Sustainability | Renewable Energy

The Future of Sustainable Eyewear

Bio-Acetate: The Future of Sustainable Eyewear


The fashion world is increasingly seeking eco-friendly materials, and the eyewear industry is no exception. A feature from Vogue Businesses highlights how the eyewear landscape is skewing increasingly toward being environmentally conscious and pursuing sustainable production, which has often gone overlooked despite the waste generated by eyewear manufacturing.

Brands have also been making an effort to encourage consumers to prioritize repairing their eyewear instead of replacing them. However, aside from production improvements and changing customer behavior, the eyewear industry is exploring new materials to create glasses and sunglasses. 

Bio-acetate is emerging as a frontrunner in sustainable eyewear, offering a stylish and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional materials. Though its adoption has yet to achieve mainstream adoption, major brands are already jumping on board, signaling a significant shift.

Here’s what you need to know about bio-acetate and the future of sustainable eyewear>>>

A Greener Outlook

Amid climate change concerns, the fashion world faces more pressure to change manufacturing processes that generate waste and use up valuable resources. The massive fast fashion industry prioritizes the quick production of clothing and accessories instead of mindful manufacturing; it has been estimated that around 80% of fashion apparel produced ends up in landfills or pits.

It has also been the subject of much controversy for its wastefulness by capitalizing on the trend cycle rather than focusing on quality. The eyewear industry is pivoting away from these practices, and using bio-based materials is one of the steps brands are taking. By setting this precedent that using environmentally friendly materials is possible and beneficial, the eyewear industry’s shift to eco-conscious production can ripple into the larger fashion industry. 

Biodegradable Benefits

Unlike traditional acetate derived from fossil fuels, bio-acetate is crafted from renewable resources like wood pulp and cotton. This shift in materials significantly reduces dependence on harmful chemicals and lowers the carbon footprint associated with eyewear production. One of the most compelling aspects of bio-acetate is its biodegradability. Unlike regular acetate, which can linger in landfills for years, bio-acetate frames can decompose under specific conditions.

For instance, cellulose diacetate—a bio-based plastic—degrades in the ocean faster than previously assumed, as found in a study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Rather than decades, it only takes months for the material to break down, a promising discovery highlighting the revolutionary potential of bio-based materials. 

Sustainable Style on the Rise

The growing awareness of environmental issues is prompting luxury brands to embrace sustainable practices. Ray-Ban sunglasses have long been known for timeless style, authenticity, and freedom of expression, establishing it as a leader in sun and prescription eyewear. In line with the brand’s commitment to pursue innovation, it has already incorporated bio-acetate into its collection of shades. Their classic Wayfarer model got an eco-friendly update in 2022 with a version comprised of 67% bio-based materials sourced from renewable items like wood pulp, cotton, beets, cereals, and sugar cane.

On the other hand, the innovative Wayfarer Reverse model uses polyamide bio, which is fully or partially derived from renewable biomass and natural oils like castor bean oil. The brand’s Corrigan model is also bio-based and offers a trendy look. Consumers looking for an eco-friendly alternative can enjoy the brand’s timeless selections while pursuing sustainability. It also allows brands to retain relevance and favor with a customer base that’s become more conscious of consumption, such as young Generation Z members.

A Business Edge

The emergence of bio-based materials has also given many eyewear startups an edge in the saturated eyewear market. By offering sustainable eyewear options, small and independent businesses can appeal to a broader range of consumers and gain more time in the spotlight, helping propel more opportunities for eco-friendly innovation.

Eyewear brands like AKILA that use bio-acetate, optical grade recycled lenses, and plastic-free biodegradable packaging in the eyewear manufacturing process can gain an advantage over competitors that don’t have sustainable options. Combining that with collaboration projects and pursuing fashion-forward styles allows them to capture more potential consumers with varying values and priorities.  

Bio-acetate offers a compelling combination of style, sustainability, and comfort. As the world strives for a greener future, bio-acetate is poised to become the material of choice for eco-conscious eyewear consumers.


Latest articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Clean Energy