BERLIN—Mykita and Eastman (NYSE:EMN) will join forces to accelerate the transition to sustainable materials in the eyewear industry, the companies said. From today, leading independent eyewear brand Mykita will exclusively source the sustainable Acetate Renew, produced by Eastman’s innovative molecular recycling technology. The decision marks an important milestone for both partners in their ongoing strategies to continually lessen their environmental impact. “The partnership with Eastman and the quality of Acetate Renew is truly exciting for us as an independent brand and progressive manufacturer, allowing us to go all in and completely switch our acetate to this innovative sustainable option,” said Mykita founder and creative director Moritz Krueger.

“We’re proud to show that it’s possible and to set an industry example, as well as inspiring other brands to follow suit,” Krueger said.

Debuting at the LOFT 2022 Eyewear Show in New York this week, the new Mykita Acetate collection will be manufactured using Acetate Renew. For the customer, the switch will be seamless, the company said. Indistinguishable from conventional acetate in both appearance and performance, Eastman Acetate Renew is made from 60 percent sustainably sourced wood pulp and 40 percent certified recycled content made via Eastman’s pioneering molecular recycling technology that breaks down plastic waste into fundamental building blocks to create new materials.

By replacing traditional fossil resources with hard-to-recycle plastics, such as carpets, textiles, or even eyewear industry waste, molecular recycling diverts plastic waste from landfills and incinerators or from becoming litter in the ocean. Ultimately, Acetate Renew reduces harmful greenhouse gases by up to 50 percent compared to the traditional manufacturing process.

“Mykita is known for being bold, and they are demonstrating it once again with their commitment to rapidly enhance the sustainability of their eyewear,” said Glenn Goldman, Eastman’s commercial director for specialty plastics. “We are proud that Mykita has decided to switch its acetate entirely to Eastman Acetate Renew. They are showing that it is possible to make a quick and complete change with a sustainable offering for every frame starting today."

Eastman is actively working on solutions, including the take-back program that recycles waste from the eyewear industry into new sustainable materials, such as Acetate Renew. Mykita will be one of the first joining the program once it is up and running at scale in Europe to create true circularity in eyewear.

This first commercial collaboration between Eastman and Mykita is a positive development for sustainability within the eyewear industry, demonstrating the tangible solutions and potential of circular technology. Further sustainability projects from both parties are in the pipeline, the announcement said.

Established in 2003, Mykita takes an independent approach to eyewear design and production, bringing together all departments under one roof to form what it calls the "Modern Manufactory." At the Mykita Haus in Berlin, the team sees the product through every stage, from conception to the shop floor. In addition to its own shops in cities across the globe, including Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and Tokyo, Mykita is available at selected optical and fashion stores in over 80 countries.

Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability.

The company had 2021 revenues of approximately $10.5 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn. More details about Eastman's sustainability journey are posted here at EastmanEco.