“We all have to take steps to improve”

Eyewear exhibitors at Silmo told OT  how they are making their products and processes more sustainable

Silmo sustainability

Sustainability “isn’t a trend,” CEO of Marcolin, Massimo Renon told OT at Silmo (27–30 September). “For us, it is a statement of the company,” he added.

Mr Renon explained that Marcolin wants to be the number one eyewear company for sustainable and eco-friendly policies, with planning taking place to achieve this goal over the next few months.

“Every supplier that Marcolin works with, including those for temples, lenses and nose pads, has to be certified and have strict sustainability policies in place,” he shared.

Founder and creative director of eyewear company Linda Farrow, Simon Jablon, said that opportunities and actions that can make an impact now need to be looked at.

“We need to find a way to make everything more sustainable. We all have to take steps to improve,” he shared.

Mr Jablon explained that in a typical manufacturing process, only 20% of the acetate plate is used, with the remaining 80% going to waste. In response to this, all of the black acetate used in eyewear collections by Linda Farrow is recycled (pictured).

We need to find a way to make everything more sustainable. We all have to take steps to improve

Founder and creative director of Linda Farrow, Simon Jablon

At Tom Davies, the eyewear designer had a similar problem so decided to create new styles from an acetate plate made from recycled Tom Davies frames.

“Acetate is a plastic, but you can be more responsible about how you manufacture, source and produce it,” he explained.

Mr Davies also looked at how his eyewear was packaged after recognising too much of it was made from unsustainable materials.

“People like the box that my frames are presented in, but they come back to the practice and say they don’t want to throw it away. It is just for displaying horn frames, so it can’t be reused. However, I’ve now got a wooden box that can be used for jewellery, for example, after the customer has finished using it for their frames. I had to make sure that the packaging had a life,” he said.

Frame bags are being converted to corn starch and in the Tom Davies factory, a solar panel system for the roof is being explored to power the machines.

“I came to the conclusion that it was up to me to make those decisions. Otherwise, where are we going to be in 100 years’ time?” Mr Davies added.

I had to make sure that the packaging had a life

Eyewear designer Tom Davies

Creative director of Covrt Project, Marcello Martino, explained to OT that it wasn’t until he looked at the requirements of shipping eyewear that he realised an additional box was required to package the frames that are already in a box.

“I thought that was the wrong way around,” he said, adding: “So, I started with the shipping box and got everything to fit within that. It creates less waste and is a good product that people can cherish and own for a long time.”

Co-founder of Tree Spectacles, Marco Barp, told OT: “Sustainability is part of our philosophy. We are a modern company, with contemporary ideas and designs.”

The eyewear company uses an eco-acetate that is not obtained from oil but is instead naturally sourced and enclosed in cotton flower.