Sustainability In Optics – Less Is More at opti 2023

Jisco eyewear opti 2023

Sustainability in ophthalmic optics is once again one of the key focus areas of opti 2023. Protecting the environment and being careful and socially responsible with resources have increasingly become a matter of course for many companies in the sector. This is something that will be demonstrated by exhibitors from all product areas in the three halls of the international trade show for optics & design from 13 to 15 January.

Premium eyewear that combines quality and design with sustainability. Since its founding, NEUBAU EYEWEAR has followed the guiding principle of “Sustainable Avantgarde” and continues to set new standards. Recently, for example, the company site with production facility in the heart of Austria in Linz has become CO2-neutral. Managing Director Daniel Liktor: “After setting new milestones as a company in 2022, we are looking forward to starting a successful new year at opti.” In Hall C2.545, NEUBAU EYEWEAR will then celebrate, among other things, the premiere of a special design edition, designed together with the renowned German Atelier fashion label ODEEH.

“More with less.” Less is more is the clear message from VAVA Eyewear from Portugal, and this also goes for their display at opti in January (Hall C1.471). Sustainability requires care and there are now many different ways to reduce waste and protect the environment. Manufacturing unique eyewear is the ambitious mission of VAVA. Just like the Mazzucchelli acetate, the Barberini crystal lenses and the aluminum that VAVA uses for the frames are 100 percent recyclable. Of course, there is no plastic packaging.

The makers of Jiscowho will be in opti’s Hall C1.559, also live and love nature. The DNA of the Spanish spectacles label based in Palma de Mallorca is Mediterranean, the attitude uncompromising: “At JISCO we design each model thinking about our ecological conscience and the will to guide our company towards a more eco-friendly approach,” says Marketing Manager Patricia Hervas. This critical view also applies to the procurement of raw materials, the production process and packaging. According to Jisco, compostable plastic is not the most attractive packaging, but it is the best solution for conveying its sunglasses and corrective glasses to its customers. Jisco eyewear is produced in many colors and designs from 100 percent bio-based acetate and pure titanium from Japan, which is completely recyclable.

Different materials, always sustainable

A completely different sustainable material is processed in Vulkaneifel and only in Vulkaneifel. Brillenmanufaktur Wollenweber is one of the few German companies to have specialised in the natural material of buffalo horn. Company founder Dieter Wollenweber was one of the first ever manufacturers of spectacles made from horn. The frames are created through a complex skilled craft-based process requiring more than 200 steps to get to the finished product. The base of each pair of spectacles made from horn, the horn plate, is laminated with wood or silk before the various natural colours and designs can be applied. The most important to remember here is that however precious and valuable the material is, it is a by-product of livestock farming. Not one animal is killed for its horns. The family firm, which is now managed by Wollenweber’s daughters Sarah und Vanessa, will be exhibiting its products in Hall C2.467 at opti 2023.

LEIPZIG Eyewear also has a family feel to it. The opti BOX AWARD candidate will be setting up in opti’s Hall C2 (Stand BOX 13) in January. As the name suggests, its home city is Leipzig and there it works, quite unconventionally, in partnership with a local coffee roastery, a local fashion label and a local family business that produces lemonade. What does that have to do with stylish spectacles? “We offer each other mutual support, expertise, networking activities and also models. This saves money and time,” explained Paul Nestler, who is responsible for marketing at LEIPZIG Eyewear. Sustainability ultimately means more to the young label, which was founded two years ago, than simply protecting the environment. But they do not come up short on that either: all production processes at LEIPZIG Eyewear take place under one roof so there are no long delivery routes or periods for these goods. The processed materials are German feather stainless steel and – pay attention here – polyamide powder from recycled sports clothes. One of the next projects planned by LEIPZIG Eyewear is a deposit system for supporting lenses.

