Was Ist Dresden?

Newtown is the birthplace of an exciting innovation in optics.  After cashing out his investment in another revolutionary start-up, GoGet car sharing, Bruce Jeffreys teamed up with designer, Jason McDemott in 2015 to found Dresden Optics.  Dresden makes an attractive range of prescription glasses from recycled plastics and high quality German Zeiss lenses.

In doing so they have revolutionised a category. Those of us who wear glasses know them as hitherto expensive, fragile accessories that are easy to lose, break or even have stolen. They are rarely repairable. The idea with Dresden is that they are cheap, funky, maintainable and robust.


The Dresden approach is blissfully simple. Everything is customisable using 4 standard frame sizes, 4 different arm lengths in a range of colours that can be mixed and matched to your heart (and pocket’s) content. The lenses are ground to your prescription literally in front of your eyes in the store. The glasses are supplied with spare replaceable hinge pins.

On my first trip to Dresden I walked out after 30 minutes with 2 pairs of glasses, priced at $49 each, but paid for entirely by my health fund, and ironically I had to fork out $20 cash for the two recycled felt protective cases!

Dresden are also making a big statement about sustainability. They are scouring the beaches and waste heaps of the world to find discarded materials that are not otherwise being used.  Their latest find is the fishing nets discarded by trawlers and washing up on beaches in Arnhem Land.

Dresden now has 5 Sydney stores and 3 in Melbourne. They have recently expanded into Canada, opening a store in Toronto with plans for a second in September. They have plans to grow this into 50 to 80 stores, half of which will be in Australia.

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