by Stephen Garner

Marchon Eyewear is investing more in sustainability with its new partnership with specialty materials company Eastman. Marchon will be the first eyewear company to produce and sell frames using Eastman’s “Acetate Renew.” a fully sustainable material that will be used in the company’s proprietary and licensed brand’s frames.

“We are very proud to announce our partnership with Eastman,” said Nicola Zotta, president and CEO of Marchon Eyewear. “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.”

Eastman uses carbon renewal technology, a process that 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. Through Eastman’s 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.

In addition to having approximately 40 percent certified recycled content and 60 percent bio-based content, Acetate Renew reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel usage compared to traditional acetate. Typically, 80 percent of material used in sheet acetate frame production is scrap. Instead of being landfilled, the scrap will now be returned to Eastman and recycled by Eastman into new material, creating a circular production process.

“This collaboration with Marchon marks a significant milestone for advancing a circular economy for the eyewear industry,” added Scott Ballard, vice president and general manager for Eastman Specialty Plastics.  “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 will begin to produce acetate sunglasses and ophthalmic frames by using Eastman’s Renew materials starting in 2021.