Five years ago, Sebastiaan de Neubourg planned to bring 100% circular sunglasses to the market. At that time, he was still working as a circular consultant. In that job, he learned a lot about 3D printing, blockchain and crowdfunding. More and more, he felt the urge to combine these three domains. And thus to do his bit for the planet.
Sebastiaan decided that he wanted to roll up his sleeves and resigned. He realised that everything to do with sustainability and ecology is often associated with the tree-hugger. So he wanted to work with trendy things, like sunglasses.
In 2017, the very first prototype was ready. He sought funding through a crowdfunding campaign.
Via Kickstarter, he tried to raise awareness about the circular economy. And not without success: in just six hours, he had raised the intended amount!
Two years later, Sebastiaan brought new talent on board: materials manager Roald Duchateau and Lenja Doms, who became co-manager. Lenja worked as a freelancer in the circular economy and had helped Sebastiaan with a number of commercial activities.
The duo wanted to launch a new collection, but 3D printing as a production method turned out to be a less suitable technique. Yuma Labs switched to injection moulding. This enables them to deliver a higher quality at a higher speed. A necessity, because the target group does not consist solely of ecolovers. They also want to appeal to the general public.
After the success of the first campaign, the Neubourg and Doms launched a second crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo in the summer of 2019. The goal was to raise 10,000 euros to finance new, 100 per cent circular sunglasses. In total, the start-up managed to raise more than 35,000 euros.
They don't want to lecture consumers - they just need them to make Yuma Labs a success. If customers are tired of their glasses or if something is broken, they can simply send them back to Yuma.
The three-member team wants to work with established fashion companies for a breakthrough on a large scale. Yuma Labs will soon announce its collaboration with a well-known player. As a small player, they can make an impact by working with the big players and their community.