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Coleman Opticians partner with Coral Eyewear

The Norwich-based practice is the first in the UK to partner with the sustainable start-up

Coleman and Coral outside
Mark Ivan Benfield

Coleman Opticians has become the first UK practice to partner with the sustainable brand Coral Eyewear.

The Norwich-based practice will stock a variety of frames from the eyewear brand’s new Endangered Collection, named to raise awareness of marine animals facing the threat of extinction.

The frames are created from Econyl – pellets of recycled nylon made from recycled ocean fishing nets and fabric scraps from landfill. This process reduces the global warming impact of nylon when compared with materials drawn from oil, the eyewear brand suggests, while the frames are also tumbled for smoothness, eliminating the need for lacquer, gloss or varnish.

Coleman and Coral inside
Mark Ivan Benfield
Introducing Coral Eyewear to Coleman Opticians, Jake Humphrey, Katie and Radley Fenn, Helen Hillis and George Bailey

Commenting on the decision to stock the new collection, director of Coleman Opticians, Katie Fenn, said: “As a local independent business we strive to improve our carbon footprint year-on-year, and supporting local entrepreneur George on this exciting innovation really was a no brainer.

“The range of glasses are bright and attractive, and knowing how they have been produced will hopefully be the start of a new way of thinking in the future.”

The start-up received £50,000 last year to test eco-friendly materials, and recently completed a Kickstarter campaign. The brand has also secured support from Norfolk entrepreneur and TV personality, Jake Humphrey, and established a partnership with Formula E driver Alexander Sims.

Coral Eyewear founder, George Bailey, commented: “It’s so exciting to be working with Coleman Opticians and I’m delighted that Coral Eyewear will have a great High Street presence here in Norfolk.”

Calling the optical practice “a great fit for the brand,” Mr Bailey continued: “I believe this partnership can make a real impact in our bid to move the industry towards recycled, eco-friendly materials.”

“I’ve lived locally in Norfolk for a number of years and it’s great to see initiatives like the contact lens recycling scheme and water refill station already in practice. I think that our frames are the next positive environmental swap and we hope it’s the start of a long-term partnership where our frames will eventually return to us for recycling,” he added.

It is thought that 600,000 tonnes of fishing nets, which take up to 600 years to break down, are abandoned in the oceans every year, releasing micro plastics. World Animal Protection estimates one abandoned net entangles 30-40 marine animals per year.