Sustainability: Unconventional materials 2020/21

Different materials are arriving as the sustainability conversation evolves

‘Eco-friendly’ materials in eyewear are advancing, with new additions applying processes of recycling, repurposing and upcycling or exploring plant-based opportunities with a sustainable goal. This follows the fashion industries gradual introduction of materials such as bio leathers, bamboo and hemp, the use of corn starch, castor oil, roots of mushrooms (MycoTEX), bananas and pineapples and a much greater acceptance of recycled and repurposed material with more regular use of off-cuts, scraps and waste parts that would normally be thrown away.

Here are 3 independent European eyewear labels – using different eco-oriented methods and material combinations to create an alternative sustainable style (Above: EOE Eyewear – Regrind – photo credit: Farago & Farago).

1. EOE Regrind (Swedish Lapland)

EOE Regrind sunglasses are made from old, surplus eyewear. The frames are collected, sorted and then undergo a “grinding” process to produce new blocks of raw material. The colorations of the new models depend on the predominant colours of the old frames and how they are mixed. The first edition of Regrind sunglasses was a chic mainly black fashion collection with tiny flecks of coloured plastic. EOE Eyewear has extended the collection to include ophthalmic models as well as sunglasses in 2020. Find out more: https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/09/exclusive-regrind-by-eoe-eyewear/www.eoe-eyewear.com

Aéras Collection – Ferilli – the collection launches in July 2020

2. Ferilli Eyewear (Italy)

Ferilli is an Italian label working with cactus. Their frames are made exclusively in Italy and have a delicate finish with the natural patterns of the plant. Their new line called “Aéras” ( “air” in Greek) is composed of six models created in prickly pear “cactus” and ebony and is dedicated to the most picturesque villages of Puglia. www.ferillieyewear.com

3. Ochis Coffee (Ukraine)

Max Gavrilenko founded Ochis Coffee Eyewear in 2018. The eco brand uses reusable organic materials – flax and coffee – as an alternative to plastic. A soybean oil based glue is used for the assembly. The frames are biodegradable and give off a natural subtle coffee aroma. www.ochiscoffee.com  CN