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    The growing green trend in optical

    Why some companies are taking the eco-friendly step


    Why they do it

    Taking steps to be more environmentally friendly isn’t always easy and it isn’t always cheap. So why do it?

    For some, this eco-friendly approach is part of what they are as a brand. Boulder-based Zeal, for example, is located one of the most active cities in the country. Lewis says the company was created out of love and respect for the outdoors, so it makes products that not only keep up with a nature-loving lifestyle, but also enhance the wearer’s outdoor experience.

    “As a company inspired by the world around us, we understand the importance of protecting and sustaining the outdoors for generations to come,” Lewis says.

    For some companies, doing the right thing was just as important as the bottom line. But each company that spoke with Optometry Times said its customers have responded to their efforts. While some customers intentionally seek out environmentally friendly companies, others are just happy to see brands they already love take that extra step.

    “When we launched ECO, it was our first step toward creating a corporate identity that combines design with purpose,” says Modo COO Rebecca Giefer. “Our CEO said, ‘Who we are is as important as what we do.’ This statement resonated with our team because, generally speaking, we all want to be part of something more than making frames season after season; we all want to find a way to have impact in the world.

    “When Modo focused on the who and not the what, we became much more inspired,” says Giefer. “And, in turn, our work became stronger than ever.”

    Sanchez says that while what Costa and other eco-friendly optical companies are doing is great, it would mean more if some of the industry leaders stepped up to the plate.

    “It’s brands like that who should lead in this space because they provide a lot of efficiencies for other brands to come in and use the raw materials,” he says. “It’s going to take the big guys to make a significant impact. We’re a serious player in the space, but there are major brands who could make a difference.”

    Unfortunately, Sanchez doesn’t see that happening any time soon because of the focus on cost. He credits parent company Essilor with supporting Costa to be able to live up to its commitments and standards. And for Costa and its customers, it’s been worth it.

    “Eco friendly eyewear is amazing in that it’s just as strong, durable, and beautiful as materials you’re used to working with,” Sanchez says. “When you get your hands on it and you get to know the brands who are putting efforts into using it, you’ll see a ton of value.”

    Click here to check out the latest optical news and advice!

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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