About Us

Idol Eyes Australia is very proudly a 100% Australian family owned business with a long history in the optical industry. Everyone working here at Idol Eyes Australia absolutely love their job. Why? Because we know what we do here makes a huge difference to the eye health of all our customers. Our job is to save the sight of babies and kids with style. Please read on to find out all about us.

By Peter Carruthers
Owner and Manager

About Us – Idol Eyes Australia

How we got started

Iris Optical Co; Pty Ltd

In 1950, my father Ronald Carruthers founded Iris Optical Co; Pty Ltd. Named after his wife, Iris. The company initially specialized in making prescription eye-wear to help people see. Subsequently expanding in to adult’s sunglasses to prevent UV related eye diseases.

Then in the early 1960’s with a growing family of four children. And with no children’s sunglasses available at the time. Ron hand-made what may be the world’s first children’s sunglasses. The business had grown tremendously by this time. With Australian Prime Ministers, politicians, dignitaries, socialites, and most importantly children, among the clientele.

About us, Ron & Iris – wearing stylish hand-made sunglasses in 1954
Ron & Iris – wearing stylish hand-made sunglasses in 1954

About us, Idol Eyes Australia

In 1987 with the birth of my niece, Corinne. And Ron and Iris’s first grandchild. I recognized the discomfort caused to babies by the harsh Australian sun. So I immediately set to work on creating the world’s first baby sunglasses. And subsequently formed Idol Eyes Australia. With a new company motto “committed to children’s eye-care”.

The first pair of baby sunglasses in 1987 was known as Baby Wrapz. And to this day it certainly remains our most popular line of sunglasses. Then in 2011 we designed and made the world’s first unbreakable, comfortable and convertible babies sunglasses with 100% UV protection – Baby Wrapz 2. Due to this models ability to grow with a baby. And to also fit comfortably at all ages from 0 to 5 years old. This model has become world-famous.

Quality and fashion

Due to our passion for quality and fashion you can see the results in all of our products. We then back that up with our world famous 3-year guarantee. Idol Eyes Australia is and always has been the leading supplier of quality children’s sunglasses in Australia and now also world-wide.

The importance of sunglasses

Everyone knows that the sun’s harmful UV radiation causes skin damage. But it is also the major cause of eye diseases such as cataracts, pterygium, actinic & droplet keratites, pinguecula and macular degeneration.

The majority of UV radiation related eye damage occurs to children because the lenses in their eyes have not fully developed. This is due to the lack of chromophores within their eyes. Which allows the UV rays to effect the cornea, crystalline lens and retina. You can read more about: Dangerous kids sunglasses in our blog. Small amounts of damage occur to the eyes every time a child is in the sun. This accumulation of sun damage over many years has devastating effects of nasty eye diseases showing up later in life.

Protection is easy

All these eye diseases can easily be prevented in the first place just by wearing good quality wrap-around sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat from birth.

Our Story – about us

1950 – Commenced business as Iris Optical Co, Pty Ltd an Australian family owned optical company. Originally making prescription eyewear and then adult sunglasses to help prevent UV related eye diseases.

1960 – Started making children’s sunglasses.

1987 – Then realized the most important time to protect eyes against UV rays is between birth and 5 years old.  So Idol Eyes Australia was formed with a commitment to children’s eye-care and we made the world’s first baby sunglasses, “Baby Wrapz“.

1990 – Exporting then commenced to New Zealand, Fiji and other Pacific Islands.

1997 – We exhibited at our first international exhibition at the Hong Kong Optical Fair. This quickly expanded our export market to include Spain, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong and the USA, among many countries.

Hong Kong Optical Fair 1997
Hong Kong Optical Fair 1997

Our big growth generator

2011 – We knew there was a golden opportunity for us to design a new baby sunglasses that would actually grow with a baby. So we set to work and made the world’s first convertible baby sunglasses. Named “Baby Wrapz 2“.

2011 – Then at the Hong Kong Optical Fair our Baby Wrapz 2 was an instant success. With export growth to Canada, Germany, Iran, Israel, Maldives and Oman plus more.

2013 – Saw the commencement of exporting to China and subsequently exhibiting at CBME – Shanghai, China with Austrade and our new distributor.

CBME 2013 - Shanghai. L to R: Lily & Peter - Idol Eyes Australia, Michael Clifton – Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner Shanghai, Skye & April - Idol Eyes Australia China distributor.
CBME 2013 – Shanghai. L to R: Lily & Peter – Idol Eyes Australia, Michael Clifton – Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner Shanghai, Skye & April – Idol Eyes Australia China distributor.

2013 – We exhibited at ABC Kids – Las Vegas, USA. This expanded our export growth in the region and was also the start of our export growth to the UK.

ABC Kids Expo - Las Vegas, USA
ABC Kids Expo – Las Vegas, USA

2014 – Once again we exhibited at CBME – Shanghai, China. This saw the commencement of our exporting to Hong Kong, Turkey, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

2014 – Later this year we exhibited at Kind + Jugend – Cologne, Germany. This saw exporting growth climb to over 50 countries including Belgium, Nederlands and Austria.

Kind + Jugend 2014 - Cologne, Germany
Kind + Jugend 2014 – Cologne, Germany

2017We then celebrated 30 years of success with the launch of the world’s first premature baby sunglasses “Premy Wrapz“. This model was exhibited for the first time at the Hong Kong Baby Fair with awesome growth to over 65 countries.

Hong Kong Baby Fair 2017
Hong Kong Baby Fair 2017

2019 – Was our first time to exhibit at CBME – Istanbul, Turkey which commenced our export growth in the MENA region.

2020 – Then our second exhibition at CBME – Istanbul, Turkey. Exporting grew to over 100 countries.

CBME 2020 - Istanbul, Turkey
CBME 2020 – Istanbul, Turkey

Where we manufacture

When Iris Optical Co, Pty Ltd began in 1950 all manufacturing was done in Sydney, Australia. Then in the early 1980’s a small amount of manufacturing was done in Taiwan. Then in early 2015 we moved to a new state of the art purpose built multi-million dollar facility in Taiwan. All manufacturing is now done under one roof. From designing, tooling, injection, painting, lens cutting, assembling and testing. We also have our export department in-house. This factory has a great track record in sunglasses manufacturing going back to 1995. With the brand new factory only opening in 2014. Idol Eyes Australia has been doing some business with this company since 2012.

About us, our growth

This new facility has allowed us to quality control all aspects of the business. Which has helped us to grow our business into the world’s leading baby and kids sunglasses brand.

With our expertise in baby and kids sunglasses we have been approached by other leading brands to do their manufacturing. Today we are a leading OEM and ODM manufacturer of baby and kids sunglasses for many of the world’s leading brands.