Power100 Champion Revival Vintage Eyewear Brings Upcycled Vintage Frames to San Diego

Revival Vintage Eyewear is minimizing waste and empowering customers to choose sustainable eyewear.

Jenna Hanson has always had a love for vintage fashion.

“I love the idea of having something unique… of having a one-of-a-kind piece,” she said.

Now, she and her co-founder Jon Hershman are sharing that love of vintage fashion with San Diego through Revival Vintage Eyewear, an eyewear shop giving new life to “deadstock” frames, or glasses frames that were made 10 or more years ago but were never used or worn.

Hershman previously specialized in vintage watches. He would travel to Japan to source the watches, then return to San Diego where Hanson helped him sell them online or in a small shop he ran in Pacific Beach.

While sourcing watches in 2018, Hershman stumbled across a pair of glasses from the 1980s. Those glasses were the catalyst behind Revival Eyewear.

Hershman began internationally sourcing vintage eyewear, which Hanson would then photograph and post to online shops.

“I would see these glasses and think ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,’” Hanson said. “These are unworn, unsold, beautiful glasses from the 1960s through ‘90s that, at that point, were just sitting in warehouses collecting dust but were still in pristine shape. I fell in love.”

Revival Eyewear now has two locations in the North Park and Bird Rock neighborhoods, where customers can discover different shapes and styles, while keeping the forgotten frames out of the landfill.

The modern eyewear industry tends to yield a high amount of waste. Optometrists typically encourage clients to re-frame annually, and frames are often made of cheap plastic and soft metals and hinges that break easily.

“Our mission is really to provide an alternative eyewear experience, educating and empowering folks to find a frame that fits well, looks good and is going to last them for the next 20 years,” Hanson said. “Our frames are meant to last. We encourage customers to keep the frame, while continuously reinventing it over the years.

At Revival Eyewear every part of the frame is recycled or repurposed, including nose pads, hinges and screws. Any materials that aren’t sold are donated to the local chapter of the Lion’s Club, an organization that prides itself on community service activities, including delivering affordable eyewear to low-income communities.

Revival Eyewear even encourages customers to bring in their own frames to re-lens to minimize waste.

In 2023, Hanson and Hershman brought certified optometrist Dr. Han Bui onto their team, effectively turning their North Park location into a full-service optical lab. Everything is done on-site — eye exams, prescription updates, frame adjustments and lens insertions — which eliminates the need for shipping and excess packaging.

Also in 2023, Revival Eyewear became a Power100 Champion.

Power100 Champions are local businesses that partner with San Diego Community Power to opt up to receive 100% renewable energy to work toward a cleaner and greener future for the San Diego region.

Hanson learned about the program through her involvement with North Park Main Street, a nonprofit that advocates for North Park’s business community, and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to opt up.

“I almost did nothing, and it was an immediate switch to cleaner energy,” she said.

In other words, according to Hanson, it was an easy way to make a big impact.

“Sometimes you feel like what you do isn’t going to matter, but (opting up to Power100) is something that I can have control over, that I can make a decision about, and that’s huge,” she said.

Becoming a Power100 Champion was also another way that Revival Eyewear could reduce their carbon footprint and stay sustainable.

“We only sell frames that have been sitting around,” Hanson said. “We don’t produce anything new. We encourage people to re-lens their old frames. That, coupled with the idea of 100% renewable energy, I think it’s a match made in heaven.”

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