Jeff LaPlante.
MIAMI—Karun, a sustainable eyewear brand based in Patagonia, Chile, is launching into the U.S. under the guidance of optical industry veteran Jeff LaPlante, who is directing the company’s sales efforts. Known mostly in Europe and South America, Karun was recently awarded “Most Sustainable Eyewear Brand” by Global Brands Magazine. The company's value chain is built around a circular economic model, working hand-in-hand with rural communities in Patagonia to prove that products and companies can be built around protecting nature. Their long-lasting eyewear is made with Econyl regenerated nylon from recycled fishing nets from Patagonia and other discarded nylon, together with other recycled materials such as metals and polycarbonate.

With over 30 years of experience, LaPlante has been involved in every area of the eyewear industry, from retail to wholesale, manufacturing and distribution. LaPlante previously served as an EssilorLuxottica Vision Source EL360 program liaison. Prior to that he worked as a Luxottica business development manager for Ray-Ban Authentic Prescription Lenses. LaPlante also served as business development manager, national accounts and buying groups for Rochester Optical, and executive vice president of business development and international at PFO Global.

LaPlante has been recognized by the National Academy of Opticianry with the award of Ambassador Achievement Award. In 2006, he won the National Speakers Association award, and in 2010 Diversified Ophthalmics honored him with the Best Speaker award.