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Costa Del Mar | Sunglasses | Behind The Scenes

Costa Intro

Costa Intro

With a massive logo above the front door, it’s hard to miss the Costa Del Mar facility in Daytona Beach, Florida.

21costa quick look around

costa quick look around

A quick look around is all it takes to see that this company is made up of fishermen who work and play on the water.

20costa brett

costa brett

Lenses of various colors, some with mirror finishes, await the cutting machines for shaping.

19Costa 2

Costa 2

Each lens is cut to an exacting degree. After the lenses and frames come together, the glasses are sent to the quality control department for inspection.

18costa machine

costa machine

This machine finds the optical center of the lens for the best line of sight. It then marks the center by placing the red marker directly on the lens.

17costa 8

costa 8

Each pair of glasses comes together at one time. The machines on the right are for the right lens and the ones on the left side cut the left lenses.

16costa glass lenses 9

costa glass lenses 9

Costa uses glass lenses in many of its sunglasses. As glass is basically made of sand, this machine grinds down the lens to shape. It uses water in the process to keep the glass from breaking. The water reservoir is below the machine.

15technician buffs

technician buffs

After the lens is shaped, a technician buffs it up.

1450 frame styles

50 frame styles

With 50 frame styles, different frame colors and lenses in various materials and colorations, the technicians can create hundreds and hundreds of different frame-and-lens combos. And it all happens on U.S. soil.

13polymer lenses

polymer lenses

This machine cuts the plastic or polymer lenses that Costa uses, such as the popular CR-39 lens. The technician programs in the shape of the lens and lets the machine go to work.

12left and right lenses

left and right lenses

Again, the left and right lenses for each frame are cut at one time. This feeder keeps the machine busy all day.

11lens comes out of the machine

lens comes out of the machine

After the lens comes out of the machine, it is matched to the frame. The frames are warmed up before the lenses go in, which helps the frames expand. As the frames cool, they tighten up around the lens.

10cutting are

cutting are

After leaving the cutting area, the complete frames get a good cleaning before being inspected to make sure there are no imperfections.

9Workers inspect the frames

Workers inspect the frames

Workers inspect the frames and lenses for quality issues. Any glasses that do not meet Costa’s high demands are pulled out long before they ever get to the consumer.

8protective case

protective case

If all is well, the glasses are placed in a protective case and moved to the boxing and shipping area.

7carbon-neutral company

lenses fit perfectly

Costa has made great strides to be a more responsible company environmentally. The boxes are made of recycled cardboard and the company purchases carbon offsets. Costa is a carbon-neutral company.

6lenses fit perfectly

lenses fit perfectly

Workers inspect and adjust glasses to make sure the lenses fit perfectly in the frames.

5glasses for repairs

glasses for repairs

If you’ve ever sent in a pair of glasses for repairs, this is where they end up. Many of the repairs are covered under the company’s lifetime warranty. Since everything is put together on site, the company can fix just about any product, even those dating back to the early 1980s, and you’d be surprised how many 25-year-old frames are still being used out there.

4Costa maintain quality

Costa maintain quality

Having the repair shop on site helps Costa maintain quality control. If they start to spot any sort of defect, they can quickly address the issue and fix it. Each year the company will fix more than 100,000 pairs of glasses and send them back to their customers.


costa del mar

Any frames that can’t be saved are recycled.

2costa inventory

costa del mar

The most popular frame styles are stocked in the front of the inventory. This simple organizational step saves many man hours as workers usually don’t have to walk very far down the inventory shelves to put together the shipments.

1packing pillows

costa del mar

Ever wonder how those packing pillows are made? This little machine cranks out huge baskets full of them to protect the glasses during shipping. To find out more about Costa Del Mar, visit the company website at http://www.costadelmar.com.

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Charlie Levine grew up in a boating family and his first introduction to the water came at the age of three weeks old, swinging in a hammock on his father's 26-foot Chris-Craft, the Night Rider. After obtaining a degree in journalism, Charlie was fortunate to combine his career with his passion, and has worked for several boating and fishing publications, including a nine-year stint as Senior Editor of Marlin Magazine. In 2011, Charlie joined the team at BDoutdoors.com as the editorial director. Charlie has fished for both inshore and offshore species up and down the East Coast, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. He currently lives in Florida with his wife Diane and tries to get out on the water as much as he can.