Sustainability practices in the fashion sphere have come a long way in just a few short years, predominately driven by Millennials and Generation Z. With findings from Unidays and McKinsey & Company, 82 percent of Generation Z say they would be more likely to buy a product if it were environmentally friendly. Furthermore, younger generations increasingly state that they will pay more for products that have the least negative impact on the environment.
With this in mind and a concept that Creative Director of Le Specs, Hamish Tame, says he has been toying with for over five years ago, the eyewear giant has ushered in a sustainable collection of eco ware. Aptly dubbed ‘Le Sustain’, environmentally friendly sunglasses have become a reality banishing plastic from the packaging to final product. Two and half years in the making, every material is carefully selected and vetted to minimise environmental impact, promoting industry and consumers to reduce, recycle and reuse. Focusing on every detail, every pair of Le Sustain sunglasses are packaged with zero waste componentry including a recycled jersey pouch, recycled cardboard box and swing tag, eliminating all polybags and excess packaging.
“I have never designed a collection with more challenges and hurdles, which is why this collection feels so rewarding to release,” Hamish Tame tells ICON. “The material we used had a lot of structural and aesthetic limitations, so we were continually workshopping solutions to overcome and make sure that quality was never compromised.”
Featuring three everyday styles with a range of colour and lens iterations, each frame is comprised of 23 percent meadow grass (yes, grass) and 77 percent recycled plastic. The end result sees a smooth, matte finish with small flecks of grass seen for a subtle but unique touch to the glasses.
“After researching with our manufacturing partner, we were able to source the frame material from a company in Germany named Biowert, which processes the recycled plastic and combines it with the meadow grass. Our hope for the future is that we can work with Australian businesses sourcing new or similar materials.”
Worn by some of the most recognised and influential personalities of today, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Lady Gaga, Zayn Malik, Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber, Le Specs has reached all corners of the globe. “The most significant change has been globalisation in the sense that social media makes everything instantaneous to a worldwide audience,” Tame reflects. And with this new Le Sustain collection just the beginning of its journey into a waste-free future, Tame has teased a “three-year plan” to ICON which involves a transition “of our products and packaging with more sustainable solutions.”