The ENVIES Story
Updated: Jun 14, 2022
A brief history of ENVIES Company
An overview of how we got to where we are now.
Where it all started
Back in the ‘90s one of our founders, Jay, started a company with a group of friends called Croft and Co. that designed and marketed various engraved products - such as engraved glasses - and artisan products such as specially-designed silk waistcoats.
This led to some moderate success, culminating in a “Most Innovative Product” award for their signature engraved products at a prestigious National awards ceremony held in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Jay’s roles of Treasurer and subsequently, Managing Director, of the company meant that he had first-hand involvement in the issues related to production and finance, and he believes that it was these experiences that propelled him forward with the confidence to be able to steer other successful businesses.
Another of our founders, KaTie, had decided that she wanted to learn more about finance and computing, since that was the “in-thing” at the time. Jay and KaTie first met at Imperial College in London during an extended learning conference in the mid-90s where Jay was attending to provide consulting services. They would go on to form many successful partnerships and designed numerous award-winning products.
Jay has had experience in a variety of different industries, mainly by providing services to household names in a consulting capacity around the world, and also working on designing more sustainable versions of everyday products.
His consultancy activities took him to the US, Continental Europe and Asia, which is where he started to think more about sustainability and environmental issues.
KaTie and Jay reconnected work-wise while both were consulting at a major US Financial Services company, and they decided that they would later relocate back to England to base their operations.
Learning About China Manufacturing
On 1 December 2001, China joined the WTO, but at the time, much of China was still undeveloped. Jay and KaTie took the opportunity to visit China to explore the manufacturing process there. They saw a chance to develop and manufacture goods in a cost-effective way and ingrained a high-standard of production amongst their workforce.
At the time, the air in cities such as Beijing were thick with industrial smoke, and thoughts about helping the environment were uppermost in J&K’s considerations. They decided that they would contribute by focussing their energies on creating desirable sustainable products that the general public would consider using in place of products that have a higher carbon footprint.
Jay started a consultancy to advise FTSE-100 companies on Risk issues in mid-2015,and by 2019, turnover had reached 7-figures USD.
KaTie was involved in designing and producing high-end craft products, and fashion accessories, some of which received awards and were featured in national magazines.
Having decided that it was time to spend less energy on corporate activities and spend more time on things that they could do to protect the environment, J&K decided to proactively contribute to helping the planet by gathering talented individuals to work on sustainable and environmentally-friendly products and services.
J&K formed a company called Susties Company to design and produce products that substituted the use of single-use plastics for organic materials such as wood and bamboo. Susties Company had a diverse range of successful products, and it was where some of our designers and more art-oriented directors got involved.
The Birth of ENVIES Company
J&K decided that the sunglasses operations should be its own distinct operation because it meant that they could focus their designers’ and producers’ energies on producing something that has an obviously lower carbon footprint than unrecyclable alternatives.
They formed ENVIES - a company where each one of us takes great pride and joy in producing sustainable sunglasses for you to use.
You may have noticed that the sunglasses have names that have a Shakespeare theme – this is because one of our designers, Jacqui, comes from Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s place of birth), and so we decided that having such a renowned influence on our product names was a good idea.
Jacqui is known in her community for her series of artworks that have a Lighthouse theme, and prints of those could be found on some eCommerce sites.
Continuing with the Shakespeare theme, one of our models and designers, Holly, starred in a musical production of Friend or Foe in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Our Quality Control Officer, Nathan, is a well-known antiques enthusiast and fisherman in Stratford, and could often be found wearing/modelling ENVIES while fishing on the River Avon.
Over time, we will explore different ways to contribute to the environment through our business, but we do not claim to know everything – new ways to help will evolve and we will try our best to keep you updated with our activities.
We know that there are organisations that you could join that contribute to the environment in different ways, but we don't want to join them for the sole purpose of being able to use that as part of marketing tactics. We will find ways of contributing to the worthy organisations, but also do our bit practically, rather than leaving it to someone else.
For instance, our staff regularly get involved in clearing rubbish and debris from parks and from the sides of main roads as part of local initiatives. We are involved in the local Rubbish Friends initiative, where we volunteer to clear up rubbish along walkways into local towns. Our design facility pay additional fees to local government authorities to recycle waste material and fund local recycling initiatives - this is a service that we pay a premium for, but which we think is the morally-right thing to do.
In short, at ENVIES:
- We don’t just tell you that we help the environment or that we will do it – we get hands on and do it!
- We don’t just tell you that we will pay some organisation to plant a tree when we sell £x / $x worth of goods - we get hands on and just do it ourselves!
- We don’t just tell you that once we reach £x / $x in sales that we’ll give 1% to another charity that says that they’ll help the environment – we get hands on and make a difference! .
Thanks for reading....
Our history is long, and if you read our story all the way to the end, then you have been very patient and keen to learn about us - Thanks!
Please help to support us, and we will continue to serve each and every one of us by helping the Planet.