Cleverly bridging the gap between form and function, Hyspecs Eyewear, a new, local safety eyewear company, is changing the way we look at safety glasses and personal protective equipment. Offering a new collection of safety glasses that emphasizes style just as much as safety, Hyspecs has created eyewear that not only exudes originality but was built with the same toughness that exists in the blue-collar jobs and skilled trades that inspired their inception.
Breaking the PPE stigma
When it comes to trade and labour work, Hyspecs founder Peter Wang was no stranger to the lack of quality and disposable nature of PPE on the job site. After a decade of working at various sites in northern Alberta, he found it a pain to find a pair of specs that not only fit his face comfortably but were fog and scratch resistant. Peter recalls, “One day I thought, ‘what if we can make stylish looking glasses that also meet safety standards?’ And that was it. I became obsessed with that idea.”
With this new, all-consuming idea keeping him up at night, he began to write down the ideas and sketch out designs of what would soon become Hyspecs.
Founded in 2020, during the peak of COVID, Peter embarked on a mission to disrupt the norm in safety glasses. His vision was clear: to create safety eyewear that combined style, functionality and safety while breaking the stigma surrounding traditional safety glasses and personal protective equipment. With companies increasingly shifting to maximize their sustainability and reduce unnecessary waste, Peter aims to use that opportunity to transform and individualize the world of safety eyewear. The culmination of this passion and dedication resulted in the official launch of Hyspecs into the market in November 2021.
The merging of style and safety
With 2023 being their second year in business, Hyspecs has already made an indelible mark on the safety gear landscape. Their innovative specs have reached customers in an impressive 16 different countries and traveled over 5 million miles. Following their successful launch, it didn’t take long before customers working in trades and labour jobs began to discover and seek out Hyspecs’ innovative eyewear.
“What makes us unique is how we approach protective eyewear. We’re not just making safety glasses; we’re making functional accessories that suit every part of our customer’s day, that goes beyond the work site,” says Peter.
At the core of Hyspecs, Peter found it imperative to elevate and empower skilled trades, labourers and blue-collar workers with his product. He explains, “Traditionally, these essential jobs have been undervalued [or] seen as a last resort for those unable to secure white-collar jobs. I think this outdated narrative overlooks the vital role the skilled trades play in our society, overlooks their expertise, their hard work and the honest living wage they earn.”
With customers now taking advantage of Hyspecs’ high quality eyewear, Peter has already seen success with customers in a vast number of industries. From first responders and firefighters to blacksmiths and vehicle factory workers, many diverse individuals have found value in Hyspecs’ safety glasses.
The devil is in the details
Although Hyspecs’ journey has just begun, Peter notes how enjoyable the process has been and how supportive their customers have been so far. “Since we are primarily e-commerce, we deal directly with customers from all over the world and I really enjoy chatting with them. They are often very supportive and provide constructive feedback on our glasses and suggestions on what they want,” explains Peter.
Analyzing the valuable feedback conveyed by their customers, the consensus points to Hyspecs fulfilling a major need with people around the world. Their unique approach has not only resonated with workers, but it has allowed them to feel more confident and comfortable while wearing their PPE. Peter notes, “What keeps me motivated is reading messages from customers saying how weird it is to geek out and feel excited about safety glasses.”
When it comes to the vital role that functional design plays in the creation of Hyspecs eyewear, Peter finds curiosity and joy in the development process. “The devil is in the details. If one day I can offload everything else and only focus on design, I would be very happy.”
“What keeps me motivated is reading messages from customers saying how weird it is to geek out and feel excited about safety glasses.”
Setting a benchmark
Entering 2024 as new members of the Calgary Chamber, Peter looks forward to the opportunities that come with being a member. “The Chamber provides invaluable networking opportunities. It allows us to connect with other businesses, share ideas and collaborate on initiatives that can drive growth and innovation.” Noting how vital these connections are for Hyspecs, he anticipates more community engagement this year and working to further understand the needs of their customers.
Hyspecs’ goals this year reflect their desire to further advocacy for skilled trades and trade education, seek more collaborations and foster partnerships in 2024. Other aspects on the horizon include the continuation of process improvement, as they work to streamline and automate various areas of the business, as well as increasing the selection of products, with more releases planned for the year.
Seeking to continue challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries of conventional safety gear, Hyspecs is actively setting a new benchmark in the industry and proving that their mission goes beyond protective eyewear. “Hyspecs is not just about safety and style; it’s also about changing perceptions, celebrating a life well-built, and appreciating the hard work of skilled tradespeople as they build, maintain and advance our society every day.”