100% Optical

“It’s about feeling good in a frame”

Bird Eyewear spoke to OT  about the importance of having sustainability conversations with patients at 100% Optical

Founder of Bird Eyewear, Ed Bird, has emphasised how important it is to be committed to genuine sustainability.

Speaking to OT at 100% Optical about how the eyewear brand updates its range year-on-year, Bird said: “Our 2023 optical range features eight new main styles. Each comes in three different colours: we have our bio-plastic frames, but we also have our recycled alloy frames. We’re developing our ranges each year. We’re broadening them; we’re thinking about the colours and styles.”

The new range is based on the feedback Bird Eyewear has had from practices, Ed Bird said: “It’s really thinking about what the consumers want. What are the styles? What are the colours? What is the story behind them?”

He added that a lot of time had been spent thinking about colours and shapes, and that natural dyes were used, to give the frames “a really soft, gentle, natural colour – something that’s a bit different.”

The range is low carbon, Bird explained, with an average carbon footprint of 113 grammes of CO2 per frame – approximately the same as using your phone for an hour.

The company achieved this by working closely with partners, developing materials, and looking at the entire supply chain, including raw materials and how products are shipped.

“All of those things add up to just a much better product,” Bird said, adding that the brand’s customers are looking for something that “has sustainability built into its core.”

“As a business, we’re really about championing that,” Bird added.

He went on to explain how the company is working with local partners in Devon, including the council and businesses, on innovation projects, including Bird Forest, which will see 10,000 trees planted over the next 18 months.

“As a brand, we’re really interested in our frames and our products, but we’re also interested in how we interact with our local community,” Bird said, sharing that the brand plans to invite stakeholders to join them on planting days.

“It all adds up to a bigger, better picture,” he added.

He believes that practices stocking frames should ask their suppliers more questions, especially around materials, as customers are increasingly interested in what it is that makes a frame sustainable and what impact it might have on the environment.

Providing this information upfront makes it easy for practices to have conversations with their patients, Bird said – in turn making it easier for patients to then talk to friends and family about the ethical choice they have made.

“At the end of the day, it’s about feeling good in a frame,” Bird said. “Understanding why you feel good makes it even better.”