Millmead partners with Yair Neuman for lens waste installation
A new sculpture made of lens waste and discarded demo lenses will aim to draw attention to the topic of sustainability in the industry
09 April 2022
Jai Kudo Lenses, part of the Millmead Optical Group, has formed a collaboration with the designer, Yair Neuman.
Through the partnership, Neuman will design and create a sculpture made from the lens swarf and discarded demo lenses from Millmead’s production.
The installation aims to raise awareness of the sustainability issues surrounding industrial lens waste.
Sharing that “over 3000 tonnes of lens waste ends up in landfill each year in the UK alone,” Millmead’s CEO, James Conway, shared that the collaboration is “unapologetically intended to be highly visible and perhaps even provocative.”
“We believe that provocation provides illumination, promotes discussion and often ignites intelligent thinking,” he continued. “We believe that such an installation will raise the profile of the issue and help focus minds on the problem in a truly creative, engaging, and meaningful manner, whilst celebrating the power of artistic story-telling.”
The collaboration ties in with a new strategy that the company has announced for Jai Kudo lenses, called ‘See the Light.’
Commenting on the plans, Neuman said: “Art has the power to inspire us to reflect on our identity and lifestyle choices, and that notion is brought into even sharper relief when considering the physical form and qualities inherent in an optical lens.”
Neuman will be exhibiting a variety of his own designs at 100% Optical. Going forwards, he said the partners anticipate extending the collaboration into a signature range of recycled products across Millmead’s three main brands: Jai Kudo Lenses, Continental Eyewear, and Optoplast.
The range would be made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), Neuman said, “and will celebrate a very significant message about how sustainability and style can comfortably co-exist, whilst starting important conversations about our place on the planet.”
“The fact that these items have all existed in a previous form, and will enjoy a kind of renaissance as a completely new item of fashion or medical item, makes the range altogether more exciting and nuanced as a concept.”
Illuminating the issue of lens waste
Conway shared that, while it is encouraging to see sustainable approaches more widely embraced in the optical industry in recent years, there is a need to be more “candid about the scale of the issue surrounding lens waste in particular.”
“We acknowledge that we all can, and should, do more to resolve it,” he said, adding that in speaking about the issue, “we can mobilise not just ourselves, but also our competitors and even those from outside the industry to help bring new ideas and approaches that will solve these issues more quickly.”
The company has made “encouraging process” in researching solutions to cut lens waste, Conway shared, with hopes to unveil an update towards the end of the year.”
Yair Neuman and Millmead Optical Group will be exhibiting at 100% Optical, which will take place at London’s ExCel from 23-25 April. For more insight ahead of the show into speaker sessions, sponsor plans and exhibitor trends, take a look at OT’s dedicated web page.
Don’t forget, due to popular demand, 100% Optical 2022 will open its doors at 9 am across all three days of the show - providing more time for delegate to find their education sessions, book meetings, and view new products.
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