Local production & Recycled materials

Local production & Recycled materials

Johanna Skans is a regular contributor to the Danish Optical Magazine OPTIKEREN, where she passionately explores sustainability in the eyewear industry. In the June 2024 edition, she shares two exciting steps that can significantly boost the positive environmental impact of optical stores. Enjoy the English version here!


It’s a reason why we talk a lot about sustainability. Sustainability isn't just a trend — it's becoming the new normal. Consumers prioritize ethical products and practices and optical stores must adapt to meet these expectations to remain competitive, according to the sustainability brand index report from March 2024.

The same report shows that Scandinavian individuals have high environmental ambitions but low self awareness, this basically means that we want to do the right things, but we have little understanding of how our daily routines and behaviours are affecting the environment. So let's explore a couple of things an optical store can do to position themselves as ethical and responsible companies.

An optical store has plenty of opportunities to show their sustainability commitment. Examples of these are; prioritizing energy efficiency, adopting renewable energy sources, optimizing transportation methods, implementing recycling and waste reduction initiatives, educating and involving employees, engaging with the community, and optimizing the supply chain, among other strategies. 

Today, we’ll explore two important sustainability areas for a company to be perceived as a sustainable company: Local production & recycled materials (Sustainability brand index report 2024).

For an optical company based in Denmark, it is therefore essential to represent local brands, with production in Europe, made of recycled materials, which can also be recyclable. 

By focusing on local production and using recycled materials, you can demonstrate your commitment to ethical practices and meet the evolving demands of conscious consumers.

If you're an optical store owner who wants to commit to sustainable practices, here are two tips for you:

Focus on local production

Customers prioritize local production, viewing it as a symbol of ethical responsibility. Eyewear manufactured in Europe not only supports lower carbon emissions due to shorter transportation distances but also upholds high social welfare standards for employees.

On the other hand, messages such as "handmade in Japan" may signal lower environmental responsibility and might cause customers to perceive the store as less sustainable.

As a Scandinavian store owner, you will benefit by representing more local brands with European productions in your store, you not only align with customer values but also contribute to reduced carbon emissions and social welfare initiatives.

Recycled & Recyclable Material

By using recycled materials, we avoid extraction of new raw material, by using already existing material, which is good. Applying recyclability to everything one purchase; packaging, eyewear, lenses, interior design, etc will not only save the planet from harmful carbon emissions and preserve the climate and biodiversity, it will also attract more customers.

In terms of eyewear there are two outstanding recyclable material options. You should seek frames made of recycled stainless steel or acetate renew. Recycled stainless steel is one of the most environmentally friendly eyewear materials (Andy Wolf sustainability report) as well as Acetate Renew. These materials have the overall lowest carbon emissions through its life cycle, lowest water usage and lowest waste. Additionally, recycled stainless steel can be recycled endlessly without losing its traits, and it leaves less than 5% to waste, compared to traditional acetate leaving 80% to waste.

In conclusion, by focusing on local production and using recycled materials, you can demonstrate your commitment to ethical practices and meet the evolving demands of conscious consumers.



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