Rightly, a tagline of “Sustainable” is no longer enough to showcase a brand’s commitment to the environment. For Coral Eyewear, sustainability is underpinned by a commitment to innovation and constantly challenging the use of plastic in the eyewear industry.
The majority of eyewear brands use virgin plastic to create their frames and during the production process many imperfect frames are sent directly from the factory floor to landfill. Four billion adults in the world have glasses and replace them every couple of years, with no current solution for recycling old styles. Furthermore, sunglasses are often even more disposable with 55% of Americans admitting to breaking or misplacing their sunglasses once a year.
Instead, every pair of glasses and sunglasses crafted by Coral Eyewear is made from recycled materials. Our sunglasses are made from rescued ocean waste materials and other recycled plastic. The process begins with rescued fishing nets and pre- and post-consumer waste which would otherwise be sent to landfills or discarded in the environment.
The first step to changing an industry’s habits is to REIMAGINE. Coral Eyewear co-founders George and Calvin spotted the inefficiency within the eyewear industry and decided to source a reclaimed material for a new kind of eyewear. Coral is the first British brand to launch a collection of eyewear made with ECONYLⓇ polymer.
The process involves working with the fishing and carpet industries to achieve the next step, to RESCUE waste plastic. The recovered plastic from seabeds and landfills across the world are sorted and, through a radical regeneration process, nylon 6 contained within both waste forms is returned right back to its original purity. Pelletised at high-speeds, the nylon is then injection moulded into bespoke moulds and the resulting shapes are tumbled for smoothness before the logo is added by hand.
The results are staggering. For every 10,000 tonnes of raw material, using ECONYLⓇ avoids 65,100 tons of CO2eq emissions when compared with an industry standard nylon.
With broken frames such a large part of the waste issue at the heart of the eyewear industry, ECONYLⓇ forms a strong frame for the Coral designs that you can trust to be just as tough as virgin plastic - without damaging our planet. Using ECONYL regenerated nylon reduces the global warming impact of nylon by up to 90% compared with nylon made from oil.
Our Adventurer collection is crafted from Polyamide PA 12; a material made from scraps from tubes, scraps from eyeglasses and selected regranuled material. Thereby making this a material that is recycled, zero waste and has the potential to be infinitely recycled. Polyamide PA 12 has a good flexural bending strength and impact resistant. It’s also a light material making it ideal for all adventures from hiking to ocean expeditions.
The eyewear industry also uses a huge amount of unnecessary packaging. All Coral Eyewear packaging is created with fully recyclable kraft paper and the case and cloth which accompany every frame are produced using recycled PET.
When looking for a delivery partner with the capability to send orders across the world, Coral Eyewear opted for DPD who recently announced Oxford as the first city to be serviced with a fully-electric fleet of vans. With 1600 electric vehicles already operating in the UK, the group have ambitious plans to take their electric vehicles across the globe. Not just content with using electric vehicles, each order is also distributed with a carbon-neutral guarantee. Whilst a small step, the more businesses demanding distribution partners utilising renewable energy the better.
Finally, Coral Eyewear is an example of a business taking responsibility for the eventual disposal of their products, as well as their creation. Due to regenerated nylon’s properties, the frames can be recycled infinitely without losing quality and, as a result, customers can send their frames back to Coral for recycling. To incentivise the take-up of this circular economy solution, the brand will send you a healthy 10% off your next frame.