I recently stumbled across an article about Safilo’s premium sun lenses made out of a new sustainable material (40% biomass, with a 50% lower carbon footprint) and it got me thinking about the environmental impact of the eyewear industry.
I did some research and found out there’s a growing market for sustainable glasses frames – from bamboo, to recycled plastic – made by companies like Sea2see Eyewear, Pala Eyewear and SKRAP Skateboard Inc. Clearly consumers are caring more and more about the impact of their purchases and as such, many industries are under a lot of pressure to become more sustainable.
Judging by the amount of environmentally friendly eyewear options on the market, it seems that our industry is slow to catch up. It looks as though the eyewear sector needs to become more sustainable, so I created a poll on LinkedIn to see what you think: Who has the most influence to create change and help the sector become more sustainable?
The improvement of a patient, who's had retinitis pigmentosa (RP) for 40 years, has been reported in a phase 1/2 clinical trial of GenSight Biologics' mutation-agnostic gene therapy. The treatment introduces genetic instructions from algae to the surviving layer of retina at the back of the eye. At first, the patient only responded to amber light, but recently identified white lines on crosswalks and identified items when wearing goggles which detect changes in light intensity.
RP causes vision loss through the death of light sensing cells and affects more than 2 million people worldwide. Optogenetics therapy uses light to control the activity of brain cells to restore vision. “The findings provide proof-of-concept that using optogenetic therapy to partially restore vision is possible" Prof Botond Roska, University of Basel.
There are several promising approaches aimed at restoring light for RP patients. In 2017, Spark Therapeutics, Inc., now part of Roche, won FDA approval for their mutation-specific RP gene therapy, Luxturna. It is uncertain whether a mutation-specific approach can be used for all patients, as the disease can be caused by changes in over 70 genes.
James Pickering is our Managing Director and an eye care recruitment expert who has developed an extensive client base and candidate network. He regularly writes articles about industry developments and has received numerous recommendations from industry leaders. You can also connect with James on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest eye care news.