This week we celebrated earth day and I think this year with the on going pandemic, some of us may feel even more strongly about celebrating our mother earth. Many of us have seen pictures and videos from around the world that show the earth has had a break from human activities. The break was of course during many lockdowns which took place all over the world. It was truly astonishing to see wildlife and animals flocking back to their natural habitats, where they belong.

This got me thinking about how more and more eyewear brands are now producing an eco friendly range. Obviously, this year so far (and last year), hardly any optical shows took place. Therefore, I have been unable to view any of the new eco friendly ranges. However, I do have one major bugbear when it comes to brands calling themselves “eco friendly” or being a “sustainable” brand. Why, I hear you ask? Let me explain.

To be a truly sustainable brand is tough, a really TOUGH thing to achieve because the entire process that goes into making your product has got to be environmentally friendly. This includes how the raw materials are sourced, the resources needed to make your product to how the end product is shipped to your clients, it all counts. It is literally every.single.step.

As an example, raw materials – where did the raw materials come from? If it is cotton then great, but how was that cotton grown? Was it grown using renewable resources? Was it grown in an ethical way? Was it organic? If the product you are making requires a lot of water then you have to consider where did that water come from? In using that water could it be damaging the surrounding areas and wildlife? Shipping your product, what packaging are you using? Where did the packaging come from? How are you going to deliver that product, is it carbon neutral (or negative) or even has the least carbon footprint possible?

You get the picture, it is an utterly complex process to be a truly sustainable brand. However, to be an eco friendly brand is more obtainable. Eco friendly is more about making a product that is kinder to the planet without going too in-depth and the focus can be one core area. Such as going plastic free on all packaging or making your product only using materials that can be easily recycled.

I think a lot of brands are guilty of not actually finding out what those words mean and are just using them in their marketing materials because it sounds good. Brands need to tread carefully because consumers are getting smarter, the environmental issues are such hot topics and more awareness is being raised surrounding the subject each day. If you are not truly sustainable then my advice is use the term eco friendly, earth friendly or planet friendly.

In the meantime, it is everyone’e responsibly to look after our planet, there is only one earth so look after it before it really is too late.