Our owner, Robbie, was presented with a question that is more relevant today than ever: “Is the eyewear at Eclectic Eye ethically sourced and produced?” This led to a conversation amongst the team about our eyewear lines and their commitment to sustainability.
Now, what classifies as “ethically sourced?” Natural materials and mass production vs. micro-production are some key factors to think of when researching an eyewear line’s sustainability practices and carbon footprint. Below are a few lines we carry that contribute to a better environment for us all.
Jacques Marie Mage prides itself in their ecologically conscious business practices. They specialize in micro-production, meaning only “X” amount is made in a specific frame in a certain colorway. For example, the latest Jeff Goldblum frame “Jeff” in colorway Argyle is number 248/500, meaning only 500 frames were created, or will be created, in this color! Jacques Marie Mage is also a huge advocate for national parks and donates a portion of their proceeds to aid in conserving wildlife with the organizations Yellowstone Forever and Living with Wolves. Learn more here.
Lowercase handcrafts each frame that moves through their Brooklyn, New York workshop. With a team of less than 10, everyone works together in all aspects of the business. They also utilize small-batch production to “prioritize craftsmanship above all else.” This helps cut down on any waste. The acetate used is derived from cotton fibers, which are renewable and very beneficial for our Mother Earth!
Ahlem, a beautifully minimalistic line handcrafted in France, believes in constructing their eyewear with superior materials that are built to last a lifetime. They, too, utilize small-batch production, capping their frames at 300 per run. This factor, plus the use of superior materials, decrease their manufacturing carbon footprint. France shares the same environmental consciousness as Ahlem, so the country provides great support for Ahlem and their efforts at conservation.
RetroSpecs has reduce, reuse, and recycle in their bones. The company began in 1992 after Jay Owens purchased an antique frame with cable temples and found that it held up wonderfully during a game of baseball. This initiated an expedition in search of other antique frames like it for him to restore for his friends, family, and eyeglass wearers everywhere! RetroSpecs also restores a customer’s existing frame to look brand new – something we have done for many patients at Eclectic Eye. Because the company is sourcing frames made 50+ years ago and giving them a new life, our planet breathes a sigh of relief since RetroSpecs is not taking up additional valuable resources.
Cuthbert & Chen, a division of RetroSpecs, utilizes naturally sourced water buffalo horn for the material in their frames. Cuthbert & Chen honors the animal by using their resources in a way that is respectful and not wasteful. By using the horn, no additional materials need to be created. The horn comes in beautiful color striations, and they differ with each frame. If you see a horn frame in a light color pattern, jump on it! These are rare, as the horn with a lighter color is more delicate.
Eclectic Eye prides itself on supporting independent eyewear companies, but also conducting business with a sound heart and mind. This includes ensuring the eyewear we provide is not only a good fit for you, but also a good fit for a sustainable future.