Category Archives: Eco Friendly

2015 Upcycled Lobster TRAPS Eyewear collection designed by Eric Strebel of Botzen Design

Sunglasses made from wood, that’s fairly common these days. Designing with locally sourced East Coast material from the state of Maine, now that’s uncommon!  Meet the Up cycled eye-wear from Traps that are made of decommissioned Lobster traps.

Industrial designer Eric Strebel of Botzen Design in Detroit began design work on the first pair of glasses for Traps Eyewear in February of 2014. The first pair, The “Ulysses” is a classic interpretation of a unisex oversize pair of sunglasses. Traps wanted to create a product that was effortlessly stylish, using re-purposed Atlantic ocean aged oak lobster traps and sustainable materials. Using recycled materials was the obvious choice to attract the “Y” generation to a new pair of sunglasses. You can watch the video here of Eric designing and prototyping the glasses.


The second pair is inspired by John F. Kennedy. These are called the “Jack”. Both pairs use acetate for the frames. It is a non-petroleum based plastic that is made from natural cotton and wood fibers. Cellulose acetate is made from renewable materials, and that is great for everyone on the planet.


The design process followed a proven path of getting a solid design brief from the customer and sketching on the clients direction. Initial concepts were refined and sifted down to produce stylish eco-friendly glasses that are simple yet recognizable.

The front frames are hand crafted in hypoallergenic Italian Acetate, lightweight and quite strong. The frames are made from cutting, heat forming and polishing flat sheets of the material into the desired form. Cellulose acetate is considered the gold standard in eye wear and were an obvious choice for these sunglasses. The Bio Lenses are made from a castor oil as well. The product is quite environmentally conscious.


The glasses are available directly from the Traps web site.  There is a special edition available from Friedrich’s in their Manhattan location as well are their Palm Beach locations, using horn frames and a multi grain temple combing birds eye maple and walnut.

Eric Strebel is an Industrial designer with 25+ years of experience. He graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY in 1990 and has been designing products for clients all around the globe, ranging from sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, entry level luxury vehicles for Ford, wireless charging PowerMat for Homedics, to toys for Guidecraft. He specializes in tabletop and hand held products.

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WILLOW – ECO Three Wheel Run-A-Bout

Electric powered ZERO emission Run-A-Bout



Feb 15, 2012

Willow: A three wheeled electric Run-A-Bout for Amsterdam is made from laminated wood creating a sturdy cost effective frame featuring a front hub-less wheel basket and recycled airless tires that highlights this unique design. Storage baskets in the front and rear are made of native European willow using local flexible manufacturing. This two-seater is a great little electric powered vehicle with independent rear suspension in the back that is designed for stable handling.  Willow: Uses local sustainable materials. Great care was given to use wood, metal and natural fibers. Virgin plastics are avoided at all cost, only the wheels are made from recycled rubber.  Vehicle management such as charging and navigation are handled via an app on your smartphone.

This Run-A-Bout is designed for use on smaller streets in tightly knit communities such as Amsterdam.  An alternative to the traditional bike, you can use this vehicle to zip around town to your destination quickly and easily,  parking is as easy as a regular bike!  The Willow is currently entered in the Shell game changer contest at Local-Motors. To vote for the Willow and see more, follow the link, register on the Local Motors website and vote for the Willow, keeping in mind that 5 is the highest!  Don’t forget to leave a comment about what you like about the Willow. Hurry, voting ends March 4th at 23:59 (GMT)

Willow is designed by Eric Strebel who runs an Industrial Design studio called Botzen Design in Detroit, MI.  He worked to design the Power Matt wireless charge pad for Homedics, sunglasses for Bauch & Lomb, vehicles for Ford Motors, monsters for Clive Barker and the Solar Vox Ultra personal charger. Currently he consults for various companies in the Detroit area and around the globe and teaches Industrial Design at Wayne State University.

Botzen Design, Inc., Detroit Michigan


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