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Coral Eyewear becomes first UK company to launch glasses made with regenerated nylon

Tom Shearsmith
14 October 2020

Sustainability focused start-up Coral Eyewear has become the first UK-based company to create and launch a collection of glasses and sunglasses made with ECONYL regenerated nylon.

The Endangered collection from Coral Eyewear features six unisex designs available in four colours and can be tailored with prescription lenses. Each frame comes accompanied with a recycled plastic case and the frames are shipped in recyclable tubes.

ECONYL, produced by Italian manufacturer Aquafil, is a high-quality nylon created out of fishing nets from the aquaculture sector and some rescued from oceans along with other post-consumer waste material such as fabric scraps and carpets.

ECONYL regenerated nylon can reduce the global warming impact of nylon by up to 90% when compared with the same material derived from oil.

Co-Founder of Coral Eyewear, George Bailey told "We’ve seen widespread adoption of ECONYL and other recycled materials in fashion, swimwear and sportswear for a number of years. The eyewear industry needs to take inspiration from fashion brands such as TALA, VEJA and Patagonia in implementing sustainable business models.

"Sustainability is moving further up in terms of public consciousness, but to create true impact with recycled materials we have to create designs that people want to wear based on aesthetics alone. We’ve worked with a leading UK eyewear designer and the frames are handcrafted in Italy, so we like to think that our recycled materials are in good hands."

To ensure the frames are a true circular economy solution, Coral Eyewear has also announced a frame recycling scheme which will become active next year in a bid to “close the loop” on waste within the eyewear industry.

Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO of Aquafil added: “Nylon waste for me is not something to be disposed of, but a fantastic resource. We have a responsibility to look beyond our manufacturing and we encourage our brands to consider what happens at the end of their products use in the way Coral Eyewear are doing”.

Coral Eyewear has already attracted the attention of BT Sport presenter and host of the chart-topping High-Performance Podcast Jake Humphrey, who invested in the brand earlier this year after meeting young entrepreneur George at University of East Anglia.

Speaking on his decision to support the brand Jake said: “In summer 2019, I was looking for a new pair of sunglasses but knew I didn’t want to buy any that used virgin plastic. So, I walked around London’s West End, visiting numerous stores. In each, I asked to see their recycled or planet-friendly range. Not one store had any.

“It’s unacceptable to think that millions of pairs of glasses and sunglasses sold in the world every year, use virgin plastic and thanks to Coral Eyewear it’s going to change. Importantly, the sunglasses also look great!”

Coral Eyewear’s Endangered Collection is available for purchase online and in selected independent opticians.

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