Nicola Zotta (l) and Scott Ballard
NEW YORK – Marchon Eyewear, Inc. , one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of eyewear and sunwear, has announced an industry-first partnership with Eastman, a global specialty materials company. Marchon will be the first eyewear company to produce and sell frames using Eastman Acetate Renew, a fully sustainable material that will be used in Marchon’s proprietary and licensed brands frames. Eastman announced its initiative in eyewear, which is part of a broader company-wide sustainability program, earlier this year, as VMAIL reported.

“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 will use its innovative carbon renewal technology, a process 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 innovative 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.

Acetate Renew, produced via Eastman’s innovative carbon renewal technology, is made from bio-based and certified recycled materials and provides three key benefits to Marchon Eyewear.

· Sustainable material with lower carbon footprint -- meeting consumers’ demand for more sustainable fashion. 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.

· Less landfill waste -- 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.

· Identical Performance -- Unlike other sustainable alternatives, Acetate Renew is indistinguishable from classic acetate, assuring wearers of the high quality and premium styles they expect from Marchon Eyewear.

The new circular manufacturing process for frames made with Acetate Renew begins when scrap and mixed waste acetate are sent to Eastman, instead of being disposed of in a landfill. The recovered scrap is recycled through Eastman’s innovative carbon renewal process, which breaks down the scrap into its molecular building blocks that are in turn used to create new acetate with high levels of certified recycled content. The result is a new acetate that is identical in performance to standard acetate, allowing Marchon to create high-quality eyewear frames for its collection of premium, lifestyle and performance brands. In 2019, Eastman began commercial-scale molecular recycling for a broad set of waste plastics that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated, or worse, end up in the environment. More information is posted at here.

“This collaboration with Marchon marks a significant milestone for advancing a circular economy for the eyewear industry,” said 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.”

Eastman’s Acetate Renew is a cellulose diacetate composed of 60 percent biobased and 40 percent certified recycled content. The look and feel of the new eyewear will be identical to that of Marchon’s current frame collections, delivering the same admirable quality customers have come to expect from Marchon, while also offering significant sustainability benefits.

Beginning in 2021, Marchon will begin to produce acetate sunglasses and ophthalmic frames by using Eastman’s Renew materials, further asserting Marchon’s commitment to social responsibility and bringing more sustainable practices to the eyewear industry.