Top new businesses of 2014: Tens

The eyewear brand that makes the Instagram filter a reality

Founders: Tom Welsh, Kris Reid and Marty Bell
Launched: May 2014

Capitalising on people’s love for warm, rich colours, – Tens’ founders dreamed up their “sunglasses that add an extra burst of colour to your day” while road tripping through their homeland in Scotland’s Highlands.

Meaning Instagram filters can actually become reality, the protective eyewear brand uses a custom tint that works with natural light to boost the clarity and colour of your view, filtering your vision immediately – and without the need for technology or software.

Two years since the initial concept was dreamed up, and after a lot of design and tech research, Tens launched on Indiegogo in May this year, successfully raising £366,979, 4,000% over their target and making them the second biggest fashion campaign ever on the global crowdfunding site.

The founders, who all come from photography backgrounds, channelled their initial travel influence throughout their campaign and continue to do so in their marketing now; with travel blogs and breathtaking images helping to capture their audience’s imagination and showcase the potential of a filtered reality.

The start-up is already proving its staying power; expanding to a multiple frame range for men and women, and distributing globally with a presence in over 100 markets.

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