Percivale contain various sustainable components such as recycled wood or acrylic and hemp. He also explained why he had chosen hemp as a means of production: “The story of hemp goes back to a friend harvesting our plants, grasping a stem and making a bracelet with some fibers. That moment was a key in my life because I saw this picture and my head exploded into a thousand pieces. Thousands of pictures came to me of what I could do and I started investigating what hemp is because I had no idea. “And he emphasized:” I have found an infinite world. “
The current production process of Gaia Eyewear consists of die casting with microfiber hemp and a binder. and includes two people.
The production volume is medium. However, in January 2020 they exported to Uruguay.
“We were the first Argentine company to export a hemp-based product to the country and now we will be exporting to Colombia and Barcelona. From Barcelona we will also go to the Netherlands, so we will be the first Argentine company to export these products to another continent. We hope that it will be positive and that there is an opportunity to export to other countries, ”said Percivale. And he added, “We had the opportunity to export to the US, but there was a lot of red tape.”
The forecast Percivale has for the company in 2021 is sales of 2000 units per month to the Netherlands, Barcelona, France, Belgium, Colombia and the United States. The idea, however, is to generate a greater presence in the local market with an average income of 4 million pesos per month. These figures are based on a company that uses raw materials that cannot yet be grown legally in Argentina, and that despite this expense has revenues on the order of about 50 million pesos a year. “If it could be exploited, thousands of businesses could make billions more,” he says.
The hemp market
With regard to the market, the industrial designer stated that there was a good introduction because “the product is not only the symbolic part of hemp, but also reacts to technical, physical and sustainability behavior. It’s harder than ordinary acetate plastic, it’s lighter; In other words, it is more comfortable for the user and there is a tendency nowadays to look for sustainable objects because there is much more awareness. “
Percivale also warned, “Right now we can do this well at medium or low volume. However, if the demand increases, we will have more complications to get the raw material ”because“ you have to bring it in from the outside and the cost increases. “At the same time, he said he had a project to make helicopters and racing bikes out of hemp, but he saw it as complex for the same reason. In the current context, the creator of Gaia Eyewear said that “our hands are tied to every other idea we might have.”
Regarding the future prospects of the hemp industry in Argentina, the inventor of Gaia Eyewear said that he “has the same prospects as he did 7 or 8 years ago with this research and this company being the best. I believe Argentina will be a sustainable world power that enables us to heal our soils, heal our forests. Likewise, developing an industry that provides work for all will eliminate hunger in Argentina. It will give women more legitimacy as there will be more companies in which to hold relevant positions. “
Regarding the political future, Percivale trusted that hemp development “will bring unity to Argentina because hemp brings an intrinsic message: it works together. With this I see a paradigm shift so that politicians can also form a consensus line and the path to industrialization and the prosperity we deserve as a country can continue, regardless of which government passes. “
The industrial designer sees a bright future for his work, in which he will continue to work in the world of design, glasses and fashion in addition to the projects he is still thinking about. He concluded by saying, “I dreamed this many years ago and it happened. Obviously it’s the beginning. As I always say, you cut the plant, but you didn’t know the seed would germinate. “
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