While the organic food market is increasingly expanding, the organic market in the optical field is expanding more slowly: the subject is not yet a priority for eyewear clients. That could change with the emergence of the phenomenon among the major brands.
Last month, Opal, the French eyeglass manufacturer specializing in glasses for the whole family, unveiled a new Tartine et Chocolat collection in organic acetate. Designed for children of 2/3 years of age, this collection addresses the expectations of parents who care about choosing food products with no pesticides, banishing disposable nappies, preferring untreated solid wooden furniture and toys, bathing with soap and water, selecting clothing in organic fabrics, and so on.
Cellulose acetate – widely used in the eyeglass industry – is a natural polymer containing cellulose taken from cotton, tree pulp or even cotton textile waste. A biodegradable material compatible with other plasticizers, it is also mould-resistant and hypo-allergenic.
So what makes this acetate organic? It is made up of traceable organic raw materials, combined with organic or botanical binders and colourings. Like the organic acetate M49 by Mazzucchelli. The material is popular among young designer brands with a responsible, sustainable, ecological approach.
Since 2010, Monkey Glasses has been using organic acetate and other environmentally friendly materials, lending it the appearance of wood, horn or crystal to demonstrate its versatility. Shelter, a company known for its wooden glasses, launched the Pulpe collection in organic acetate with a 30% wood fibre base. Stella McCartney, a passionate defender of eco-friendly fashion, is also involved in facing the ecological challenges of the eyewear industry with organic acetate glasses made with more than 50% natural materials.
“The product formula combines cellulose (the most common organic compound on earth, both renewable and biodegradable) and natural plasticizers, which are different from DEPs (Diethyl Phthalates) since they are derived from citric acid, a natural substance obtained through fermentation,” she explains. These ambassadors, and a few others, will certainly forge the way for the development of the organic version of acetate, of which the non-toxic and non-pollutant qualities are considerable advantages for environmentally committed eyewear.