Pala Is Closing Its Doors, September 2023
It’s with a heavy heart I share the news that Pala will close our ‘doors’ on 24th September 2023.
After seven years of incredible experiences, challenges, and unwavering dedication to our mission to See The World Better, we find ourselves at a crossroads. I want this statement to be a celebration because we truly have had the best time – but in the spirit of transparency and progress, I also want to share with you why our journey is coming to an end.
There has been sustained market pressure that is impacting independent and genuinely ethical businesses in particular. The big players, with seemingly bottomless bank accounts, are able to monopolise the market and push halfhearted, greenwashed solutions to the challenges we’re facing as a planet and society today. It has been near impossible to compete as inflation soared and the cost of living set in.
From the very beginning, our commitment to sustainability and ethical practices has been the driving force behind everything we do. Every frame, every campaign, and every decision was made with the intention to minimise our environmental impact and maximise our (positive) social impact. But that is much harder to fly in a system that values growth and profit at all costs.
We made our way through unforeseen global events (proudly becoming a B Corp in this time) but emerged with uncharted territory. And despite what it may look like on the outside, Pala’s core team on the inside is just two, incredibly passionate but equally exhausted people – it’s time to rest and reset to have the energy to keep fighting for what matters.
I started Pala with a purpose; to restore vision in Africa and create positive change through the eyewear industry but have always said that ‘People Make Pala’. So whether you were a customer, partner, or simply an advocate of our mission, your support has been instrumental, no, essential, to our successes. Both myself and the team can’t thank you enough for your contributions, no matter how big or small.
Together, we transformed lives and enabled more than 80,000 individuals to have accessible and affordable eye care. Clearly, there was much more we wanted to do as part of this mission, but I can rest easy knowing that the projects we have enabled together are tangible and long-lasting solutions. Community vision centres, are physical spaces with the most empathic, passionate teams you could wish for running them. They will keep running & sustain communities for generations to come. That right there is life-changing stuff, and something to be tremendously proud of.
As we bring this chapter to a close, I want to assure you that our team is committed to honouring all obligations to all our employees, partners, and suppliers. It’s as important to me that closing the business is done in a managed way with all our ethical integrity intact. I also implore you to carry on your support of our incredible charities when we are gone.
Vision Action, without your guidance, expertise and care we couldn’t have been the brand we are. You can still support vision action directly through their website here & make sure Tonkolili, Sierra Leone get their vision centre. For any of you that are able to make a larger donation please email me directly as I am keen to find a full solution here. Remember, Sierra Leone has just 5 qualified optometrists serving a country of almost 8 million. Therein lies the scale of the problem.
Care4Basket, thank you for making us unique! Run by one of the most enigmatic people I’ve ever met, Jib Hagan, this NGO works with largely female weaving communities across the more impoverished region of Upper East Ghana to provide a fair living wage and reduce plastic waste by crafting truly beautiful gifts. I met Jib last week and he was telling me how important the extra income from creating our cases had become for the weavers in light of climate change (drought) impacting their farming yields. So telling him that we were no longer able to work with the weavers has been a particularly hard pill to swallow for me personally.
So please, please, if you have a few moments please do visit and share his online shop of treasures here. I would be so delighted if you found time to purchase one of the incredible baskets, bags or wine bottle holders that have been carefully hand woven. Some of those baskets use 600+ water sachets!
There is also a long list of people I want to thank, but I’ll save that for a few weeks time.
Well, today we launch our 50% off closing down sale with the aim to sell as many of our fabulous frames as possible until the 24th of September. This is key to ensure we pay all our supply chain, freelancers and in particular Vision Action fairly. It would be a great gift for me personally to make a sizeable contribution towards the outstanding Sierra Leone project funding.
Like I said, People Make Pala, and I need you one last time. Whether you want to buy a piece of Pala legacy for yourself, or can simply spread our story & sale to as many people as possible, I will be eternally grateful. It’s our chance to see the world better together, one last time!
If you have any questions or would like to reach out, please don’t hesitate, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me in the DM’s or on my email if you already have it.
With immense thanks,
Founder, Pala Eyewear
Ps. To anyone that has owned a pair past or present, the team and I would to go out on a high by soaking up the stories (and pictures!) of your sunniest memories in Pala’s – we’re sure it’s been 7 years of adventure, relaxation and sheer style. We would love to post a few to our Instagram as we celebrate our final few months together. Drop into our DM’s or email [email protected]