Vogue Scandinavia takes a look at the eyewear industry through the lens of sustainability
With the current focus of utility and sustainability in fashion, the global appeal of Scandinavian design products has never been so apparent, and eyewear is no exception.
When it comes to sustainable eyewear, it is no secret that Scandinavians brands have always been a step ahead. The region is widely associated with a deep respect for nature. This is especially evident in the choice of materials, where they are early adopters of Bio-Acetate, acetate without the toxic phthalates, frames, experiment with Bio-Nylon and recyclable optical glass lenses and pay extra attention to packaging.
In the same vein as their eco-friendly approach to materials, Scandinavian eyewear brands select their producers with care. Today, there are three main hubs of eyewear production: China, Italy and Japan. A little-known fact is that Japan, not Italy, is the heritage hub of eyewear production, with the Fukui region having some of the longest traditions and know-how of the craft in the world. Given the similarities between the two cultures and long history of influencing each other - think the Japandi trend - it is perhaps not surprising that many Scandinavian eyewear brands have opted to pair with Japanese craftsmanship. “The parallel sensibilities we see between the two cultures are such as simplicity, modesty and functionality. Both also celebrate craftsmanship using natural material”, Barry Hirst, founder of Pantechnicon explains to Vogue Scandinavia. Here we take a look at the optical brands that are using sustainable methods to craft their frames:
Since 2010, this heritage brand from the Swedish Lapland has produced sustainable eyewear made out of Bio-Acetate, making it a true pioneer in the field. Nature plays a big part in the brand's DNA, which is evident in the end-product. The brand sources bio-based content such as wood for its Bio-Acetate locally in Northern Sweden and produces in the Italian Alps.
Oh My Eyes
Since SS18, this Swedish eyewear brand has made high-end, long-lasting sunglasses that are worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. The shades are handmade in Japan with Cellulose Acetate and titanium (a Japanese speciality) and the packaging is made from locally sourced leather. The brand also contributes to minimising global waste by donating your old sunglasses to a good cause and you in return get a discount code. (Insert Photographic example)
Oscar Magnusen x KameManNen
Swedish eyewear brand Oscar Magnusen recently teamed up with Japanese heritage eyewear company KameManNen, resulting in a collaboration that celebrates the best of Scandinavian and Japanese design. With a focus on functionality and natural materials, the collaboration takes on the kind of minimalism that yields maximum impact. The frame is made out of Bio-Acetate and titanium and the packaging is made out of organic leather from Sweden. Although the lense material of this collaboration is not specified, Oscar Magnusen usually specializes in eco-friendly lense materials such as bio-nylon or recyclable glass.
A relative newcomer to the eyewear scene is Danish eyewear brand, James Ay. The brand creates sustainable products with frames made exclusively out of bio-acetate from Mazzucelli M49 and hinges from German supplier OBE, which are made from 60% reused metal hinges. The packaging sleeve is made from recycled leather and even the cleaning cloth is made from recycled plastic.
With roots in Norway, Møy Atelier has since its SS17 inception produced luxury sunglasses in Fukui, Japan. The brand has included bio-acetate frames in its portfolio since AW18 and has combined bio-acetate frames with bio-nylon lenses in its latest collection. Adored by supermodels and A-list celebrities alike, Kate Moss, Phoebe Dynevor and Nathalie Emmanuele to name a few, you too can get that signature Scandinavian look that transcends seasons.
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