Like all stories, ours starts with ‘once upon a time’ and it all began in Germany - Annaberg-Bucholz to be precise in former East Germany.
A workshop was established in 1946 making handcrafted frames using durable materials and lenses. During this period, East German goods weren't considered fashionable, but they lasted longer.
Matthias Haase, an eyewear craftsman and optometrist, has been working in the same workshop since 1981. He was then a young man with the vision to make beautiful hand-crafted eyewear using the finest local materials in a post war country when things looked bleak. Matthias was determined to bring some sunshine into those dark times and what started then is the soul of COCO LENI.
Then one day, when Arjun Sagar was trawling the world of eyewear, he met the legend, Matthias, who became his mentor. It was an instant connection of values and the two decided the journey needed to move on – to Goa, India where today, each pair of glasses is made by hand with the same utilitarian approach as laid down by the master craftsman himself.
In the amalgamation of the words "COCO" and "LENI," there's a symphony of meaning that mirrors the brand's essence and values.
COCO as derived from “coconut” is nature’s gift from the Tree of Life. The fruit embodies nourishment, sustenance, and versatility. It represents the brand's rootedness in nature, sustainability, and its commitment to providing holistic, nature-inspired designs.
Just as a coconut's hard shell protects its nourishing water and flesh, COCO signifies the brand's dedication to crafting durable, long-lasting products.
LENI draws positive connotations of optimism and enlightenment from its meaning which translates as “luminescence” or “light.”
The brand strives to shed light on its ethical practices and the path of righteousness in business and craftsmanship. At the same time, it mirrors the brand's history, from Matthias Haase's hope-filled venture in post-war Germany to its contemporary mission of making a positive global impact.
Together, COCO LENI is not just a brand name, but a philosophy: harnessing nature's purest elements and merging them with the guiding, illuminating principles of light to craft eyewear that is not just a sight to see, but a vision for the way forward.
Our name is an invitation to inhabit a serene state of mind conjuring up tropical images in alignment with the brand's Goa-based operations and nature-driven inspirations.
handmade is better
Craft is the visible edge of art.
But here's a glimpse of what you don't see as often - our small family of artisans working their hands to make the most ideal pair of eyewear for the legend in you. We have dedicated a section on the tags to trace the product back to its maker so you know who made your special pair.
Each piece is tailor made to fit your face by skilled artisans who are dedicated to the craft of creating premium eyewear pieces with an edge.
We recognize that you are unique and the contours on your face make you, You.
So rather than mass producing pairs, they're made to order as specified by you, our patron. That means, no two pairs are ever the same.
Our workshop is full of strong, bright-eyed women who have trained with our founder Arjun, and now make these wonderful nature inspired pieces, one pair at a time.
Why women, you ask? Well Coco Leni’s mission is to make a positive impact at every step it takes.
We employ women to ensure we create financial independence with the skill that can be taken wherever they may find themselves.
We're proud to embark on this journey together with our women-led workforce and contribute to their empowerment in whatever way we can.
Before we begin to make your glasses, we start with a prayer or mantra to bless our hands, the work they will do and the ethical materials we use.
We ask for the artisan & the product to benefit mankind and provide them both with happiness and balance.
Our materials are all natural obtained from sustainable and ethical sources.
We ask all the important questions, perform diligent inspections and ensure the entire supply chain is clean.
Clean to us, means natural, sustainable, ethical and no one or nothing has been exploited in any way along the way.
We ensure our processes are free of adverse ecological impact and are approved by mother nature herself.
Our initiatives of recycling waste generated at the production stage, regular beach cleanups to preserve the beauty of our bountiful tropical town, clearing the countryside of the plastic along with our sponsored reforestation project are all the efforts geared towards reducing our carbon footprint and restoring the health of our planet while giving back to the environment.
Training and fair pay are an important part of our commitment to our community of workers and we are dedicated to doing it with all our hearts.
But by community, we also mean you, our patrons. So feel free to contribute any ideas you may have regarding where else we can make an impact that counts! We would love to hear from you.