Today, more brands are highlighting their social and environmental efforts. Whether through sourcing, work environments, or social causes, companies are challenged to be more honest about their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.
This model for better sustainability, ethical practices, and conscious consumerism is designed to help brands earn investor and consumer trust.
This shift has influenced the eyewear industry, too, inspiring a wave of change among leading brands. The industry has a dedication to innovations in eye health and vision care. Additionally, it has taken on the challenge of better sustainability and social responsibility.
That’s why conscious consumers now have more options for brands they can openly support. Here’s what you need to know about brands paving the way for better ESG compliance.
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ESG Initiatives: Ethically Sourced Materials
Companies must ensure ESG compliance across their entire supply chain to be truly green. That’s because although working conditions may be good at a company’s headquarters, collaborating with suppliers that uphold poor working conditions or unfair practices is counterproductive to sustainability.
Beyond directly affecting the brand’s carbon footprint, these collaborations also sustain the operation of entities that operate unethically. For this reason, brands have to ensure their materials are sourced sustainably.
That’s what Zenni Optical strives to do with their new ReMakes line. This sustainable eyewear collection modernizes supply chain models by using 100% recycled post-consumer plastic to produce high-quality, long-lasting frames.
Upcycling in this way helps reduce plastic waste and natural resources needed for manufacturing, reassuring conscious consumers that the products they’re supporting were produced ethically.
Companies can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by focusing on better logistics. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the transportation sector—including trucks, ships, trains, and planes—accounted for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021, making it one of the largest contributors.
Of course, with supply chain and delivery needs, companies can’t completely avoid the need for transport. That’s why they are seeking to make logistics more sustainable through initiatives like optimizing methods, looking to alternative energy sources, or exchanging sustainable packaging.
Glasses.com employs a sustainable method for customers who prefer to buy glasses online instead of visiting their physical stores. With its Green Shipping initiatives, the brand utilizes sustainable solutions intended to reduce its climate impact.
It intentionally partners with logistics providers that calculate carbon emissions from pickup to delivery—and subsequently offsets those emissions through climate protection projects related to reforestation, renewable energy, waste disposal, wind power, and more. In doing so, this retailer found a way to negate the necessary carbon emissions produced by the logistics process.
Supporting Socially Responsible Causes
Corporate social responsibility constitutes the “social” aspect of ESG. Although less quantifiable than environmental metrics, nurturing a healthy social impact can make growth for a company sustainable as it attracts consumer and investor trust. From supporting charities to changing internal policies to social actions that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, these initiatives help brands better connect with their target market.
Blenders Eyewear stands out in this aspect. The brand offers sunglasses with unique and uplifting fashion-forward designs. Just this year, the brand was awarded the Stonewall Award at the San Diego Pride for donating $50,000 to LGBTQ+ organizations since 2021, using 100% of the proceeds earned from its Pride Collection.
Before this, it donated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month through the Keep A Breast Foundation. Ultimately, Blenders is a prime example of how eyewear companies empower specific demographics not just to tout corporate social responsibility but also to nurture a more solid customer base.
Promoting ESG Initiatives
The need for social and environmental change across every industry is rampant. With the eyewear industry joining the movement toward sustainability, ESG initiatives like these can be more easily adopted into the mainstream.