Making life look happier
What we see can have a profound impact on our wellbeing – from the colours we look at to the views we take in. We asked sunglasses company Tens, which Richard Branson has invested in, to explain more about their mission to make life look happier…
Normal sunglasses protect your eyes by dispersing light across the entire colour spectrum, making your surroundings look dark and gloomy. However, we’ve taken the colour balance theory and applied it to a lens by assigning more light to warmer, golden, happier tones, bathing everything in a warm, amber glow.
We worked with a light psychologist at the start of last year and he said that as humans have been using fire for millions of years to cook, the connection between a warm orange glow of a flame and the feeling of safety, comfort and social interaction is something that’s ingrained in our biological makeup. Additionally, warm orange hues are representative of sunsets - when blue visible light is essentially removed from sunlight - leaving an orange-red wavelength band of 600 - 700nm (if we’re being technical). Our brains associate these colours with the end of the working day and an evening of rest and relaxation.
Focusing predominantly on the way bright sunlight is filtered, the lens fills highlight colours with subtle yellows and oranges and adds saturation to greens and blues, reminiscent of the colour palettes found in photography of the 1970s.
As our co-founder Marty Bell explains, “We just wanted to create a lens that made everyday life look like a 35mm photo of Venice Beach in the ‘70s, so it’s cool to know that there’s some psychology behind our theory that these tones genuinely make you feel happier.”
We’re always happier when it’s sunny - things look brighter and more colourful and that lifts our mood. Out of necessity, we need to protect our eyes but that doesn’t mean we should miss out on those great colours that make us feel happy. By accentuating those colours, we can lift someone’s mood even more. And who doesn’t want that?
The idea all came from one conversation between our co-founders, Marty, Tom and Kris. “We were on a road trip through the Scottish Highlands in my mum’s old car,” Kris explains. “It was a typically grey Scottish day and we were talking about what it would be like if we could make real life always look like summer, just like what we did when editing our photos. We started working on the idea that night and launched in 2014 on Indiegogo.”
What’s the process?
Making the sunglasses always starts with a ton of research in terms of what trends are coming up, but most importantly, what our community likes. We can see from the most popular styles from the years before and what our community is actually telling us to create (or bring back) which styles we should be for the next collection. Our black classic, which was the very first pair we ever made, is still our most popular style.
From there, we work with our designers (who know the technical, ergonomic side of sunglasses) to decide on the styles and then they’re made and ready to ship. Last year, we worked with Mazzucchelli to launch our sustainable collection, made from 100 per cent biodegradable acetate, derived from the renewable resources of cotton and wood pulp from a sustainably managed forest. It’s actually stronger than standard plastic-based acetate and was totally different from what we’d done before.
But what about when the sun’s not shining?
Life isn’t always sunny – and even when it is, there’s only so much sunglasses can do to make life better. Apart from the importance of mental health and self-care (which is so fundamental), there are some really quick, easy wins you can do to make things look and feel a little bit happier:
Cleaning up your space and getting rid of stuff you don’t need really helps to make things feel a lot less hectic. We’re really inspired by Marie Kondo and The Minimalists.Marty says: “I recently moved to Barcelona and it forced me to really think about how much clutter I have. We’re not a completely remote team at Tens (Kris is in London, the rest in Glasgow) and we all want that lifestyle where we can up and go whenever we need to. That means freeing ourselves from having too much stuff.”
Personalise your digital experience. This is something we’re really into at Tens. There’s so much information out there online and every day, we’re hit with negative stories that have a genuine effect on our mood. With apps like Feedly, positive newsletters or even the ‘mute’ functions on social channels themselves, you can totally tailor your digital experience to make you feel happy.
Go outside! Even if it’s not sunny, there’s actual scientific evidence that shows the benefits of being around nature - both mental and physical. Whether that’s a quick walk in a park, or (our favourite) climbing up a hill, it’s a great way to boost your mood (and get some great photos too).
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