Jason McDermott on turning waste into great products

The bigger goal – the one we’re working towards every day – is a new environmental reality. An ecosystem unclogged of the harmful and persistent plastics that society consumes (like it’s going out of fashion).


Despite what you might think, Dresden – Sydney made sunglasses and specs – was not founded by someone with a background in the sector, but by two frustrated glasses-wearers, Jason McDermott and Bruce Jeffreys.

The pair’s story starts like this:
“Here’s where we impress the pants off you with all our past experience in optics. Except we didn’t have any. Zilch. Dresden comes at things differently – from the same place as you. Our founders are two frustrated glasses-wearers. Because, let’s face it, glasses are annoying.”

Dresden aims to provide affordable, durable, and interchangeable glasses. Using a Germanic-design-sense and manufactured here in Australia, Dresden Optics are not only well designed and nice-looking, but sustainable too. They were recently awarded the Sustainable Innovation award from Marrickville Council for their work in reusing plastic waste in their products.

On this episode of People of Purpose, Jason talks about turning waste into usable products, his vision for a future without plastic, the design process utilised at Dresden, as well as the ins and outs of starting a new business. Jason co-founded Dresden with seasoned entrepreneur of goget fame, Bruce Jeffreys.

About Jason

Jason is a designer, artist and entrepreneur working at the intersection of technology and design. He has spent nearly ten years working with interactive technologies in the built environment, collaborating with some incredibly smart engineers, designers and thinkers. Jason is the a co-founder of Dresden Optics, a co-creator of BrightHearts for iOS and a founding member of the artist collective Design The Future.

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