Alejandro Betancourt López: The Visionary Leader Behind Hawkers’ Sustainable Innovation

When consumers think about sustainable products, sunglasses probably don’t spring to mind. But Alejandro Betancourt López, president of Hawkers, is working to change that.

Inspired by the trend toward environmentally friendly manufacturing, he’s created an eyewear line that looks stylish and protects the eyes while helping to clean Earth’s water system. The six models that comprise Hawkers’ H20 line are crafted from plastics and other materials harvested directly from the oceans.

“Both the frames and the lenses of all six H2O models are made using materials which respect the planet,” the Hawkers website shares. “From innovative, biodegradable materials to recycled preexisting plastics. The packaging is also 100% sustainable.”

It’s a product perfectly pitched to meet modern times, when both looking good and doing good lie at the heart of consumer preferences — and Alejandro Betancourt López is leading the charge.

How Hawkers Found the Way

As a conspicuous component of the fickle and faddish fashion business, Hawkers sunglasses have to accomplish a few things at once. To reach members of Generation Z, the arbiters of what’s hip and what’s not, products need to do more than stand out. They must stand for something.

For the H20 line at Hawkers, that something is sustainability.

Under the leadership of Alejandro Betancourt López, the company has become a juggernaut in the luxury eyewear space. Since he assumed the role of president in 2016, the Spanish company has seen its net worth increase exponentially.

It was Betancourt López who steered the enterprise to financial maturity, attracting its first angel investors and building important branding partnerships with some of the social media’s brightest stars.

His idea was simple: Meet consumers where they are. To do so, he devised an ingenious social media marketing strategy that appealed to sophisticated consumers.

He created a campus brand ambassadors program that boasted more than 5,000 college students as members. The ambassadors, chosen for their high follower counts, hosted events on behalf of Hawkers in exchange for trips and festival and concert tickets.

“I believe that you have to understand that the world is changing so fast and with the world of markets, the appetites, the cultures, everything changes and more technology, there is more adaptation needed,” Betancourt López said. “About 25 years ago, it was normal to receive a fax. The new generations don’t even understand what is a fax machine. So things are changing so fast and the way that people communicate, the way that people like doing things. Something like TikTok changed the world in three years.”

Good for the Earth, Good for Business

Hawkers represents a rare success story at a time when Gen Z seems to create more puzzlement than profits for modern companies. Raised on the internet, they have access to a wealth of corporate information — and a natural understanding of how to find it.

Companies cannot simply pay lip service to concepts like sustainability. They have to deliver. Otherwise, modern consumers will simply take their business elsewhere.

But it’s not just about creating eco-conscious eyewear. The other piece of the puzzle is marketing the product to consumers through the noisy and attention-warped world of digital marketing.

Luckily, this is where Alejandro Betancourt López shines. His guiding beliefs in authenticity and transparency have turned Hawkers into a top global eyewear brand.

“We’ve always been conscious about that, and we know that the market is shifting toward that direction and that everybody’s getting more conscious and wanting to understand how the product impacts their life, and the world, and environment,” said Betancourt.

“I think it’s fair that we provide that information and that kind of intel to the consumer and to the clients. And the assurance is that we can develop products that are also responsible with the environment, but at the same time can provide a quality product, and keep the brand at its highest level.”

With a net worth of more than $2.6 billion, Alejandro Betancourt López understands the risks and payoffs of modern investing better than most. Not only does he regularly back startups as an angel investor, he also leads a multinational investment group called O’Hara Administration. He was named president of Hawkers after investing heavily in the eyewear brand, and today, he continues to be its single biggest shareholder.

His faith in the brand isn’t only encouraging to other investors; it’s also a smart strategy. With innovative ideas like the sustainable H20 line, Hawkers is competing — and holding its own — against long-established luxury brands like Gucci and Ray-Ban.

“Today, everything involves data and how you access the customer,” Betancourt said. “If you are able to succeed in accessing this customer in an efficient way and affordable way that is economically viable and differentiates the product enough to make it attractive to the customer, then you have a winning product. And as you see, the market is evolving every day.”