Looks like Gucci’s foray into sustainable eyewear was more than a passing fancy. Less than a year after it debuted a line of bio-based frames synthesized from castor seeds, the Italian luxury house is poised to introduce the first-ever sunglasses made with “liquid wood.” The material, which Benetton currently uses for its hangers, combines wood fibers from sustainably managed forests, lignin from the paper-manufacturing process, and natural wax. Unlike petroleum-based plastic, it’s also biodegradable.
Together with Safilo, which manufactures and distributes eyeglasses for a raft of internationally renowned brands, Gucci has created a prototype with a semi-matte black frame and gray ombré glass lenses. Recycled metal makes up both the hinges and bamboo-inspired accents.
Gucci will also be introducing a foldable eyeglass case to reduce the weight and number of shipments.
Its frames aren’t the only thing getting overhauled, however. Gucci plans to introduce a foldable eyeglass case that minimizes stock space and both the weight and number of shipments. The new packaging, which Gucci estimates will reduce its transport-related carbon emissions by 60 percent, will include a pre-addressed envelope so customers can send it off for recycling.
“Since 1921, Gucci has been about quality, but nowadays quality goes hand in hand with sustainability,” Rossella Ravagli, Gucci’s corporate social responsibility manager, told Copenhagen Fashion Summit attendees earlier this month. “We can absolutely say in Gucci today that CSR is a strategic aspect of our global strategy.”