See Things Differently and do things differently…
Founded in 2013 by Alistair Barnes, the name “Ballo” comes from a combination of his family name, Barnes, and his mother’s maiden name, Gallo. Ballo also means “dance” in Italian.
_ Authenticicity _
Alistair decided to start a brand that was authentic, sustainable, and handmade in Cape Town, South Africa. Ballo makes unique handmade sunglasses and products from sustainable, up-cycled, and recycled materials putting the planet before profit.
All eyewear and clothing made by Ballo in Cape Town, South Africa
_ Sustainable, Eco-friendly & Ethical _
Since launching with Eyewood, sunglasses made from recycled paper and offcut wood veneer from local furniture makers, in 2013 Ballo has only used materials that are recycled, upcycled, or sustainably sourced. These have grown to include: hemp, cork, old advertising billboard, and other fabric offcuts. Ballo also launched a small range of ethical clothing in 2016 using hemp, organic cotton, and linen.
Ballo realized that being sustainable means staying open and keeping our employees employed. This led to us changing its international shipping policy from not shipping internationally from its website to shipping internationally and planting a tree for every pair we ship (to offset the carbon footprint of shipping). Ballo eyewear plants trees with GreenPop.
During the recent pandemic, Ballo eyewear has made a few production pivots introducing fabric facemasks, local alien timber cutting boards, and beeswax candles.
_ Handmade _
South Africa having an extremely high level of unemployment leads to poverty, homelessness, and crime. Making its products using a unique combination of 23 hand-crafted processes means that to make more sunglasses, Ballo employs more people. Its products are handmade with love by local people, help reducing unemployment in the region.
A focus of the Ballo brand has always been to communicate these principles to their customers through the feeling of the product in your hands, the energy that surrounds the brand, and the story that comes with every product.
Ballo wants the customers to look good, feel good, do good, and spread the good word.