One of our core beliefs at Vision1 is that everyone should know where their eyewear comes from. We’ve noticed a trend in the eyewear production space that leaves much to the imagination when it comes down to the real details of a product – Where were these sunglasses made? What materials have been used, and how many resources did it take to produce them?
In the same way attention is being drawn to the clothing industry, consumers are beginning to ask more questions about their eyewear – and the eyewear industry as a whole still has much to reveal. The global sunglasses market was valued at over 16.85 billion U.S dollars in 2019. When sunglasses form as much of our day-to-day as the shoes and clothes we wear, the same approach to sustainable, fairmade fashion should be applied to the eyewear we choose.
Until recently, eyewear has typically been made from a combination of materials (metal, non-biodegradable plastic, dyes and pigments) that makes them particularly difficult to recycle, leaving them to occupy landfills as waste. Coupled with this is the high level of resources used in the production process as well as the emissions involved in transporting goods from China (the leading producer of optical goods worldwide in 2017) to Europe, for example, which makes sustainability a necessary and important topic of discussion (and action).
Vision1 is committed to sustainable and fair production, with the aim of making the eyewear industry that much more transparent and accessible to our customers by sharing information and details about each step of our production over the next few months. Our eyewear is made using recycled plastic sourced from electronic and electrical waste right here in Austria, turning old equipment and appliances into high quality products with an entirely new life cycle. By opting for recycled plastic, we’re able to save 80% of primary energy needed in our production process. When it comes time to transform the recycled plastic into a pair of our high quality sunglasses or goggles, we work with top production partners in Italy who are able to meet our meticulous standards. By sourcing our materials locally and carrying out our production within a few hundred kilometers, we’re able to keep our transport emissions to a minimum.
For our lenses, we use a strong plastic that has been produced using castor bean oil, a renewable resource, instead of crude oil. Although our first prize would be creating lenses from recycled plastic, we discovered that the resources needed to find and separate the right plastic waste which can produce functional lenses with high enough clarity and visibility would send our production energy balance into the negative. We also intentionally decided against using glass in our eyewear as our pieces are often intended for use outdoors and in a sporting environment, making glass a hazardous component as it is easier to break. As an added option, we also offer ECO lenses which are made entirely from purified resin.
Some of the benefits of using responsibly-sourced plastic for our lenses and recycled plastic for our frames is that our eyewear has thermal stability, break resistance and durability – all important criteria for our products. Our sunglasses and ski goggles are built for a maximum life span, in an effort to minimize the amount of eyewear that goes to waste due to breakages and poor functionality.
As a unique medium for branding, Vision1’s customisable eyewear offers high quality and functionality without compromising on sustainability and fair production. We understand the powerful story that eyewear can tell about a brand’s values, choices and overarching philosophy. Vision1 gives you, as a brand, the opportunity to take responsibility and empower each wearer with the knowledge of where their customised sunglasses or ski goggles come from so that the right message can become part of your greater story.