Essilor Luxottica have recently purchased a share in a company which produces an eco-friendly material used in eyewear by Mazzucchelli – Acetate Renew. This new material is made by transforming plastic waste into primary molecules, in order to produce a raw material again. Essilor’s purchasing of a share is an interesting development, particularly following our LinkedIn poll regarding who has the most influence in making the eye wear sector more sustainable.
The resounding vote was that eyewear manufacturers have the most influence and Essilor Luxottica’s share in Mazzucchelli supports this. It seems, however, there are political implications of an eyewear company owning part of a material supply for the industry, which may prevent other eyewear companies using this renewable material. There are already many in the industry who believe that the merger of Essilor and Luxottica in 2017 (?) has given them a monopoly over the market as they can control supply of products from their manufacturer to the end user, owning a share of Acetate renew increases this monopoly.
Although he recognises the value of improving the sustainability of the eye care industry, James Conway, CEO of Millmead Optical Group said “we can’t really be seen to be supporting one of our competitors”, suggesting industry politics will play an important part in the sustainability of the industry.
Whilst our poll showed that most eyecare industry professionals said that eyewear manufacturers had the most influence in making the eyewear sector sustainable, industry politics appear to be preventing this from coming to fruition.
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.