Making progress on sustainability together

This is exactly the aim of the sustainability interest group, which was formed at the special opti event in May this year. Representatives from the various divisions of the sector have joined forces for this purpose. These include, for example, Markus Temming from the frames manufacturer MARKUS T. (Hall C1.371), celebrating its 25th anniversary at opti under the motto “100 Seasons MARKUS T.”, DAO Managing Director Stefan Rüdiger (Hall C3.519) and optician Bernd Angst. Their aim, for example, is to ensure that in future as many frames manufacturers as possible only use supporting discs made from the same material so that they can be returned. Supporting discs create around 60 tonnes of plastic waste per year in Germany. Another current issue being considered by the interest group is the filtering of grinding water and the recycling initiative for contact lens blister packs set up by the Munich-based optician Carina Freytag-Hafen is to be given a further push.

Being and becoming more sustainable simply plays an important role, Stefan Rüdiger explains the commitment. In 2022, for example, DAO has moved a lot with the relocation of prescription glass production from Asia to Germany and Europe. With UNICOS by DAO, the traditional mid-size company based in Baden-Württemberg is presenting a new, resource-saving frame collection at opti. “Because every UNICOS pair of glasses is made only on demand from an environmentally friendly material in Italy. Out-of-stock items and warehousing costs are thus a thing of the past.” The next meeting of the interest group will be also at opti 2023, where it all began. The initiators are interested in exchanging ideas, expanding the group and learning more about the subject of sustainability in ophthalmic optics. For this purpose, they will have their own space in Hall C3 in January and trade visitors will be welcome to visit at any time, including either side of two daily rounds of talks. Interested visitors can register now at info@partnerauge.

Modular in Design

Sustainability is also the key focus of Stand 312 in Hall C3. “We want to help shape the world today and make our own contribution to ensuring that future generations can live well too,” said a representative of SCHWEIZER, one of the oldest owner-run companies in the optics sector. The special visual aid provider will be represented at opti 2023 with a new exhibition stand concept involving a reusable module construction. Presentation boxes etc. for new projects, such as a new magnifying half-eye spectacles and an electronic magnifying glass with a free write function contribute to climate protection as they are produced at the company headquarters in Franconian Forchheim and so have a smaller carbon footprint.

Green trade fair location

Of course, as far as the opti location is concerned, the Fairground Munich also made a commitment to sustainability long ago. The main aim within the framework of the Code of Conduct is CO2 neutrality by 2030, which is ten years earlier than the German trade fair industry had otherwise set out. the Fairground Munich was the world’s first trade fair venue to be certified as an “energy-efficient company” by the German testing and accreditation body TÜV SÜD. Since the start of 2020 it has been fully converted to electricity generated by renewable energies. With the aid of one of the world’s largest photovoltaic installations on the Fairground Munich’s roofs, each year it cuts emissions of around 1,600 tons of CO2. 50 charging stations including superchargers supply free eco-electricity from solar energy to the electric vehicles used by the Fairground Munich’s customers and visitors. the Fairground Munich also looks the part with its 220,000 square meters of green space, around 2,500 trees, the halls’ green external walls and 35,000 square meters of green roof. Around 400,000 honey bees have called this home for the last three years. With regard to waste disposal, thermal processing has been continuously reduced: large stand components or wood sections are collected during assembly and dismantling and the same goes for all mixed waste as well as plastic and paper so that they can be recycled afterwards. Hazardous waste is separated.

opti 2023 is to be held at the Fairground Munich from 13 to 15 January. All exhibitors can be found on the opti website together with trade visitor tickets. Media representatives can obtain their accreditation online here. Those interested in a trade press display on site at the fair should contact sunkel@ghm.de.  The opti FORUM XT webinar series will fill the time until the live opti trade show. The next webinar will be held at 7.30pm on 08 December 2022 and is called “Positionierung: Zeige, wofür Du stehst, und der Umsatz stimmt” (positioning: show what you stand for, and the sales will add up). Free registration and retrieval of previous episodes is also possible at www.opti.de/en/.

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