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Friday, July 19, 2024

Stylish shades with a green mission

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Wodd eyewear not only offers protection from harmful UV rays, but it also helps reduce carbon footprint. The company plants a tree for every sunglass purchased to preserve the environment and support local farmers.

Wodd was founded by business consultant, entrepreneur, and educator Dr. Stephene Roy Condino. Known to his colleagues as Doc Bigs, apart from Wodd, he heads MASA Inc. marketing agency, Condino and Associates Consulting Group. He teaches Business, Marketing, and Innovation at De La Salle and Ateneo de Manila. 

His passion for sustainability was nurtured while pursuing his graduate school studies in the UK.  “I was exposed to endeavors that catalyzed my passion for sustainability initiatives. Our susceptibility to typhoons, which personally affected my family in the Visayas in 2018, further solidified my resolve.” 

After his MBA from Ateneo de Manila, Doc Bigs completed his Doctorate from the University of Liverpool. He also finished several programs at the London Business School and a post-doctorate fellow in business at the University of Oxford.

Wodd founder Dr. Stephene Roy Condino

Wodd was born out of a conscious effort to preserve the environment. Doc Bigs wanted a sustainability initiative to support the “no plastic” campaign and a lifestyle accessory made of wood and bamboo seemed very promising.

“I was drawn to the distinct and stylish nature of sunglasses. I also noticed a gap in the market. Sunglasses were predominantly plastic and this opened opportunities,” Doc Bigs shares.

Wodd started in Cebu in 2019, however, the strategic expansion plan was disrupted by the pandemic. Online sales was the only marketplace during the pandemic yet Doc Bigs insisted on visiting top tourist destinations to introduce Wodd to hotel managers, surf shop proprietors, and café owners. 

“The approach laid the groundwork for future partnerships. It ensured product availability, once circumstances improved,” he states. 

And just as he planned, Wodd sunglasses were at the forefront, when post-pandemic revenge travel took place. The brand now boasts a network of 240 partners across the country. It is also available in leading department stores.

Switch to wood and bamboo lifestyle accessories

The commitment to plant a tree for every purchase continues to this day in collaboration with the Haribon Foundation. To date, the company has planted 1,570 trees across the country. “We intend to continue tree-planting endeavor in tandem with our business operations.”

The experience of starting a business during the pandemic strengthened the drive, to push against the odds. “Establishing a business necessitates a narrative that resonates, whether the objective is environmental conservation or job creation it becomes the foundation that guides the company’s mission.”   

Apart from running several ventures, Doc Bigs remains dedicated to shaping the minds of future business leaders. 

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