“I think fashion is about the future, and no one should sacrifice their style for their ecological and environmental beliefs.” Designer Stella McCartney, a leader in sustainable and responsible fashion, reaffirmed her unwavering commitment on 30 September behind the scenes of her fashion show. This landmark event was an opportunity for the Brit to present a new 100% vegan fake fur, called Koba, made of 37% cornstarch residue and 67% recycled polyester. Already in January, she launched her Wild Eyewear collection, made of bio-acetate, a material made from wood pulp fibers, fully bio-sourced and biodegradable.
Faced with the climate emergency, fashion must indeed initiate radical change. Creators, consumers, suppliers ... we are all concerned. In September, the chair of the French Institute of Fashion - Première Vision unveiled the results of an unprecedented study that reveals the relationship between European and American consumers in responsible fashion. In 2018, 45.8% of French people, 43.4% of Germans, 46.7% of Italians and 55.3% of Americans bought at least one responsible fashion product. But how does one define a “sustainable” item? Unsurprisingly, materials take the lead in all 4 countries. However, it is all the life stages of life of the product that must be considered and analyzed: Raw materials, Production, Transport & Logistics, Commercialization, Use, End of life. With this broader view of things, initiatives are flourishing. But what about accessories? Glasses have become an extension of the look, the fashion accessory that details and highlights style. And if fashion is going green, so are glasses!
At Silmo 2019, the Parisian eyewear trade show, the environmental issue was clearly in the background. The winner of the Silmo d'Or, which rewards the most innovative brands in their market, was the Germans of Freisicht, who offer a solid wood frame with advanced technology. The treatment of this natural material allows any optician to heat the frame to correct its ergonomics and, thus, adapt to the facial features of all wearers, like traditional glasses.
Focus on raw materials
Wood or recycled metal, bio-acetate... brands are emerging, offering interesting alternatives that are increasingly adapted to the constraints of the market. French eyewear specialist SHELTER is particularly interested, recovering the wood scraps from the furniture industry: mahogany burr, Madagascar ebony, speckled maple... which it marries with elegance to bio-acetate from cotton flowers and wood fiber. As for Italian brand MODO, recently renamed ECO, it offers collections made of 95% recycled metal and is committed to sustainable environmental actions. For each pair purchased, a tree is planted (with the “Tree for the Future” organization).
Each pair of frames has a story to tell. Brands Peep and Lunetist offer a collection of vintage frames, unique and unusual, reworked and modern. A nice way to extend the life cycle of products.
Zero waste objective
To avoid the production of waste and residue in the manufacturing process for glasses, 3D printing offers new opportunities that combine tailor-made with the concept of durability. The German brand ANNU offers, for example, ultra-flexible and lightweight frames, which adapt perfectly to each person’s face