Carbon neutrality influence on eyewear industry


While sustainability and environmental concerns are not new, during the pandemic, people have become more sensitive to the environmental impact of their shopping decisions. In fact, much of the world’s recognition of the perils of climate change and accompanying social responsibility combined with shifting consumer priorities have led companies, executives, organizations and private citizens to dub this an era of a “global eco-awakening.”

Overhauling their approach to how they lead employees, reengineer their facilities, and bring contributions and new processes to their own countries and regions, companies including EssilorLuxottica, Safilo, Modo, Marchon/VSP, Marcolin, Kering, LVMH/Thelios, Kenmark, L’Amy America, Inspecs, Tura, Morel, Mykita, ClearVision, De Rigo Group, Zyloware and brands like Article One, Genusee and literally dozens of others are now more firmly on the green journey forward.

Embracing carbon neutrality can help eyewear brands enhance their reputation and differentiate themselves in the market. Companies that proactively work towards achieving carbon neutrality can position themselves as leaders in sustainability, attracting environmentally-conscious consumers and gaining a competitive edge over brands that are less focused on sustainability.

In 2021, EssilorLuxottica committed to becoming carbon neutral in its direct operations in Europe by 2023 and worldwide by 2025. The company has already reached carbon neutrality in its two historic home countries of Italy and France.

Elena Dimichino, head of sustainability, EssilorLuxottica, said, “It is no longer enough for companies to say they care about sustainability—we need to be walking the walk every day, together. From the raw materials to manufacturing to supply chain to our ethics and our commitment to our people and the communities we operate in. It’s a long journey, but one we’re very proud to take alongside others in the industry.”


Achieving carbon neutrality often requires a comprehensive understanding of the entire supply chain. Eyewear brands are increasingly expected to have transparency regarding their sourcing practices, manufacturing processes, and carbon emissions. This demand for supply chain transparency pushes companies to scrutinize their operations, collaborate with suppliers, and work towards reducing emissions throughout the entire value chain.

The pursuit of carbon neutrality in the eyewear industry drives innovation in material selection and production techniques. Companies are exploring sustainable alternatives such as bio-based materials, recycled plastics, and natural fibers for eyewear frames. Additionally, advancements in manufacturing technologies are being made to reduce energy consumption and minimize waste generation during production.


Eastman, one of the world’s largest plastics producers, is augmenting what it’s done in other parts of the world with the news last January about its effort in France where the company will invest up to $1 billion to accelerate circular economy through building the world’s largest molecular plastics recycling facility. French president Emmanuel Macron and Eastman’s board chair and CEO Mark Cost made that January announcement under which Eastman’s polyester renewal technology could recycle up to 160,000 metric tons annually of hard-to-recycle plastic waste that is currently being incinerated.

The trend towards carbon neutrality has led to increased collaboration and the establishment of industry standards. Eyewear brands, suppliers, and industry organizations are coming together to develop guidelines and best practices for achieving carbon neutrality. Collaborative efforts allow for knowledge sharing, resource pooling, and joint initiatives to reduce the industry's collective carbon footprint.


Earlier of 2022, Mykita announced a partnership with Eastman to exclusively source Eastman Acetate Renew for its acetate frames. Eastman is actively working on solutions, including the takeback program that recycles waste from the eyewear industry into new sustainable materials, such as Acetate Renew. Mykita will be one of the first joining the program once it is up and running at scale in Europe to create true circularity in eyewear. The Mykita Acetate collection with Eastman debuted at LOFT 2022 in New York this past March.

In late 2020, Safilo partnered with Dutch nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup to produce a limited edition sunglass made of injected plastic recovered from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP).

Overall, the carbon neutrality trend is reshaping the eyewear industry, driving sustainability initiatives, influencing consumer preferences, and fostering innovation. Embracing carbon neutrality can be a powerful way for eyewear brands to align with sustainability goals, meet customer expectations, and contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Post time: May-23-2023