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Marchon partners with Eastman to boost sustainability

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Oct 15, 2020

Marchon Eyewear has announced an industry-first partnership with Eastman, a global speciality materials company, to roll out a recycled acetate material in its sunglass and optical products.

The partnership will see Marchon being the first eyewear company to produce and sell frames using Eastman Acetate Renew, a fully sustainable material that will be used in Marchon’s proprietary and licensed brands frames, from 2021.

The upcycled acetate is made via a carbon renewal process which is capable of recycling some of the most complex plastic waste, including non-polyester plastics and mixed plastics that cannot be recycled with conventional recycling technologies.

Using Eastman’s innovative recycling technology, the scrap from Marchon’s manufacturing of acetate frames can be diverted from landfills and used to produce new sustainable acetate for premium eyewear.

“We are very proud to announce our partnership with Eastman,” said Nicola Zotta, president and chief executive of Marchon Eyewear, Inc. in a statement. “As the first eyewear manufacturer to collaborate with Eastman, this relationship will be beneficial for us, as it will significantly reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining our commitment to safety and sustainability without compromising the quality of our frames.”

Marchon to produce and sell eyewear made with Eastman’s sustainable acetate

Marchon states that on a typical eyewear manufacturing line, about 80 percent of the material used in sheet acetate frame production is scrapped. Instead of going to landfill, the scrap will now be returned to Eastman and recycled by Eastman into new material, creating a circular production process.

The new optical and sunglass styles produced with Acetate Renew, a cellulose diacetate will be comprised of 60 percent biobased and 40 percent certified recycled content, the company explained. In addition, the Acetate Renew reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage compared to traditional acetate.

The aim of the partnership, Marchon stated was to meet consumer demand for more sustainable fashion, while still offering the same quality. Unlike other sustainable alternatives, Acetate Renew is “indistinguishable from classic acetate,” meaning it can keep the same “look and feel” of its eyewear that its wearers expect.

Scott Ballard, vice president and general manager for Eastman Specialty Plastics, added: “This collaboration with Marchon marks a significant milestone for advancing a circular economy for the eyewear industry.

“With Acetate Renew, Eastman combines its 80-year history of material innovations for eyewear with technologies that help ensure the industry’s sustainability in the 21st century. We are proud to join with Marchon to introduce eyewear made of 100 percent sustainable material produced using advanced recycling technologies.”

Marchon, one of eyewear’s largest manufacturers, will roll out Acetate Renew production from January 2021 as it looks to reaffirm its commitment to bringing more sustainable practices to the eyewear industry.

The company creates and distributes eyewear for numerous brands including Calvin Klein, Nike, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloé, and Victoria Beckham.

Image: courtesy of Marchon Eyewear