Costa Del Mar is pretty much a household name in the sunglass business these days. No matter what corner of the country you venture to, you are bound to see a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses hanging off the neck of a sunburnt fishing guide or outdoorsman. While you can pick these awesome polarized shades up at pretty much any outfitter across the globe – not many people know about what goes into making the sunglasses and what happens in the Costa Del Mar factory located in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Don’t panic! You’re about to get a front row tour of the Costa Del Mar location from the eyes of my iPhone.
We start out at the front door which is fairly quaint looking compared to its insides.
After walking in there’s a badass Mahi-Mahi sculpture made from Costa polarized lenses.
After you get your secret clearance badge from the front door, the first stop is the assembly shop where some Costa sunglasses are pieced together, cleaned, and checked before boxing.
This room has machines which you can see on the desks below. They are cutting machines which turn the pre-made lens blanks into shaped lenses for specific pairs of Costa sunglasses. This is where smaller batches of sunglasses are made for specific frames.
Here’s a tray of pre-made lens blanks with a green mirror finish.
A single blank with a removable mount affixed to it. This one is a 580 lens from that batch above.
Once the pairs of glasses are assembled, they are boxed up and put onto shelving in a huge warehouse room which looks similar to something Amazon.com would have! It’s complete with conveyer belts and people picking sunglasses for online orders.
Costa Del Mar also sells – literally – tons of accessories like shirts, hats, koozies and sunglass keepers which all come from this location.
The next stop from the packing warehouse is the repair shop. This area is operated like its own small company within Costa. Every time someone returns a pair of sunglasses for warranty work they will end up in this room.
These four rows of employees are the entire workforce behind the Costa Del Mar warranty department that fixes your sunglasses back to factory condition with care! It was explained to me that during my visit it was the ‘off season’ for returns and it was fairly quiet. Normally before ‘fishing season’ in the Summer this room would be jam-lacked with return boxes and more employees.
This is the customer service portion of the warranty and sales department. Any time you call the phone number on the Costa website for service or placing an order over the phone you will be connected to one of these folks.
All of those operations above were just one building that Costa Del Mar owns on the warehouse property. After this we went into a separate building that was partially owned by Costa for something you wouldn’t suspect – the prescription or ‘RX’ department.
This place is on a whole ‘nother level of cool factor with their machines and shop.
Costa Del Mar accepts orders for custom-made prescription lenses through their online shop. They have all of the equipment on-site in Daytona Beach to make each custom lens and also keep a certified prescription lens specialist on staff to verify each lens order before it goes home to the customer.
This is the main area in the RX building with all of the lens cutting machines.
This room adjacent to the room above is where the make each lens finish for the custom RX orders. You need green mirror? They can do it. How about silver mirror? Yep!
The machine on the left of the photo below somehow takes the lenses and spins them around and makes them awesome. It’s science.
Trays of prescription lenses.
These are the raw ‘rock’ minerals that lenses are made of. These minerals turn into smoke and stick to the lenses – or something like that. It’s more science that I don’t understand but it’s really cool! As you can see it looks like they’re doing a green mirror lens.
That was pretty much the whole factory tour!
Each department worked like a well-oiled machine and the facility was clean and really cool to see in person. Having so much work done in the USA right here in Florida makes me happy to own so many pairs of Costa Del Mar sunglasses.
Thanks to my super solid bro-dude Todd Barker (@toddbarker_) from the Costa marketing team for the invite and tour!
Time for some bonus photos. These badass promo cars were parked outside the property for the marketing department to use for different events (and maybe take to lunch).